When I was five, I took an art class. I still remember the drawing. I used every crayon in the box because I wanted it to be colorful. The clothing was an array of pink, blue, and green, and I covered every inch of the giant sketch pad. The bright orange background reminded me of the sun.
I showed the drawing to my teacher with a proud smile on my face. But the dream crushing art teacher told me that I had no hope. I put my best five-year-old it’s okay smile on and pretended like it didn’t bother me. It was my first and last art class. I begged by mom to not make me go again. To this day, I don’t think she knows why.
This is one of my earliest memories, and since then, I have avoided drawing and painting. I haven’t even tried. I beeline in the other direction when I hear a word that sounds like “draw.” I even avoid Pictionary. Even though I had no right, I have judged those that tried.
In The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown calls these moments “art scars.” As children, we experience shaming moments that affect us for the rest of our lives. It makes us scared of creativity. Scared to do things that might result in comparison or judgment. But Brené tells us that “unused creativity is not benign. It does not dissipate. It metastasizes. Unused creativity turns into rage, grief, shame, judgment….Inside all of us is creativity and when we don’t use it, it doesn’t go away.”
No one cares if you don’t karaoke “I Love Rock and Roll” like a Grammy award singer. No one cares if you don’t paint like Picasso. No one cares if you don’t come out on the dance floor like Beyonce. No one cares about these things but you. And if people do care, they’re probably not worth having in your life.
Let go of judgment. Let go of comparison.
I’ve always told people that I can’t draw, but I’m not sure if that’s true. I just bought a sketchpad and some art markers. It’s about time to find out.
Are you scared to draw? Draw.
Are you scared to sing? Sing.
Are you scared to dance? Dance.
Everyone has art scars. Encourage others to cultivate their creativity. Encourage your children’s efforts to pursue their art. It costs nothing, but the benefits could be staggering:
Source: Zen Pencils