Time and Creativity

  Tomorrow is Breakfast with Santa at school.
  i'm a little frazzled and i should go to bed.
  Actually, i should've stayed home tonight instead of going scrapbooking, but the creative release was good.
  When i left school this afternoon, the games we were expecting hadn't yet arrived (as i edit after the Breakfast they did indeed come, and were much enjoyed) and one lonely game was in place for the kids.
  i spent most of the evening making games.
  A couple of sheets of scrapbook paper, cut into 12 cards each, and here's a matching game.
  A sheet of foamcore, and some pens, and a half hour, and here's a tree to stick bows on and decorate.

  The amazing thing was the awed comments i got from the women around me.
  It's just a throwaway project which will probably be trash before noon tomorrow.  Three steps and a bit of time, anyone could do it.

  Or could they?
  i found this a fun, relaxing project, but the women around me, all creative in their own ways, doing amazingly beautiful work, got stressed at the very idea of attempting this simple tree, even after my three step tutorial.
  Do the framework in brown, needles in green, add more needles until it looks right.  The last ones weren't even necessarily on framework,
  Everyone knows what a tree looks like, right?
  i told MyGuy about this, and he said, "How long have you been looking at trees and drawing them?  Count that time too."
  Well, decades actually.  For having spent that long drawing one stupid tree, it's pretty ugly.  For 30 minutes on the poster, 2 minutes on the tutorial, maybe not too bad.
  As my first art teacher, Nadine Starken, said, "Learning to draw is learning to see."  i think i spend more time looking than drawing.

  But i think another part of the problem is time.  We're in such a hurry for everything.  i really believe most people, if they allowed themselves to start, would get to Step 2and say, "See?  I told you - can't do it!"
  i once spent every minute of three hours telling a better painter than i "Yes, you're right.  It is a mess.  But you're not done yet.  Keep going."  She would have thrown that piece in the trash a hundred times otherwise, but, by the  time she was finished, she loved it.

  At first, when i began my tree game, i just wanted something quick and cheap.  Then i started having fun with it, adding dots for a cranberry garland and some bluejays and a red pot in the snow.  i could've left it at just the tree, but more creativity comes with more time.

  For a further, even more fascinating, illustration of this, see Susan Gaylord's Time and Creativity post, which describes what happens when young children are asked to complete an obvious drawing, first in ten seconds, then in ten minutes.
  It is amazing.

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