BY ERIN CORSTIAANS
Picture this. You’re riding your bike down a hill, slowly picking up speed. As momentum builds, you stand up on the pedals so you can feel the full effect of the wind whooshing past. In that moment, you’re not worrying about which road comes next, or whether you might accidentally swerve off track and crash. You’re standing up on the bike because it feels good.
Riding a bike is a bit like creativity; it’s most fun when you’re in the moment and having fun, instead of worrying about what could go wrong. And when it comes to fun, kids know how it’s done. Have you ever met a child who refuses to paint or draw, because they’re scared of making mistakes or getting it wrong? More likely, kids will jump at any opportunity to create without a moment’s hesitation. Nose inches from the paper, they will scribble themselves into a colourful frenzy, adding squiggles and dots and lines until it’s just right. They will proudly hold up their smiley-faced butterfly or wonky rocket, faces alight with the simple joy of creating.
Children are naturally creative beings, because they learn to visually perceive the world before they learn to speak. ‘Drawing and painting is the way children develop their inner worlds and first represent their encounters with the outside world’, Robinson says in the article ‘Opening Doors’. ‘The imagination of the child is universally recognised, as is the decline of such capacities, reinforced often by our education, as we grow into adulthood.’
As we grow older and get swept up in the busy whirlwind of life, our natural aptitude for creativity gradually becomes stifled. According to Robinson’s report, at five years of age a child’s creative potential weighs in at a staggering 98 percent. By ten years, this drops alarmingly to 30 percent, and by fifteen years, to 12 percent. As adults, we’re left clutching onto just 2 percent and the mere whispers of our creative potential.
But take heart, friends! 2 percent is still 2 percent. We have our training wheels. Now it’s up to us to jump back on the bike and get those creative wheels spinning. You may just amaze yourself with how quickly you can pick up speed. There will be bends and twists along the road, but if you can manage those speed dials and find a nice rhythm, you’ll be able to navigate these with ease. So go on, pick up your pen and doodle the first thing you think of. Or, why not come along to one of our paint & sip classes at Cork & Chroma? It’s a great, stress-free way to reconnect with your inner creative self, in a room full of like-minded individuals (did we mention there’s wine involved?). Whatever your outlet, see if you can release yourself from the fear of making mistakes by tapping into your inner child, who delights in being creative for creativity’s sake. And remember—don’t forget to enjoy the ride!