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When Did You Stop Making Art?

July 23, 2020

When did you stop making art? Was it in elementary school when you decided everyone was better at it than you, and you didn’t want to risk being embarrassed or humiliated? Or was it that time when the teacher looked at your masterpiece and told you that trees weren’t supposed to be purple, or to please color inside the lines? Or maybe it was on the day that you painted a picture of the most beautiful butterfly imaginable, only to have a significant adult ask you “What is that?”

If they come early enough in life, these experiences can become voices in our heads that stay with us long after we become adults. Even further along the way, we are discouraged from pursuing art because it’s not considered a serious part of our development, a viable part of a set of problem-solving skills, or a respectable way to make a living.

If you’re being honest, there was quite possibly a time in your life when you were discouraged from creating art because you became convinced you weren’t “talented.”

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the concept of talent. I know it’s a real thing sometimes, but I also believe it’s used as a way to stop creativity in its tracks. So just for today, I would like for you to eliminate the word “talent” from your vocabulary. I would love it if you would just find a way to make something beautiful completely without self-criticism or judgment of any kind. Get messy. Smudge the lines. Throw on some color. Do it for the joy of creating something that didn’t exist before. Do it knowing you don’t have to show it to anyone. Then do more of that. I promise you will discover a spark you didn’t know was there. You might decide it’s worthy after all. And because you made it, the world will be a more beautiful place.

My friend Bettye, 92 Years Young

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cathy Pallardy permalink
    July 24, 2020 12:35 pm

    I absolutely love this post! I am not at home right now and expecting company for the week, but as soon as I can I am going to accept your inspiring challenge. So excited! I miss our classes so much and find that without your encouragement and guidance I am not as inclined to take up a paintbrush. But now I am once again eager to sit down with paint and paper! Love you! Cathy Pallardy

    • July 24, 2020 12:46 pm

      Cathy, that makes me so happy. I hope to see what you create when you get a chance to play! Sending lots of love and encouragement your way!

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