Back When I was a Kid…
Often times, I take for granted the fact that I grew up in a family bursting with creativity. My Grandmother would always visit with reams of scrap paper in tow. She brought them from her office job so that my brother could work on his drawings. He was the sort of kid that wanted to learn what a trapezoid was and drew nearly perfect circles before most could scribble out their first names. He’s now a talented illustrator.
My sister was always on the search for all things lovely and cute, often overlooked by the rest of us. She would often collect beautiful things and stow them away in one of her forts in the woods behind our house. She’s now an incredible professional photographer.
And me? Well, let’s just say that every kitten that grew up on our family farm had a plethora of little pillows for their little furry heads from the time I was about 3. My Mom taught me how to sew at a very young age. My dad showed me how to use an architect’s ruler, and both of my parents fanned the flames of our creativity throughout our childhoods, and still, adult lives. My room had some wild wall treatments, and my fashion sense could have been classified as questionable…but I believe that exploring those depths and even making those mistakes have all added up to the designer and lover of beauty that I am today.
When considering that childhood, one filled with such a high concentration of simplicity and creativity, I often forget that not everyone grows up like I did. And I often find myself teaching children how to create and be creative without realizing what I’m doing.
Pablo Picasso once said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Today’s children are asked to grow up so fast, I believe they lose their creativity at an incredibly young age. So, how do we re-inspire them to create and dream again? How do we let them remain to be artists?
I believe that creativity is rooted in a sort of braveness. You first have to be inspired to create something. But you also have to be willing to try and fail. I have found that both of these attitudes are lost treasures—especially in our younger generations.
Fanning the Flames
I don’t believe that all is lost.
I do believe that the fire of creativity and imagination can be sparked again, no matter how old you are.
If you’re Creative
If you’re one of those creators, then inspire and enable. I’ve found myself at my in-law’s home, hauling in my big ‘ol sewing machine and sewing supplies time and time again to teach one more person how to sew or to help them finish up their first ever sewing project. There’s something so special about teaching someone a new skill, especially one as useful and therapeutic as sewing.
So, I’m begging you: if you have a creative skill, please tell others about it. Inspire others to learn and try it out. Once they are inspired, take the time to teach them and help them learn. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings I can think of.
If you’re not Creative
If you’re not the most creative crayon in the box, don’t beat yourself up about it! Try something new that you’ve been wanting to try. If you fail, try again until you get it, or try something else.
If you’re not sure where to start, then find someone who does! Odds are that you know someone who could teach you or that there’s a blog that could teach you (like mine!). Look for courses at your local college, or arts, crafts, or quilt store.
Teach your Kids to be Creative
So…maybe your kids won’t be into sewing, or maybe they’ll run with it once they learn—who knows? But I want to encourage you to teach your kids a new creative skill; it’ll unlock a whole new world of creative and constructive activities for them. If that’s asking a bit much, then start small: take a walk through a local park or stargaze on a clear, warm night.
Maybe you’re not the type of family that sneaks out the window (with Mom & Dad, of course) on clear nights and watches the stars from the roof or the type that allows their kids to paint their bedroom walls bright red. And that’s OK. But try something new with your kids—I promise you won’t regret it.
Want to learn how to teach your children to sew? Check out my blog post on How to Teach Kids to Sew!