Doodle Reflection: Thinking Inside the Box
It’s always a joy collaborating with Karen Light, artist and illustrator, owner of Studio Light Illustration, mentoring and coaching other creatives! Karen is our guest blogger this month, storytelling, sharing insights into our creativity, and offering effective ways to transcend limitations. You can read more about her on our Community page and stay tuned for an inspired, creative community she will be launching in September!
We all dream of being free of whatever limitations we feel hold us back. We talk a lot about thinking outside the box to free us from these limitations. But when is it time to think inside the box?
One day, when I was a young Teaching Artist, I was out of ideas, out of money for supplies, and completely out of time and energy. I went to my recycling bin and filled grocery bags full of scrap paper, bottles, and other random materials.
When the kids came in, I placed a bag at each table. I told them that this was all they had to make art with today and that each table had to make one art piece together as a team. I wondered aloud which team might come up with the most creative piece of art.
The kids immediately jumped in. Behavior issues were almost non-existent that day. They were completely absorbed and engaged, excited to put something together that would impress their peers! At the end of every class, they proudly showed off their projects and we displayed them around the art room for months. They wanted to do it again.
That grocery bag art project blew my mind. With so little art in schools these days, all I ever wanted to do was give my students the most freeing creative experience ever! I wanted them to have a chance to really engage their imaginations and follow where it led them! But it took me really limiting them with supplies and ways to put the materials together for their creativity to come completely alive.
So, next time you find yourself begrudging a limitation, why not try to think about it a little differently? Why not see it as a creative problem leading you to imagine something you might have never thought about? I wonder what new, amazing things might make you feel limitless because of your limits, not in spite of them.