We live in a world where play is for kids and having time to ourselves is selfish.

Scary truth: research by Dr. Stuart Brown discovered that lack of play was an important predictor of criminal behavior.

Somewhere along the way we forgot what it means to have fun.

(The above photo is an example of me and my ARTPlay, a free creative playspace for Artist Strong subscribers.)

I’ve known myself to be an artist since I was little. It was always a popular activity for me at home. As I grew older the message was clear: Art play is for kids. If you want to be a “serious” artist, there are certain steps to take, and even then, you won’t make money. Besides, jobs aren’t places where you get to have fun. You have “responsibilities.”

I tried to ignore my interest in the arts. But any time something stressful or difficult came into my life, my art interest was always there for me, despite my neglect. We all have our battles, mine included health problems. And each time there was a surgery, a need for respite, or a new medicine to be mad about, I always had my art.

Did you know Creative play:

(1) Improves relationships as well as your connection to others;

(2) Relieves Stress; and

(3) Improves brain function?

“Did you know Creative play: (1) Improves relationships/ your connection to others; (2) Relieves Stress; & (3) Improves brain function?” (Click to Tweet)

How many of you have fought your inkling to engage with the arts? Perhaps you were a drama student who thinks about joining a community theatre. Or you loved that random art class in college but now you “just can’t make the time.”

Art is play. Somewhere along the way someone told you play isn’t important.

(In this photograph I’m playing around with ideas from my Lettering Class via Skillshare).

Lack of play in our lives may actually predict or encourage criminal behavior. You might want to reassess your stance on what exactly is worth your time.

I became an art teacher. I had countless people in my life tell me not to have a career in art; I wanted to be the adult on the other side of that coin. I want to encourage students that even if they don’t want art as a career, it can still be a part of their lives.

That doesn’t change in adulthood. If you have an interest in the arts, it can still be a wonderful and important part of your life. You not only have a responsibility to yourself, you have a responsibility to your family to engage in creative play. What are you modeling to your children or younger siblings if life is about “work” and “obligations?” It isn’t selfish to engage in play, it’s selfless. We need to take back our lives. And it can start with creative play.

“…you have a responsibility to your family to engage in creative play.” (Click to Tweet)

My sister just signed up for a glass blowing class; it’s something she always wanted to do. I’m so excited and proud of her, I’m hoping I can find another class that we can someday take together. Why? Because I embrace my desire to play.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: What can you do today to embrace your desire to play? I want to know! Tell me about it in the comments below.

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