On occasion I find myself having playdates with a very precocious 7-year-old.
Last week was one of those special times, and I got to take her on a one-on-one trip to Color Me Mine. I honestly haven’t been in 10+ years, because I’m a DIY girl and I usually have more fun creating art with random goodies, but for a special treat, I was willing to make an exception for a little extravagant art adventure.
When we stepped inside, I immediately felt like I was 10 again. The possibilities are overwhelming and with my adult brain, I didn’t want to WASTE this opportunity to make something cool and that I could feel PROUD of. That inner voice doesn’t easily leave, does it?
We each picked out our goodies- both landing on vases. And then the worst thing that could happen, happened...
My eyes fell on the pretty, painted sample for my heart-shaped vase. It was teal with cool chevron lines and polka dots on the back. It immediately put this image in my head of what it could look like and shut down my own brain’s creativity and imagination. Drats!
I join the youngin’ at the table and start off on the "right" track… I acknowledged her color choices and encouraged her to branch out and not feel a need to pick everything the same as me. I appreciated her determination in painting all three layers and her creativity and innovation in using the pencil eraser tops to make dots. Good, good.
Then, my inner perfectionist kicked in and took hold over my “I’m modeling for children” better self. I pulled out my phone and started “gaining inspiration” from the photos I took of the Color Me Mine sample that I really liked. Then it hit-
“Hey! You’re being boring and just copying it.”
I was caught. Guilty as charged. I’m lame. I played it safe- afraid to try coming up with something on my own. I took ownership in the moment and told her I'd try making the fox on my own.
It's not perfect- but at least it's MINE. That's what we're all about preaching to the kids, right? :) Process over Product. Experience over End Result. Lesson Learned. (And I'm sure I'll be re-learning it again soon enough)
Be You Out There,