Creation is about process, not result

  • By Heidi Stevens Chicago Tribune
  • Sunday, November 11, 2012 2:44pm
  • Life

Problem: You want your kids to be creative, but your daughter has no interest in craft projects. Any ideas?

Solution: “It doesn’t matter what they produce, as long as they’re enjoying the process,” said Carla Sonheim, author of “The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone.”

Creativity, after all, is about original thinking, invention, problem solving, imagination. Those skills are hardly confined to a craft table.

“Some of us are creative in drawing and painting,” Sonheim said. “For some of us, it’s how we fold our socks or organize our house or dress or cook.”

Kids (and adults) are often intimidated by the notion of creating, Sonheim said, because they’re afraid they’re doing it wrong. It’s important to remind them there is no wrong.

Sonheim has used these tactics for art instruction.

Hunt for blobs. “Find random shapes; either paint them or draw them or go outside and find leaves on the ground. Then turn the blob around in all different directions to see what you can find. I often find faces. Some people find airplanes or shoes or animals. Kids love, love, love that.”

Flip the script. “When I taught a Michelangelo lesson I taped paper underneath a table so kids could see what it was like to hang upside down from scaffolding and paint. Their drawings came out crazy and it gave them the experience of seeing how awkward and fun it is to draw upside down.”

Draw blind. “My niece and her friends close their eyes and give each other prompts about what to draw: ‘Draw a giraffe so the head starts at the top. Add spots. Add a flower garden.’ When everyone opens their eyes (there) is laughter all around.

“As they get older they might become more intentional about making something pretty, but in the beginning you just want to make it fun and nonthreatening and encouraging,” Sonheim said.

And keep at it.

“I liken not developing creativity to driving with a flat tire,” she said. “You can get where you’re going, but how much faster and smoother and more enjoyable is the ride if all four tires are inflated?”

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Schack holiday show features Northwest watercolor artists

The free exhibit also will have three-dimensional works, such as jewelry, glass, ceramic and wood.

‘Three Billboards’ rooted in Frances McDormand’s rigid role

The actress of “Fargo” fame gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this black comedy on human nature.

‘The Hate U Give’ shows the burden of being black in America

Angie Thomas’ story of a teen girl covers the challenging experience of African Americans.

A merry Christmas concert with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

The Christian music stars will perform at Xfinity Arena with Jordan Smith of “The Voice” on Nov. 18.

‘Veep’ production postponed during Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ treatment

The 56-year-old star has been documenting her breast cancer fight on social media.

The Rucker Hill house is featured in the Twin Peaks series in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Living happily ever after in the ‘Twin Peaks’ house

Everett homeowners snagged a role in the recent reboot of the 1990s cult classic show.

Most Read