“Every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” — Pablo Picasso
I enjoyed having the lovely and talented Nina Lockwood as my guest on this week’s Insightful Conversations show. Nina is a 3 Principles Practitioner, Artist, and Podcaster with a passion for conversations on creativity. She describes herself as a “mystic, a creative and a gentle mischief-maker, and all in the service of love.” I couldn’t resist asking her to elaborate on why she describes herself in this way.
Nina explained that “mischief-making” is all about pushing the boundaries, not only in the creative process but also in how we approach life. She encourages her clients to ask themselves, What else? What if we did this? What if we looked at it this way? What if we went to the edge and looked over? What if we jumped? She believes that when we approach life from this perspective, the possibilities are endless.
I couldn’t agree more. As a culture, I believe that we put far too much importance on reaching perfection rather than enjoying the journey of exploration. We are raised to play safe. To focus on the desired result before we even begin to inquire. To know where we are going before we’ve taken our first step. What happened to spontaneity? What happened to showing up to life without an agenda? What happened to approaching life with childlike curiosity and wonderment? I hold our education system responsible for stifling our sense of play.
I recall my first day at primary school. I loved drawing and was very excited when it was time for art class. With paper and crayons in hand, I drew a picture of the field next to my house. Like most five-year-olds, I drew the blue sky at the top of the page and the green grass on the bottom. A big tree in the middle and a couple of black and white cows wandering off the page. Once finished, I eagerly handed my drawing to the teacher for her approval. Instead of a smile, Mrs. Roberts told me that I had got it all wrong. She told me the sky and the ground were meant to meet. That the cows needed to stay within the frame and the giant tree needed to be off-center.
Now, I understand that composition is an important subject to learn, but is it necessary to deflate a child’s creative enthusiasm at such a young age? We have put such an emphasis on product vs. process. Our children are encouraged to get it right rather than play and investigate the world around them. I remember that day like it was yesterday when the thrill of creating was replaced by fear. Fear of failing. Fear of getting it wrong. Fear of making a fool of myself.
Regardless of what expression my creativity took, I carried this fear into my adult life. I was afraid to share my painting for fear of ridicule. I was afraid to share my writing for fear of rejection. I was afraid to play full out for fear of falling flat on my face. I was afraid to explore beyond my comfort zone, preferring to stay safe and small. This was the story of my life until I came across the understanding of the 3 Principles.
The Principles gave me the freedom to once again embrace life from an uncontaminated child’s perspective. Once I understood the nature of thought, I stopped taking my insecure thoughts so seriously. Once I understood separate realities, I stopped caring so much about what others thought about my work. Once I saw that we are all connected to creative genius, and the best thing I can do is get out of my own way, I began to enjoy the creative process. Once I saw that the exploration was more important than the results, I began to relax and have fun.
I am forever grateful for having come across this understanding. I have regained my innocence and enthusiasm for play. Now I get messy and dirty, and I don’t give a damn. I am not interested in playing safe. I want to fly on the back of inspiration and embrace the art of creativity.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕