Last time you played

I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend. She and I were talking about “playing.” You remember how you use to play as an 8 year old? There was reckless abandon in our actions. Who cared if we made things up? Did we notice that our clothes got messy? In the moment, we weren’t worried about what others would think about our behavior? At 8, I don’t think we cared. Mostly, we were focused on having fun.

Of course, as adults, we now know that someone might get upset if we make a mess. If we appear too silly another person might call us odd. We understand that there are rules to be followed. And, sometimes there are consequences.

But, the question is, do we need to be this uptight when it comes to our art? What will happen if we “break the rules?” Will we be OK if our artwork gets “messy?” Does it really matter? What’s the worse that can happen? Maybe we won’t like what we created. So what? Can we just play and accept it as a learning process?

On the other hand, our worst fears may not come true. There’s this potential that our play time creates something new and exciting. And, there’s a possibility that we will find renewed excitement in our art.

I admit, I don’t play with my art supplies as often as I’d like to. There’s always something else that needs attention. Maybe even another project that needs to be completed. So many UFOs (UnFinished Objects) in my closet, do I really need to start something new? The answer is YES! Creative play is important. It breaks the cycle and adds renewed energy to our art practice. Give it a try, because when was the last time you played?


  1. Laura says:

    I agree to the yes too some. Now we get back to the ufo’s but for the time being. The need to continue to be a child at heart is a call we have to answer to.

  2. jim says:

    I love to play guitar and write songs, so I can apply this same sentiment to what I enjoy. I am messy when I play but I do get some fresh ideas…..and a lot of mess. LOL

    • Nanette Zeller says:

      Oh yes, Jim! Music is also art! Guitar licks are a great improvisational art form. Truly the child at play there.

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