I get a lot of inspiration from children’s artwork. I love the way they don’t filter their imaginations with pre-conceived notions of the world. There is less self-censoring as to what is right or wrong. For instance, my 5-year-old just drew a dog. Instead of getting caught up in the accuracy of the legs she just slapped them on, taking pride in her ability to represent the dog in its most primitive for: a head, ears, nose, tongue, body, four legs, and a tail. She added a funky hairstyle and bow to give the dog her own special-ness.
Think about it. We go from not being able to speak, draw, or read and write. Little by little, through continued practice and exploration, we learn to copy shapes and draw simple forms (first a circle, then a rectangle, square, triangle, and so on). The sense of achievement children get from these hand-eye coordination feats are profound.
But somewhere along the way we lose our sense of unfettered awe and develop our critical minds. It is at this point, if we aren’t too careful, that we shut down our creative selves and our link to the Great Flow. The moment we let fear and judgement take control of our creative processes we cease our connection with the Source of our creativity.
That’s not to say critique isn’t a vital aspect of the creative learning process. After all, if we stopped at rudimentary representations of dogs we wouldn’t have the countless masterpieces that now hang in museums across the world. However, critique should not destroy the soul. Feedback shouldn’t insult or demean an individual. To do so is not only downright mean it is also counterproductive. The point is the journey of the artist and human being, not the product. After all, we are not God. We cannot see beyond our current positions in time and space. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.