Somewhere in my life I took "I'm capable of doing anything" and changed it to "I must become capable at everything."
This mindset destroyed margin and creativity.
Creativity happens when you give yourself room to experiment and play. That is a vulnerable place to be because, to do it well, you have to leave margin for failure.
If there isn't the possibility of failure there is no creativity or experimentation. There are formulas, safeness, sameness, and limited discovery.
You don't grow. Yes, You learn. You memorize, but you personally don't discover anything new or try anything that you aren't forced to.
While I was in the midst of striving for perfection in everything, part of life became terrifying because I was always fearful of failure and part of life became boring because I never let myself do anything bold.
Slowly I began asking "why?" Why do I have to be the best at everything?
Art has played a huge role in this self discovery. At its core, art is experimentation and play. Art can only happen as a result of creativity. And for me creativity wasn't possible until I learned to embrace failure--not fear it.
One of the many outcomes I hope for Paint Love is to create safe environments of creativity and play for students that already have more than their share of fear.
I want to give students an hour or more of bravery, confidence building, and a full on fear busting artistic experience. We don't have to talk about anything significant--though often times art opens up those conversations--because art, in the context of a loving and safe environment, can be therapeutic on its own.
For me art could only happen when I was no longer afraid. And I hope the students we serve, who are often facing harsh realities of poverty or trauma, learn the beautiful gift of creating.
We are not therapists, we are artists. We create loving environments and let fantastic art experiences lead students to a transformational place.
It is powerful and life changing, and it's lot of fun.
For me, whatever happens with Paint Love, leading this movement was and is a bold move worthy of moving past my fears and pursuing, for however long I am capable. And while I, like any other human, may be capable of doing a lot of things, if I were still trying to be capable at everything, this one thing would have never happened.
I am so grateful for the people in my life who allowed me to be vulnerable enough to fail.
They loved me out of my fear and into the safety of discovering who I could be when I wasn't afraid of all the things I couldn't do.
I want every student to feel that kind of love and acceptance and have the opportunity to make a creative discovery about who they really are and the amazing future they can create for themselves.
Thank you for joining me and our volunteer team on this journey of Paint Love.
P.S. I would love to hear your transformational art story! How has art been transformational for you? Share below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!