Friday, March 6, 2009

Where Are My Crayons? How To Be Creative As An Adult

I was recently reading a creative manifesto called 'How To Be Creative' by Hugh MacLeod.  If you are ever in need of inspiration or reminding to 'think out of the box' then this article is for you. Hugh MacLeod was like most of us. He worked a corporate job, but still felt his creative juices flowing. So he started doodling cartoon characters on bar napkins. The 'doodling' became his inspiration and successful future business. 

Many things struck me about this manifesto. First, he says that as soon as you take the crayons away from children and give them pens to write with, their creativity is encouraged to stop. As children, we are taught to think outside of the box and then one day we are taught to live within. Why is it that we all went from wanting to be a firemen, a teacher or ballerina and to finance guy? We had to change out of necessity.

As adults, couldn't we still write with crayons? I know that I would be smiling when writing letters. Just think of my creativity as I try and decide which crayon to use?

The second thing that struck me as wonderful advice, was when Hugh said, "to continue at your day job. Creating a new creative business, like writing and designing cartoon napkins, should be done after you have your paycheck and stability. There's no need to drop everything as we still have those adult responsibilities."

I can remember when I was a little girl, being encouraged to freestyle dance to music. All I had to do was close my eyes and feel the music. I would sway, move and create. Could I still do this as an adult? Well I could, but I get self conscience to what I look like and what others are thinking.

If I promise to go and freestyle, will you promise that you will go and brainstorm this weekend. Go and find your crayons and markers. Put on some great music and remember what it was like when you were a child. Have a great weekend and color away. Tell me, what did you want to be when you grew up?


Anonymous said...

I STILL love to color! And I have a lot of people that will tell me when they are in my car that it smells like crayons. Wonder if that means anything?

Cora said...

BEST!! POST!! EVER!! This really speaks to me. WOW. I love it! :-)

I wanted to be Dr Seuss when I was a kid. I thought it would be amazing to write rhyming books, make up my own words, and draw quirky characters. You know what? Perhaps I should! Why not?

Again, thank you for this post. It cut right through me in a fabulous way. :-)

Underfunded Heiress said...

I used to love coloring with crayons as a kid and still love to draw/create art now. Crayons were the best though! Totally makes sense what he says about being forced to stay within the box as adults. Speaking of the saying think outside the box, I saw a car with a sticker that said "I prefer to think inside the box". So sad on so many levels.

Great post!

Linda S. Socha said...

Wonderful post! I accept the challenge....You are an inspirtion for fun and I appreciate that!!

When I was a kid I wanted to be a magic fairy ( true:>)) and sprinkle fairy dust everywhere that would grant wishes where ever it landed! Alternately, I wanted to be a dancer!
Have a great weekend Laura

Laura said...

Jules: That's wonderful. I love the smell of crayons, but my favorite are those smelly markers that smelled like cherry and lemon.

Cora: I am so glad you loved that this post spoke to you. I know that you are WAY connected with your inner child. I love your blog and words.

Underfunded Heiress: Oh wow can you imagine really feeling that way about staying inside the box. So much that you buy and put on that bumper sticker on a car. You and I would have had fun in the sandbox together.

Laura said...

Linda: So glad that I can inspire. If you read the manifesto let me know what you think of it. It's very long, but worth the read in creativity. Have a good weekend as well.

tanya said...

I still buy and use crayons and completely believe in maintaining creativity as an adult--this sounds like a great manifesto! In fact, I'm gonna break out the crayons tonight :-)

La Belette Rouge said...

As everyone else has said, fantastic post. I never buy crayons for myself. I may buy myself some.

Laura said...

tanya: what should we color? Maybe we can also pick up some coloring books? I miss those!

La Balette: Thank you so much my sweet. The next letter I write will be with crayons. I'm Free!! Have a great weekend.

Confessional Darling said...

Love this! I am going to try it, thank you! I have a crayon drawing from my niece posted on the fridge - I have no idea what it is, but every time I look at it, it sparks my childish imagination!