Monday, November 9, 2015

I Just Gotta Say.....

I just read a rant about adult coloring books written by an art therapist and I just gotta say WOW. Among other things she lambasts them as, “not creative, and not mindful (whatever mindful means).” I used to be a snob too. I used to look down on people who made things from kits and then claimed to have “made” something. I realize now that I was just ignorant. Not everyone is going to become Rembrandt but everyone has the divine spark the God given need to create.  Some people paint, some people make science, and some people color in books.
When I was in my late teens I found an adult coloring book in a bookstore. I still have it somewhere. It was full of beautiful owls and it sparked my creativity. I learned so much as I chose the colors to fill in the lines. At first I made owls, brown, grey and beige. I wondered if they existed for real. (This was before Google kids.) Then I made pretty bits of imagination. As I began to see how the lines formed the image on the page I began to use the fields of color the change the design. Yes someone else drew the picture but I created within the confines of their vision. Then I began to add flowers to the pictures. Was it “art?” Maybe not, but it was creative learning.
What I failed to appreciate in my snob days was that kits, coloring books, and paint by numbers give people a chance to experience creative outlets they might never have the confidence to try cold turkey. These projects allow for creative learning without a major outlay of cash on equipment and materials. I also failed to see that creativity is unlimited in application and only constrained the judgement of the mind.