Mobile: Papilionem (27" wide by 12" tall)
“But I can’t do that,” mouse said.
“You already are,” replied fox, “so why not make it great?”
“But I’m not creative,” she said.
It was the very first day facilitating my very first workshop with @writearoundpdx. For the next 10 weeks, I would be working with a dozen teens. The plan was we’d write together, share together, and build community together. I did not think the plan included this. I was wrong.
“But I’m not an artist.” How many times have you heard someone say this? How many times have you yourself said something similar? I’ve heard it more times than I can remember. “I can’t write to save my life.” “I can’t even draw stick figures.” “I’m not musical.” “I don’t know how to cook.” “I wouldn’t even know where to begin."
Where in life were we first told you couldn’t, shouldn’t, aren’t and will never be? Where in our culture did we box up creativity and artistry as something you either have or don’t, reserving it for anybody except ourselves?
I looked at the teen sitting across from me: Black nails, a vintage jacket, boots without laces, one earbud in. “Who picked out your clothes this morning?” I asked. “Who chose that nail color?” She knew where I was headed, yet she walked right into it: “But clothing isn’t like writing,” she said. “It isn’t creative, like being an artist.”
But isn’t it?
To create: to bring (something) into existence; to cause something to happen as a result of one’s actions. Every choice we make – creation, creativity. Every step we take – art, artistry. Life a canvas. Expression our paints. Each breath bringing something that never was before into being.
Over the course of the next 10 weeks, I got to see this young woman recover, discover, emerge, grow, and own her creative self. The pride, the courage, the confidence, beautiful.
To see life and everyday choices—the way we walk, talk, think, share, and body ourselves into the world—as artistry, can you imagine a world like this? Creativity in the most primary sense.
What is one type of artistry you’ve wanted to try, but – for whatever reason – haven’t yet?