Sometimes a fluke of nature can provide an invitation to creativity! The above photo shows two such examples. (If you are viewing this as a follower in your email, you may view the photo by clicking on my title, “Invitation to Creativity”.)
A number of years ago, some quite bizarre produce was growing off a nearby corner of our garden. To this day, we still do not know what these green globes of great girth were! The largest one was bigger than a basketball. As we didn’t even know if they were edible, I pondered what I could do with them. My open house at school was approaching, so these curiosities became a center piece in my art room. I decided I may as well adorn them with faces akin to what may be seen on fall pumpkins. It ended up being a topic of conversation. Perhaps seeing something unusual inspired others to question what they could do with other oddities.
A Second Invitation to Creativity
My photo also introduces another nudge to exercise one’s creative muscle. At the time, I didn’t have a poster of Jasper John’s painting entitled Flags, so I made a construction paper rendition to give my students a feel for the experience of his work. Here is a story which includes a visual of the actual painting https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/jasper-johns-gray-american-flags-painting-work-on-paper-contemporary-art. Scroll down until you get to the gray painting with two flags, one of which is green, orange and black. Simply stare at the brightly colored flag for 30 seconds or so. Then, shift your sight to the gray flag. Your eyes will automatically “paint” the correct colors of the American flag!
Jasper Johns gave his viewers an interesting way to teach us about tricks our eyes can play on us. He gave me, as an art teacher, a fun segue to teaching about complementary colors. This trick of the eyes is known as an afterimage. Here is the science behind the phenomenon: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-an-afterimage-2795828.
Your Invitation to Be Creative
The next time you see something out of the ordinary, ponder how you could use the situation as an opportunity for creativity. Perhaps another chance could come if a project is not working out as you thought it would, but with an ounce of creativity it could have the potential to be even better! Be a detective for the unusual, for a problem, for the mundane. Then, creativity may come to your rescue if you only invite it!