Friday, June 15, 2012

A Family's Creativity

Being born into a creative family is very affirming, and I suppose can be a little crazy making. Often along with the creativity comes with it, a kind of hypersensitive personality, which can be troublesome in one way or another. By this I mean, as creatives we are perhaps perceived as being easily hurt, thin skinned, even spleeny .  I now consider being sensitive as being a positive characteristic, not a liability, weakness, or character defect, but it wasn't always the way I felt. I'm grateful I no longer feel like I have to apologize or feel less than, because of my creative soul.

Growing up I knew many of my family members on my mother's side had  great music abilities, and were very skilled working with their hands.
I knew little about my father's family's talents, as my dad was estranged with his own family and left our family, when I was thirteen. I did hear a few things about an aunt who painted and my grandmother, who I was named after was very skilled in doing very fine needle work. My father was a creative spirit in many ways. He built absolutely beautiful scrolled shelves with a jig saw. I remember this magnificent, intricate double bird cage he made, when I was a kid. It looked liked a Chinese pagoda. I still have some of his shelves, that I dearly treasure.

As a Youth Care Worker for many years, working with trouble kids and having been one myself , imagination becomes a solace and escape. It always amazed me how powerful creativity and art is as a tool for positive change with great therapeutic qualities, to heal the broken spirit and heart.
Art is all to often underestimated in our society and it's ability to enable real change and individual empowerment. Once we begin to grow in what I think is a self-actualization that happens when we claim our own creative power, imagination and capacities, we can become a force like no other that can change the world for good.

Later on in life after twenty six years of separation, I reunited with my father and we were able to heal our broken relationships. I began to discover more about my  my father's family and was so happy to learn how much creativity was very much part of my identity. Our family is full of painters, actors, movie makers, singers, musicians, woodworkers, and animators. What a great discovery!

Another discovery I found was learning about my young cousin,  Jesse Hefling  I have posted here the link to his site. He is a very talented animator and is studying animation in New Brunswick. It's wonderful to see how he is improving his skills and he has a wonderful imagination and creative talent, as so many youth do. We are never to young or too old to make wonderful use of our imaginations and creativity. We are all artists in one way or another. Who cares if you can't draw a straight line? That's not what creativity is about any way! I prefer squiggly lines and colouring outside the lines!

Just a suggestion, and yes even a word of advice. Stay away from colouring books if you really care about creativity. The father of art education Viktor Lowenfeld will haunt you! Creative and Mental Growth has long been my creative art education bible! Read it and you'll see why!

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