laurie-collinsPeople often say I am very creative and that they could never do what I do. My usual reply is “of course you could but you have to want to do it.”

At school when I was teaching, every child who came into the school at year 7 could draw / paint / or create quite easily. And, although there were differences caused by talent and circumstances, every kid showed they were capable.

As we go through secondary school we are often taught to value some subjects over others…hard subjects over soft or easy subjects and usually the ability to draw or create are not valued highly in quite a few areas.

Once you start to give value to creating, it all comes flowing back, just like riding a bike. One way that works for me is keeping a sketchbook / scrapbook of ideas and inspirations, things that interest me and sketches. (Many of us older folk had a scrapbook when we were kids.) This is just an A4 visual diary which I fill up in about 3 months. It usually contains so many possible ideas that I cannot get around to doing them all. The drawings in there are not usually for other people, but just for me. Often they are a shorthand sketch just to note an idea. It also is an area to practice if you do want to draw better—you can make mistakes, messes and chaos without anyone else passing judgement on it.

It is an area to play—something which has been undervalued. If you “give yourself permission “ to play, muddle, sketch, and just stuff around with a pen or pencil all manner of things develop. I  mainly use pens in my book as they do not smudge as pencil does, and I don’t have to worry about “rubbing out” mistakes. It’s all part of the creative process.