My business partner Lisa has two nephews and a niece who like to come visit her when she’s at Roadhouse Arts. I think they are captivated by the idea of art and a special place in which to make it. (So am I!!)
On one of the cabinets in the teaching space, we painted the doors with a chalkboard paint and they have featured a variety of things from class notes and instructions to a simple welcome. For the past several weeks, though, we’ve all been working around two important messages the kids left for us last time they visited.
Lisa asked Carson to explain this one to her. “It’s where we’re all supposed to color inside the lines, Aunt Lisa!” Lisa said she didn’t particularly care for that message. Carson looked at her square in the eye and said, “Aunt Lisa, art happens outSIDE the lines.”
At the point, his younger sister decided it was time to explain the “real” rules from her art class at school.
For “good” art:
1. Make sense. Blue suns don’t make sense. Red suns are better. Yellow suns are best.
2. Take your time. Sloppy trees aren’t good trees. The middle one is better but the clean, straight, plain one is best.
3. Color in the lines. (This one is self-explanatory.)
I suspect there are a lot of us out there sticking to some version of these rules and trying to figure out the “formula” that will make us successful or bring us some kind of validation, when we are longing to just color outside the lines and find our own voice.
So here’s a challenge: what two things in the “rules” category of your creative life could you just kick to the curb in favor of adding two things that involve coloring outside the lines? Yes, yes, we run small businesses and there are some mandatory things that go along with that. I’m not suggesting you stop filing your sales tax returns or abandon the idea of having a marketing strategy. But are there things you’re doing just because it’s what everyone else is doing? Are there things you dream of making or trying that make your heart lift? Are there ways you could just… stop striving and start creating?
Pick two. Then start.
Until next time –