Earlier this month I sponsored the Creatively Squared challenge on Instagram ‘cs_flowersandfoliage’. The lovely Creatively Squared team also published my guest post on their website about The Importance of Play. I just wanted to expand upon that post over here because, frankly I’m passionate about the power of play.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
I love this quote by George Bernard Shaw. Play is something I’m embracing more and more as I grow older. I’ll be 40 this year and I’m probably the most creative I’ve ever been. Due to the fact that I like to play.
For me, I spend my play-time with petals, paint and pencils. I pull petals apart, examine them, cut them up, break them, paint them, throw them in the air, stamp on them on the ground. Just to see what happens.
I started my Instagram journey as a way of enjoying small moments of creative time, whilst being a mum to my very young daughter Daisy, and her two older brothers, my gorgeous boys Zac & Jake.
When I started on Instagram, I loved the weekly and monthly challenges. I enjoyed thinking of new ways to answer those challenges simply with a few flowers, leaves, maybe an illustration or a drawing. It was mental and creative stimulation away from Peppa Pig and Disney movies.
Fast forward to 2017, Daisy is past those slightly boring baby days and now I love to join in with her whilst she plays with her dolls, playdoh or paints. I thoroughly enjoy her dialogue and the stories she makes up. Why do we stop this as we grow up? I feel saddened as I’ve witnessed my boys play less and less as they have become teenagers and the playstation invited into their lives.
Luckily (and I like to think that having a creative parent has helped) my eldest son Zac, still enjoys Lego, making guns and armour from cardboard and sellotape for his drama activities, (which even have working parts – I know I’m his mum but they are seriously clever!) and he is great at art too.
My second son, Jake, although he considers himself less arty, has taught himself how to vlog, stream video games, edit them using Adobe Premiere and has even monetized his efforts earning himself a small amount of money. Impressive. What the kids all have in common is they are simply playing around with something they enjoy.
This shouldn’t have to stop as we grow older.
My Run in with Einstein
“I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” — Albert Einstein
It wasn’t until I had a run in with an article about Einstein that I realised how important play is to children yes, but also to us grownups.
Einstein took breaks from his work to play the violin and viewed his music breaks as an important part of his creative process. For others it may be the simplicity of a daily walk. Beethoven would take long walks and carried a pencil and blank sheet of music to catch moments of inspiration. Music, painting, writing, walking – creative play-time can unlock inspiration and ideas that may have otherwise, gone untapped.
- The Bad News: creativity can’t be taught.
- The Good News: it’s something that we all already own. It simply needs embracing and developed.
Whoever you are, your age, your profession, family situation. I believe we can all benefit mentally, spiritually even physically from playtime. I think we’re lucky in 2017 we have social media platforms, like Instagram to share our creative play-time with other like minded people.
Your idea of play may not be flowers. It might be a craft, your passion for cooking, your love of photography, time spent walking by the sea. It might be a fascination for taking apart motorbike engines! It really doesn’t matter. As long as the activity makes you feel inquisitive and brings you enjoyment. Pull it apart, examine the pieces, cut them up, break them, photograph them and share your discoveries and playtime with the world. I promise you’ll feel better for it.
Join in with my creativity challenge and share your creative playtime with me on Instagram, tagging your images ‘increativemoments’ @georgiestclair. I’ll be sharing some of my favourites on this blog and my Facebook page very soon.
I’m also in the process of setting up creative floral workshops like this one. Sign-up to my newsletter and I’ll let you know when they are up and running.
Have an inspired day