YES, YOU CAN and YES, YOU SHOULD
Remember the first time you got hold of a pencil or a pen, and you were able to make marks on paper, and since the wall was nearby, you might have used it as a canvas? No fear, no judgment. And then, the new box of crayons, pointed and perfect, were (and are) irresistible.
Then came the first of “the” rules: Color inside the lines. And this started the first of the judgments of not being as good as whoever sat next to me. Lucky grandson was encouraged to create his own drawing rather than being given a coloring book.
Recently, I have the pleasure of working with a number of people who are “re-entering” the creative world. They are the brave ones who at least try. Sadly, too many are content to live with the stories they tell themselves: too old, too late to begin again, fingers don’t work well, I don’t have time and on and on the excuses cascade.
However, for the brave ones, they learn they CAN. And what’s more, after a while, they even acknowledge they are having FUN. Creative endeavors are a matter of practice and exposure, not talent. Both take time. Both take commitment. So, now we have taken care of the “CAN.”
Let’s consider the “SHOULD.” With the lack of funding for the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) and the loss of importance of arts in the school systems, less and less emphasis is placed on the connection between brain health and creativity. Google brain and creativity, or brain, creativity, and aging. Solid scholastic articles, Ted Talks, and You Tubes verify the reality that at any age, creativity is as important as physical exercise to maintaining brain health.