I have long known that there is a little girl inside me who loves to open up a sketchbook, pull out crayons, pens, paints, and have a go at whatever strikes her fancy. She gets huffy when there’s any suggestion to stick with one way of doing things, or to make proper grown-up art, or to get serious about art making.
There have been years when she was ok with sharing her drawings with others through a gallery or art exhibit. But lately she has been pleased as punch just to doodle and draw, splash on a little paint, or swipe a creamy oil pastel across a white page.
Play, for creatives of any kind, is crucial. It’s my favorite place…playing with art mediums, or fibers, yarns and spinning tools. The Wonder that any of this “play” turns out to be a cool picture or some yarn to knit with, is icing on the cake. It’s the playfulness, the chase of “what will happen if I do this?”, the simplicity of time spent exploring and just being ok with whatever comes out on the page. There is certainly a time for “applying oneself”. But in my recent shenanigans on paper lately, it somehow feels like deliciously applying myself to the world of PLAY!
I can play with imagined landscapes.
Or with drawing real-life events right out of my head, not from a photo.
Or I can play with different materials.
Or switch up the colors in rendering what I see in a photo or directly from life.
Or I can just swoodle all around the page! (Swoodle shall be a new word…it is a mash-up of swish and doodle, as in swish paint around then doodle with a crayon 😁) It is my firm belief that we ALL need to swoodle whether we are artists or not!
Give it a try! Sit cross-legged on the floor with some paper and crayons or big markers, maybe some large brushes with tempura paint and SWOODLE to your heart’s content!
💖What do you do for “play”? If you are a maker of any stripe, how do you unplug your “make proper grown-up art” brain and just let-go? I’d love to hear!