Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Playing With Crayons.

Crayola Lincoln Logs by laffy4k

I can’t guarantee it’ll work for everyone, but why not give crayons a try? There’s just something about those boldly colored sticks of wax that bring back happy memories. Crayons make us think about the innocence and fun of coloring books and crayon drawings. When you look at them you don’t expect masterpieces of art; it frees you to release your expectations and just have fun. Now isn’t that a great lesson for everyday?

If you’re really lucky you’ll have memories of kindergarten and nice teachers who told you it was okay to color outside of the lines “as long as you do your best.” What a message! It’s okay to fail as long as you try. If only our adult bosses would convey that message once in a while; imagine the spike in creativity that would result.

Crayons are a symbol of playfulness. Sadly such good humor is something that many adults, and a growing number of teens, no longer possess. Playfulness is the ability to put enjoyment into an activity that is dull or boring and make it fun. Take the job of washing the car. Usually that’s a dull, repetitive task, even on a sunny day. But bring a friend, some bathing suits and a long green hose, and you have a hilarious game of “keep the water on your friend, not the car.”

Drawing with a crayon is the ultimate freedom. If your line is a little squiggly you can change it into a flower. If the round face doesn’t have the right flesh tone, you can add a new color on top until it’s perfect. You can turn your mistakes into new pieces of the picture and it still looks beautiful.

For adults this can be a fun toy to distract us from our problems. I used to keep a box of 24 at my desk at work. Every now and then I’d take it out and draw something silly. For some reason that little act would help me feel relaxed and happy. Those bright, cheerful colors will raise your spirits every time. Don’t forget all the choices you have; scented, neon, glitter, and even washable crayons for those who like to draw on those “wall-sized canvases.”

If you are feeling confined, restrained, or inhibited, pull out a few color sticks, some paper and have a little release. If you have a hard time being imperfect, this is the time to practice. Put the crayon in your non-dominant hand (usually your left), and see what happens. You don’t have to let anyone else see the results. Just loosen up and have fun.


See How Crayons Are Made

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