“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
- Pablo Picasso
I love this quote. I think it has larger implications about life then we think. I’m sure you’ve heard many adults say that they have zero artistic ability. That they couldn’t draw a stick figure if they tried. I hear it all the time. Like a distant memory, it appears they lost their ingrained ability to express and be creative.
Picasso’s observation is true. All of us start out as little artists. Almost immediately, we are taught to observe, play, create, imagine, make, draw, color, doodle, explore, chalk, paint, cut paper, build things. Playdough. Legos. Coloring books. Paint sets.
Do you remember the first time you were introduced to finger painting? Wait, you’re telling me I get to smear my hands in all this paint, and spread it all over this large white paper in front of me? Talk about a kid in a candy shop! Are kids ever afraid to jump in? No, when you’re kid, you don’t think about it. You do it. You don’t care about getting messy, that you have paint all over your cheeks and arms. You’re creating art here. Art should be messy. Clean up is just a part of the process. Trust me, I have a 2 and 4-year old at the moment, I know what I’m talking about. Our home is like a little artist workshop.
A kid naturally colors OUTSIDE THE LINES.
A kid is naturally messy. Expressive. Imaginative.
Kind of like life should be (and often is).
But then something strange happens. As you grow older, go to college, start developing ideas, and enter into the workforce, people start telling you to stop all of this. They switch it all up on you. You aren’t supposed to color outside the lines. You aren’t supposed to paint with your hands. You can’t be too imaginative here. We have rules. Call me crazy, but I have seen a lot of adults who have put away their imagination.
“Come on Billy, you’ve grown up now.”
Well, I would propose to you that most adults have in fact lost their creativity & their imagination. Eventually, their sense of wonder and awe follows.
How does this translate into business? (After all, this is a blog for a creative business, so I need to “bring it full circle.”) I don’t’ know. But there should be a connection somewhere. I guess I’m lucky that I work in the creative field, that I get to use my imagination everyday. I hope I never lose it.
If you are an adult reading this, I challenge you to rediscover your embedded creativity. Stay colorful. Stay Imaginative. Like Steve Jobs used to say, “stay hungry, stay foolish.” Keep the kid-creative spirit alive inside of you. Same thing applies if you are a businessman or woman – even if this sounds… childish.
Sometimes, the companies that color outside the lines the most are the most beloved and successful. I’m just sayin’.