Monday, February 23, 2009

Consulting with Guides

12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women
By Gail Meekin

Secret 7 - Consulting with Guides

Reading about inspiring lives

I am not inspired by just one person, but by many. I love to read and learn about what inspires other people, both men and women. How they started out in their lives and careers and what paths and sometimes detours that got to them where they currently are. Most recently I have been following and inspired by Kellyraeroberts, but I have to give the blogosphere some props as it has made it so easy to discover and be inspired by so many people!

To connect to your creativity, it is important to think back to your childhood and recall who served as a role model.

I have written many times before of my two favorite art teachers that were very instrumental in my artful life. My elementary art teacher Judy Rapport-Stern and in high school, Joann Thaesler. They both were so supportive. Miss Rapport gave me the freedom to express myself creatively without any criticism that I can remember. Miss Thaesler (JT) became an art friend and well as a guide during some very difficult years in my life.

Seeking out role models and advisors

Shortly after we arrived in California, I read about the organization Art & Creativity for Healing. When I called and spoke to Laurie Zagon, the founder we connected immediately. She helped me express myself through color and paint in an abstract way. I also felt an east coast connection as Laurie was originally from New York City. Laurie gave me ”permission to paint” again. When I was diagnosed with cancer Art for Healing helped not only me, but my whole family. It is truly a wonderful organization. I have met so many creative and interesting people. Laurie always talks of how we have found “our tribe” as mentioned in this chapter and I truly believe that too!

Initiating or joining a group

I am exploring this area more and more as time goes on. It takes time to find your group or creative circle of friends. I liken it to moving to a new place. You always have your old friends, but it takes time to meet new people, build relationships and find the proper guides to help you walk your path.

A world where each of us sees our chance to play guide as a sacred role will help to heal the scars of creative destruction that too many of us have already experienced.

I love to work with young children. I volunteer in my son’s elementary school as I did when my daughter was young. I especially love to promote the arts. I am the chairperson of the PTA Reflections Program, I organized an Original Works fundraiser in which the children’s art is reproduced on items to purchase. I volunteer for art projects during art class and in his regular class. I love to promote the arts and children’s individual artistic abilities. I wish the “art rules” were not so rigid and the children had more freedom to express themselves within the lesson guidelines. My son is usually the one who insists on breaking the “art rules”. It sometimes causes a problem in class and he always tells me after that he loves art but he does not like that he has to create only one way. Luckily he is very headstrong and determined (again which can cause some problems)!!
I wish the rules were not so specific and rigid because I think people would be amazed at what the students’ are capable of producing. I am not the teacher so I can only do so much, but when I get the chance to provide a lesson I try to let them be as creative as possible. Some just soar and some already have the insecurities instilled in them, they do not trust their abilities and are afraid to create without step by step instructions or asking “is this okay?”

A few weeks ago a boy who was in my son’s class last year came up to me and said “ I have been working on my art project” I inquired which one and he said “all of them, you get better the more you draw right?” I said “yes you do and I am so happy that you are drawing and creating, keep up the good work”. I was so happy that he felt proud and safe that he could come up and share this with me.

A few years ago I was sitting in the “teachers” chair and I said to the class “I think I want to be an art teacher.” One boy said to me “you already are” that made my heart melt. If we only reach one child, instill a love of art and help them to walk their own path then the struggle and frustration is worth it!


Unknown said...

Such a great post! Sounds like you have quite an interesting past! Your remarks about children created made me think of a workshop I taught last year. It was a class for parents to make art with their children. I think the most difficult part of it was getting the parents to lighten up and simply let their child create what they wanted. Sure we had some perimeters and guidelines but they were loose enough to allow people to be creative...

Cynthia said...

It was wonderful to read your story about your work with children. When my guys were youn I was part of what was called "the Art Masterpice Program." Every Friday I had a 1/2 hour with my son's class or another one to teach them about an artist and let them practice that style or their own art. I remember those times as one of the best. Those kids are just itching to create!



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