The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.
I discover my art and my ideas when I paint, write or do a combination of both. I put down layers of paint – many colors in a haphazard fashion. I put down layers of thoughts too as I write and as they come to me in casual, unconsidered ways. The time for editing and reworking comes later.
First though, during the creativity process, I invite unexpected guest-ideas to pop in and I capture these spontaneous, fleeting images and fancies. Discovery of what I have recorded might set in a few days, a few months or even years later when I work on honing in and refining these fleeting appearances. It is then that I focus on what I am hoping to communicate.
As important as the experience of creative freedom is for adults, it is an essential element in the nurture and education of the child. Even though formal education is an essential tool for life, it need not compete or interfere with an equally important generator of success: the expansiveness of the ever-creating mind.
“The role of education in any country is undeniably important but when its role becomes one of intrusive instruction for almost every identifiable level of human action and interaction, it will lead to the emergence of largely robotic, predictable and exceedingly boring thinkers. What a nation will then have is an oversupply of the under-educated, for truly educated people have incorporated the uniqueness of their own vision into their thinking. They do not simply regurgitate the ideas of others. They do not become indelibly influenced by emotive instruction, numbed into non-thinking and distanced from individual responsibility. They do not become Thinkers by Number.” (HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HUNCH? The Importance of Creative Thinking)
The richness of fantasy is as much a prerequisite in adult life as it is in childhood. It is an essential ingredient of creativity. Mental exploration and playfulness are essential for creativity. Therefore, I enjoy encouraging others to experience the satisfaction of creativity as well. Creativity should be an ongoing process throughout life and therefore ageless.
So even though learning the Three Rs: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are all necessary skills for adaption to the ever-changing requirements of the 21st Century, so are the preservation and encouragement of children’s intrinsic creative potential which should not be diluted by an overly prescriptive onslaught. Absorbing the life-tools of an education in literacy, science and technology, are complemented by the ability to think creatively and outside rigid parameters. Children quite naturally think in unexpected ways. So too, should adults. They need to value their own intuitive abilities.