Play…we need it, maybe as much as kids do. Play is whatever we do for the sheer joy of doing it. Play allows us to explore, test and germinate new ideas, or shift old ones to different purpose. It generates optimism and improves memory. It relieves stress, allows us to toy with novelty, be more engaged, think more clearly. Play has the power to significantly improve our physical and mental health, stretching our ability to be flexible, to adapt, create, and innovate more easily. Play is not just for kids - it’s essential in, and of, itself.
Play can transport us back to a simpler time, when life was about having fun and enjoying ourselves. It lets us make mistakes, and even break rules. Play goes a long way in boosting our
personal productivity and happiness. It awakens our imagination and reminds us of the magic all around, and yes, inside us. Without play, it’s hard to do your best at work or at home.
Art has become my favorite way to play. The days I don’t do art are simply not as satisfying as the days I do…not even close. I’m beginning to think it might be more accurate to call my art classes, “play dates” instead. Because the classes give me cover for what is actually play.
Of course, there are many different ways to play. If you’re stuck on most anything, think for a moment, back to how you played as a kid, or listen to children on a playground, let your imagination run wild. The important thing is to give yourself permission to play at least a little every day, even if only for a few minutes. Just get lost in the experience, without worrying what it looks like. You might get some fresh new ideas. Take some time to play – right now – today.
I'm learning more about my art, and from my art, every day. It's not so much a matter of skill or practice... mostly it's a shift in perspective, a way of shaping how I look at and exist in the world.
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