I’ve heard this from countless art students over the years, “My parents said my sister Becky was the creative one.” Sound familiar? Did your folks say something like that to you? Or maybe you had a bad art teacher who showed the class your work and told them it was a fine example ... of what not to do. Perhaps it was around adolescence, your most vulnerable time of growth, when you determined you didn’t really want to be an artist like Becky. You went out for sports instead. Ever since, you secretly wished you could draw more than a stick figure.
If this isn’t you, then maybe it describes someone to whom you’re close. There are many people who feel this way but are too reserved to admit it. Fortunately, I’ve taught hundreds of these people over the years as they’ve decided to try making art again, and they’re all glad they did.
I’d like to encourage you to reclaim your birthright to creativity. It’s empowering. Here’s why:
- Aside from your ability to reason, and possibly your opposable thumbs that set you aside from other mammals, your creative power is the most impressive thing about you. When you are told that honing your creative skill isn’t the right path for you, confidence wanes. Please imagine whoever that figure of authority was who gave you this information (your parent, that mean teacher, your classmate, etc.), and imagine them shrinking in size until they fit in the palm of your hand. Now either blow them away with love and light, or make a fist and squish them like a bug. Your memory, your choice.
- By learning how to see the way an artist sees, you unlock the ability to reflect on everything in your life in a new way. Your powers of observation become more keen. You begin to notice details and admire shapes, textures, colors and the interplay of them in the world around you. Keep at it, and your reality becomes a place of magic. No hallucinogenic drugs required – life really is a gorgeous and complex ballet of duality: bright and dark, round and square, hard and soft, etc.
- Confidence comes from discovering how to synthesize seemingly unrelated things in a rational narrative. Sherlock Holmes noticed patterns and solved arguably unsolvable mysteries by taking note of the snow on his boot and from the trace of gunpowder in the crease of a man’s trousers. He used a mind palace technique of mental processing that was so artistic, Dr. Watson could barely follow him. You have an inner-Holmes waiting to be released. When you practice honing your powers of observation, you strengthen your right-hemisphere brain capacity. Art classes that teach you how to see the way an artist sees help you do this. Complex ideas make sense more easily. Solutions to problems come to you faster. You discover a new aptitude for creative problem-solving that applies to many parts of your life. You may feel – look out, Becky – smarter.
You owe it to that thoughtful, observant, and creative person inside you who didn’t think they could draw even a stick figure to give it another shot. See you soon for an art class.
The DAC will be closed for annual winter maintenance until Jan 5. See you in the New Year!
Coming up next at the Durango Arts Center:
- Green Level Adult Improv Classes with Mary Quinn begin. Four weeks, 6-8 pm. Jan. 10. $100.
- Theater Season Passes now on sale. $70-$285.
- Youth Theater Tuesday class, third-fifth grade: 4-5:15 p.m. Jan. 10-May 7. $325.
- Youth Theater Wednesday class, fifth-12th grade: 4-6 p.m. Jan. 11-May 7. $375.
- Youth Shakespeare Class, fifth-12th grade: 4-5:30 p.m. Jan. 12-April 30. $300.
- Kid’s Snowdown Follies Variety Show: 7 p.m. Jan 20; 2 and 7 p.m. Jan 21. Tickets $15/$10.
- Durango Snowdown Adult Follies Performances*: Jan. 27-Feb. 4, various show dates/times. (*DAC does not sell tickets for this event, check out snowdownfollies.org/tickets.)
- The Artisan’s Market is your all- year shopping destination. Open noon-6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
- Monday Middle/High School weekly after school art begins Jan. 9: 4-5:30 p.m. 10 classes, $225.
- Tuesday second-fifth grade weekly after school art begins, Jan 10: 3:30-5 p.m. 10 classes, $225.
- Wednesday second-fifth grade weekly after school art begins, Jan. 11: 3:30-5 p.m. 10 classes, $225.
- Pots & Pints is back! Starting Jan. 6, every Friday from 4:30-6 p.m. $30.
- Figure Drawing with live model, begins Jan. 10: 6-8 p.m. 10 classes, $225.
- Magical Art & Happiness adult art classes begin, Jan. 12: 6-8 p.m. Six weeks, $200.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate, become a member, register for classes & buy tickets, at DurangoArts.org.
Brenda Macon has been executive director of Durango Arts Center since 2018. Her background includes executive leadership training, business and art instruction. She celebrates the inspiration, joy and meaningful engagement that the arts bring to our town.