[ leia o texto em português aqui :) ]
All ideas seem to pop up when I make connections between a combination of factors that send energy to a trigger, which can come up as a conversation, a situation, a moment of stillness or even a dream. It literally feels like a little bulb lights up in my head, and my eyes shine a little brighter. Cliché? Well, maybe, but it is the most figurative way I could think of right now, without going into too complex connections between my neurons, hormones and regions of the brain.
Anyway...when this happens I usually take two actions. Write the idea down so I own it - and it doesn't keep floating to another human which has created the space for an idea. And then I take the moment to evaluate that idea. What is connected to it? Is it something that can be done right now, or rather a long term idea? How much is this idea connected to my moment in life? After a quick check and scan of that idea, I decide to either let it listed, or act on it right away.
A fast action was the path chosen to an idea I had a couple of weeks ago.
In Brasil, we were all immersed in our social distancing times - due to COVID-19 - for about two weeks. I started observing some of my close friends, whilst we took the time to call each other to share our experiences. From one side, Marcela, a good friend of mine based in Brazil, called me up sharing her desire to finally dive into some paintings. A desire that was part of her for over a year already - but didn’t quite find the time for that till this day. She called me up so I could help her choose the materials and where to buy it from. I felt proud of her. Taking the time to start a new hobby, to recover a childhood activity as an adult - to actually allow herself to rescue her inner child. Almost at the same time, another friend of mine, Natalia, based in the US, had decided, together with her husband, not to take their little girl to school anymore - to avoid a possible cross contamination. To have her two year old full time at home would be a challenge and required the couple to make adjustments in their routine. And to get creative - to entertain her. From one day to the next they were creating all sorts of games and scenarios for their daughter. And for themselves - cause in the end, they were all rolling on the ground together after creating a maze of threads for them to go over and under. In one of her posts about these games she had done a few drawings on blank paper for her daughter to paint. I was so proud of their effort that I just sent her a message that said: “When I grow up I want to be just like you”. Well, I don’t have children, and we are the same age, but I really admire her for taking the time to create and stimulate her daughter. She then sent me a message saying “Oh the drawings are nothing like what you would create - Oh there’s an idea my friend, why don’t you draw some things for my daughter to paint? ‘Cause my drawings only go so far...or even for other kids too”
That was the last spark I needed for my bulb to lighten up.
(I am a little stuck to the bulb right now - possibly because I watched the Current War this week. I guess my brain works in funny ways)
Let’s keep going.
Drawings to paint. Yes!
I can create the time for that, and still help parents - and children - with this almost therapeutic time - to paint. I stopped everything I was doing, wrote it down, took a time to evaluate it and immediately called my team. “A little emergency - idea - kind of meeting guys. Who’s up?” They both stopped what they were doing and we united our own experiences and knowledge.
We came to the conclusion that living with isolation and uncertainty is not easy at all. Having children at home, the challenge may be even greater. It is in this context that @paintwithartists was born as a great invitation: to artists from all over the world, to share drawings that can be colored by children, and to adults, to allow themselves to rescue the children they carry inside. We saw the context as an opportunity for all humans to kill the homesickness of our crayon boxes and learn from the little ones how we can be more creative and live one day at a time.
The idea was set into motion. We had a purpose - and a name! It was time to really own the idea and turn into something. The @paintwithartists Instagram account was created. The team started working on illustrations, concepts and texts to underpin the whole scenario.
“Everyone says children are more creative than adults. I dare to say that children are not afraid of making mistakes and that is why they are creative, spontaneous, daring and free. In this period of isolation it is important that parents are open to learning from their children.
Allow yourselves to rescue your inner child and this will serve as a form of therapy for many blockages acquired throughout life. Instead of repressing them, encourage their activities and participate in them using artistic and playful tools. Every child is born without blockages and the way that parents stimulate or repress this behavior will determine how they will become in adult life. Children need direction and stimulation, the more artistic and playful the better for their development. In return, we adults will rescue our most fearless and spontaneous child side, losing some of the constant fear of making mistakes and understanding that, through mistakes we actually learn the most. We will not evolve by avoiding doing something out of fear.”
Thiago Guedes - Psychologist & Self Coach
The project is in motion, if you are reading this post now, the invitation still stands!
If you are an artist, join us in this collaborative movement, whilst creating - and sharing your art - for a bigger purpose. By clicking on this link you have access to the step-by-step on how to be part of this.
If you feel like adding a touch of colour to your days, just access this link, and have an overview of all the available pieces for you to print - or download on your device - and have fun coloring- on paper or on your device.
Whatever way you choose to go, don’t forget to share and tag @paintwithartists - so we can track all your beautiful creations and feature you on our feed too.
And, to end this moment, here is a little story - created by Marcela Monteiro - that became our motto for this project:
Once upon a time there was a virus that made the world turn upside down. The streets stopped, schools closed and even princes and princesses from far, far away kingdoms had to stay home to protect the people they loved. When this happened, the adults went crazy: what to do with so much time at home? how to entertain the children? in the midst of so much chaos, who can defend us? No one was able to answer those questions until one day, at the bottom of a drawer, a box of crayons was found. The next week, someone decided to use the crayon that had been standing still for a long time, and by the following week the watercolors had taken over the whole house. The questions remained unanswered and the world was still upside down, but the days had gotten lighter, because, for at least a few hours, we could color the uncertainties with a little creativity.
"I believe life overflows, there's no tidy cup that can contain life! Suddenly it all gets spilled, it falls on you, you get dirty, and there's no way of making it fit in a nice and pleasant scheme". Identity should be a verb.
One day I was with my cousin, who is a doctor, in the port of Santos in Brazil, watching the ships entering and leaving their docks. When a huge cargo ship, that was old, all rusty and marked by a life of great adventures, crossed our path. Immediately, seized by the power of that vision, I told her; "Look what a beautiful thing this ship is." After a long silenced pause, she timidly replied, "I think it's amazing how you can see beauty in this old, battered thing."