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Many of my earlier posts have been about living a creative lifeTo our family this is more than just upcycling furniture and making crafts (although we do all that too). 

Doin' it

Living creatively, for us, means slowing down — not filling our Saturday afternoons with consumerism but making an eating delicious food, giggling A LOT, and thinking, debating and contemplating our own definitions of life and home.

When I was a child some of my earliest praise was for my creativity. It was a thrill to do a project that stood out because it was ‘creative’ and unique. I became addicted to that rush of figuring out how to do things my own way. Today that rush may come from finding a solution to completing an art piece or landing my next contract – but it’s all still creative.

I am worried about the future of art in the classroom for our children.

Gotcha!

Art may not be seen as part of the core curriculum when there is math, science and spelling to learn. But creative thinking is a key part of a child’s development. Unlike many traditional types of learning when a child is engaged in a creative process both their left and right brain hemispheres are stimulated – this helps to develop new thought processes in their brains that can then be applied to all types of learning.

Art-making also teaches a child how to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. They learn that there can be multiple outcomes to a task. Art making is open-ended so children gain confidence in taking risks and can experiment without feeling pressure to have the right answer. Art shows a child there are different types of intelligence and different ways to express an idea. And it’s a great way to decorate your fridge.

Now that my creative friends are having children we are tossing around the question: ‘Would I encourage my own child to get into the arts?’ That is a tough question to answer honestly. A creative career can be hard to make money from. Of course we want life to be a little easier for our kiddies than it is for us.

Getting Into The Arts

If one truly wants to solely survive off their creative work they have to ‘make it big’. How one actually achieves fame seems to some type of mysterious alchemy of luck, talent, uploading youtube videos and perseverance – and maybe some type of Justin Bieber hairdo. Of course there are lots of other interesting types of creative work where one does not have to be a celebrity – but often this work is competitive and undervalued financially.

So would I encourage a creative life for Emmett and Simon? Given the job insecurity? Yes, I think I would. Of course, I want them to grow up to be their own people – yadda yadda.  But I want Emmett and Simon to always carve at least a little time for artistic pursuits.

Life is unpredictable: people get fired, companies go bankrupt, people have their hearts broken, people get sick. One never knows what to expect. But being creative gives a person a little space that they can always count on. Be it writing a bad love poem, DJing a dance party in the basement, singing a soulful ditty or graffitiing a girlfriend’s name on a building. These are all small achievable things that make life a little richer.

Simon & Emmett Get Into It

I can’t guarantee anything to my children. Will there be clean air for them to breathe when they grow up? Will there be one career trajectory leading them to total security and happiness? Will a viral video they star in make them famous? I don’t know.

I do know that if they, like my husband and I, have creative goals and pursuits — be they huge, tiny or never meant for public consumption — they will expand their lives. They will always have ways to challenge themselves. They will be able to think critically and see the ‘big picture.’ They will be proud of how they grow creatively thoughout their lifetime. They won’t ever retire and they won’t get bored. This to me seems like a good life.

Rose Bianchini is a writer, artist, producer and generally creative person living in Toronto’s St. Clair West neighbourhood. You might even have enjoyed some of her work at a Bunch event. See some of her many projects at RoseBianchini.com.

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