Many, many moons ago I witnessed the energy and sparkle that exudes from someone's eyes when you show them how to do something new, when you help someone prove to themselves that they can create WHATEVER they WANT to create and that YES, they CAN do it themselves. That it's one of the most rewarding activities we can do.
It led to a daydream of creating unique day camps/retreats for people so absolutely everyone I came in contact with could experience that energy, that sparkle, that excitement. Well, the day camp idea somehow turned into a series of television shows instead and I've yet to fulfill the colorful vision I have in my head for the day camp/retreats...some day, some day....
But I did come close this past Saturday, when we finally got the time to put on a one day workshop for people here at our studios. My studio was their studio and there were no such things as mistakes or rules, but rather the freedom to PLAY and do what they wanted, how they wanted.....it was an amazing day that warmly reminded me of that day ten years ago when I dreamt of igniting the creative fire in anyone and everyone and verbalized the belief that:
"Creativity is the one thing that we ALL truly have in common. It's ageless. It's timeless. It knows NO gender or race and it's the ONE thing that leads to amazing discoveries...a new technique, a new product, a new business....that in the end are as INDIVIDUAL as the ones who CREATED them."
I'm to this day as passionate, and even more so (if that's possible) about that belief and how powerful creative expression and doing things yourself are.
When you share your projects and ideas on television, you don't get to witness first-hand the joy that a hands on project can bring someone. You encourage them to take the ideas, the techniques, the projects...and make them their own. You miss out on the interaction of ever actually SEEING what they do with it, how they take creative action, and for me, that's the most rewarding part. Saturday I didn't get cheated out of SEEING it in action. And what I saw was an incredible thing. People of all ages, both male and female....all of different backgrounds and styles. ALL enjoying a day of working with their hands, being creative. Every person there looked at our piles and piles of branches and scraps and saw something completely different. THAT is the power of creativity.
We supplied them with branches and twigs and other natural offerings and let them loose...the tools were buzzing, the people were unintimidated and comfortable and gung ho! Phones weren't ringing, no one was texting, checking messages, etc. Each and every one of them was absorbed in their own personal creative process. One woman left me with a profound thought when she said to us "This was the day everyone said yes".
Our crew made sure that everyone there was given the resources and guidance they needed to help make their creative vision happen and it makes me VERY, VERY proud. THAT'S what it's all about, my friends.
Seeing everyone actually experiment with drill presses, wood burners, mitre boxes, band saws, benchtop sanders...some for the first time...and to see the empowerment, the confidence, the liberation...brought a happy tear to the eye.... I get told over and over again from outside sources to stay away from using so many tools in my projects (which I personally think is absolutely ridiculous)....and I don't believe in dummying things down...I have tremendous faith in people's abilities and how else are people ever going to get comfortable with the different options that are out there if they're NEVER exposed to them. Think of how productive all of us can be. The more we all know how to do and BELIEVE we can do....the better.
Cheers to the next play day and a huge shout of thanks to all of you who had the courage to create at 408 on Saturday!