I’ve decided that I need to be 4 again. Well, maybe not the actual age — that could be problematic with the limited income and lack of driving skills — but I would love to rediscover that devil-may-care passion I misplaced somewhere over the last couple of decades.
Somewhere around the age of 4 we hit the creative “sweet spot,” where there is a perfect convergence of factors to produce incredible amounts of creativity. Around that age is when imagination fully emerges and kicks into high gear, motor skills improve to include fine detail, the brain is able to synthesize disparate pieces of information into original expression, and — here’s the best part! — self-censoring in deference to societal norms hasn’t really kicked in yet. To a 4-year old, anything is possible.
Have you ever really watched a kid at that age? It’s amazing. I hand my son some crayons or paints or legos or just about anything, and he will throw himself into his work with complete and utter abandon. He doesn’t worry about the “right” way to do it; as far as he’s concerned he is doing it the right way because he’s having a blast. And if he doesn’t like the way it comes out, he just starts over. No biggie. For him it’s just a reason to extend of the fun and maybe try something new. Nothing to sweat about.
He doesn’t really care if real trees aren’t purple, or that puppies aren’t supposed to have seven legs. So what? It’s his picture. If you don’t like it, go draw your own.
I think as adults we should all resurrect that inner 4 year old. Let’s give ourselves permission to pursue our passions and indulge our creativity. Let’s come up with crazy ideas, and try doing things in ways we haven’t tried before. Let’s stop worrying so much about whether we’re doing it “right,” or what everyone else will have to say about it.
Everyone’s entitled to their own personal vision. And if you don’t like it, go draw your own.