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  • Beverly Todd

Paint like a child, re-connect with creativity


“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Take three adults. Put them in front of a canvas. Tell them to paint. All three will turn to you with a lost look and say, “But I am not creative.” Minutes will pass before one looks at the other two and says, “What do you suppose we should do?”

Take three children. Put them in front of a canvas. Tell them to paint. All three will immediately paint. Enjoy. Laugh. Connect. Create.

For most adults their creativity has become invisible.

Humans are naturally curious, driven, innovative. But as they become adults and matriculate into the greater world, as they take on careers, families and responsibilities, life seems to become – for a better word – humdrum. The inspirations, insights and quirky ideas they had as children disappear.

But it does not need to be this way. Creativity for adults is just as important as it is for children. Perhaps even more important. Children tend to create only for themselves, while adults create both for themselves and for the world in which they live.

Tapping into a creative force or energy is possible for everyone. We all have creative capacities but in many instances we do not know what they are or how to draw on them.

Getting that creative mojo flowing starts with letting go and doing something different -- like abstract painting. Canvas Connection is a creativity experienced using painting together ona shared canvas.

The main message:

1. Creativity is about generating ideas or producing things and transforming them into something of value. It often involves being inventive, ingenious, innovative and entrepreneurial.

2. Creativity is not just about special people doing special things. We all have the potential to be creative and creativity is a skill that needs to be developed.

3. Most individuals believe they are not very creative. Creativity, however, is an increasingly valuable commodity in the modern world.

4. The forming of collaborative, creative groups and partnerships helps to foster creativity and builds creative teams.

5. All people, professions and business benefit from creativity. Creativity is not just for the art world. Creativity in leaders and corporations, business and government, community and social services benefit with creativity.

As I lead teams and individuals through the painting exercise, there is only one caveat – paint like a child.

Once the brush hits the canvas, there is a true sense of inspiration within yourself and engagement within your team.

Painting abstractly and intuitively motivates and re-connects each person to their own creativity. Abstraction is the ideal opportunity not to follow the traditional and accepted, but instead to strike out on a path entirely of your own. Working abstractly engages abilities such as feeling, intuition, inventiveness, spontaneity, experimentation, discovery, freedom and the activation of talent. Abstraction is an escape from the box-in world of adulthood.

We were mainly educated to think with words, but many of the most creative minds in history – novelists, artists and physical scientists – have report that their greatest inspirations came not in words, but in visual images. They were able to think in pictures rather than words. Once they got a visual idea, the words were easy. Painting opens up the visual world to creative though.

This creative painting program introduces a new “can do” attitude and fosters creative habits, including:

  • Overcoming the perception that ‘I am not creative’

  • Expecting the unexpected

  • Having fun playing with ideas

  • Practicing not knowing or tolerating ambiguity

  • Being curious

  • Facing your fears

  • Talking to people about ideas along the way

  • Being proactive and going for it

  • Collaborating creatively

#creativity #teams #teambuilding #workshop #canvas

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