We had the best assembly on Wednesday! "Illustrationist" Bruce Van Patter came to our school. Despite the fact that he lives in one of my favorite places, I'm sorry to say I'd never heard of Bruce before. But, his assembly sounded interesting and so I put aside my to-do lists and went to the cafeteria to hear what he had to say.
I wasn't disappointed. What I heard was an inspiring, energy-filled presentation on creativity and imagination, illustrated by Bruce's artwork, which he showed on slides and drew on the spot. Despite the fact that he had to trim his presentation to fit prescribed time slots, Bruce managed to hit lots of high points. In addition, he showed a real flair for reaching an elementary school-aged audience.
But Bruce's presentation reached beyond the kids. The images he used to illustrate kids' creativity vs. adults' creativity really hit home, and I went away determined to resemble the former more than the latter. In fact, I ended up setting another New Year's resolution - to set aside some time several times a week to "be creative." To simply see what comes to mind, with no pressure to tie it to something practical, be it a story in progress or a problem that needs a solution. I'm so used to focused thinking that I sometimes insist on parameters for my creativity, which rather defeats the purpose.
Of course, I am hoping that the payoff for this will be new solutions for my writing, and an easier time at the keyboard when I sit down to write, but those will simply be the icing on the cake. What I really want to do is free my mind, and let myself travel to a place where anything is possible, even if only for a few minutes...to recapture that free flow of ideas that comes so naturally when we stop putting conditions on possibility.
Thanks, Bruce. Hope to run into you in Lewisburg.