Finding My Own Inner Artist

When I talk about my nephew Braeden and the art that he creates, I often do so through the Lens of school and its often systemic barriers to valuing creativity for all.

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of watching him transform from a kid watching videos to one using this same medium to learn and to experience his uninhibited joy is life-changing.

Watching Braeden create took me back to my years as a student when closing myself in a room to play my flute for hours was a beautiful collaboration of therapy and passion.

I loved it, even if society labeled us “band kids” as geeks or nerds. Music is art and there is no shame in that.

Until recently, I…like many, left my artistic self somewhere between school, work, kids, marriage, divorce, career…life.

The odd part is that as much as I believe that creativity is life and vice versa, I’d grown accustomed to it being a distant memory…a former hobby.

…a thing that we advocated for in schools but rarely participated in

…the thing that we openly declare to not be good at just as much as those who loudly exclaim the same in math

This year, I decided to embrace my own creativity. I bought a new flute and have been working to get my fingers, brain and heart in unison. I hope to play in a pit orchestra again one day. (Goals)

I started learning to draw with Adobe illustrator. Their resources as well as the entire community of freely sharing artist have been beyond helpful! I plan to turn my work into an app.

I also started actively working to use more art in physical computing/making. This was definitely an area of discomfort for me. I see what others create and build often and have found myself thinking that I was incapable of creating in this way.

It’s a week before Halloween and my inspiring nephew is home crafting an entire spooky yard presentation made of materials he had around the house or purchased at the dollar store, which he has somehow transformed.

I can’t even bring myself to imagine the adult version of himself looking back and realizing that he somehow left all of that creativity behind.

I guess that I’m writing this to say that it’s not enough to say that schools need art or creativity.

We all do.

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