From the time we begin to engage in our world as a small child, and then start school, we find those who will admonish us if we spend too much time daydreaming. We’re told to be practical, pay attention, focus, make a plan, and develop stick-to-it-tive-ness. These are all quite admirable of course and necessary traits for success in life. I would say, however, that there is an equally vital component for success… imagination.
Imagination is born in play; unscripted and spontaneous play. It is also a skill developed over time that gives our life both foundation and wings, equally. Most importantly of all, it is not exclusive. Absolutely everyone has the access, and the capability to play and grow their imagination. It can become the unpredictable element that lifts the successful to the notable, and the admirable to the extraordinary in the most incremental action or creation.
Over the years there have been those who have growing concerns over the level of scripted creativity now found in play. The images are prescribed, the dialogue is written, the songs are complete, and little is left to the imagination. The concern is that if we do not learn how to fill in enough of the images or stories from within our own imagination we will not learn how to create our own. It could also be said, however, that by giving us stories and images as seeds – however complete – they prime the pump for future creativity. Perhaps both are accurate?
We need to dream. We need to write and draw and build and imagine beyond what we know, absolutely. Dreams are how inventions are made real. Dreams are how we reach beyond our perceived limitations. Dreams are our freedom from confines.
Today’s painting in the ‘Play’ series is an 8″ x 10″ oil on canvas of a dog who is the main character in a children’s story, one of several I will publish someday.