Artistic knowledge develops through artistic play as we analyze and evaluate experiences based on our interactions with surrounding environments. In order to build creativity through play, one must constantly engage in artistic play, embracing a wide variety of materials, tools, ideas, and design explorations. Artistic creation is a process, artistic growth is a process, and yes, creativity can be developed in all people, no matter what age.
Whether you are trying to build your own creativity, or foster creativity in your children or students, it is essential to “play” imaginatively and explore images, dreams, and innovative ideas. In order to truly free the mind, there must not be judgment, including self-judgment. The freedom to experiment through a wide variety of choices, known as choice based creativity, provides limitless outside the box thinking and a platform to thrive in ones personal expression.
When artists experiment with ideas and materials, they continue to play throughout a process that includes: rearranging, modifying, changing the whole design, playing, and eventually reaching a point of satisfaction that the work of art or innovative creation is complete.
Children’s imaginations, most especially, thrive on play. When children are free to explore, they draw ideas from personal experience rather than following a grownup’s lead. Being actively engaged in a creative activity enables a child to discover the meaning of each challenge and continuously re-think, from a personal perspective, the challenges that must be resolved through problem solving.
For any age, an attitude of playfulness and experimentation with artistic play creates a sense of freedom and peace. When we are actively engaging our hands and minds, we become present in the moment, thus creating a meditative experience that supports relaxation. There is no coincidence that Facebook provides its employees with a wood shop that delivers an opportunity for employees to exercise another part of their brains, get the creative ideas flowing, and physically build something outside the realm of webpages, mobile updates, and more. As stated by Hans Lintermans, a Facebook product manager in marketing, “it helps me to unwind and think outside the box.”
Take a look around your home, workspace, or classroom setting. Gather a variety of surfaces, art tools, and art materials. Freely draw, paint, journal, build, construct, weave, design, and create with the materials you have before you. There is no deadline, no timeline, no right or wrong. For children, provide safe materials and tools, and monitor the playful activity. Participate in artistic play at least once a week.