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Let Your Inner Child Play

Updated on February 12, 2017


Getting Your Hands Dirty

Feeling blocked, stuck, depressed? Being creative in any way shape or form can bring about life changes in unexpected ways. All children love to play and as grown ups we often hide that child away when it can often be the key to transforming our lives. Perhaps it is time to release those conditioned, imprisoned creations from within you. Let the creative monsters go and learn to play again.

Colour outside the lines

When I Was A Child

As children we begin with a playful view of the world, we observe life through our eyes and interpret what we see with the tools we have. With art we may see a man or woman and draw a stick figure. We copy the images around us and we don't care whether we draw outside the lines or not. As time goes on we may be encouraged by grown ups to expand our artistic talents or we may have the critique monsters banish the creativity deep inside.

Some of those children may go onto art school, college and university and train in the arts. They gain tools and skills and techniques. The other children may never have gained the techniques and give up on art altogether, until creativity comes a knocking, once again.

Your Never Too Old To Create

So as time goes on, those children that gave up all artistic endeavours at a young age may find creativity pushing through into other areas without being aware of it. For me, my creativity was buried deep down for over 2 decades. My creativity seeped out into my jobs in retail, through making the merchandising of stacks of shelves into a work of art. My last boss even told me once that the way I merchandised the shelves made it look like a painting. I guess it all came together. I like colour and balance and it was my way of channelling the repressed artist within.

This year (2011), a little over a month ago, I started to paint again for the first time in years. I started drawing, I began to take my creativity seriously. I realised depression I had suffered for many years was a result of my repressed creativity and having nowhere to channel it. So now I do.

In small ways to begin with but what matters is I allow myself to paint, draw and write in whatever way feels good. This can be incredibly childlike, with flat drawings and paintings and no dimensional quality to them to adding more detail.

I bought basic inexpensive acrylic paints, brushes and a plastic palette. I bought cheap paper and a little better quality and I invested in some inexpensive but okay felt tip marker pens. And I started sketching what I loved to draw as a child (animals, trees, flowers).

What I discovered was, that as I created, whatever 'it' was, I felt better in myself, more in charge of the direction of my life instead of feeling like I was being tossed about in the current of life. Art has become an anti-depressant in itself. The key to starting again and painting as a child is allowing yourself to be whatever you need to be. And to not critisise or compare your art with those who have been painting for years.

Julia Cameron in her book 'Walking In This World' said:

"Begin where you are, with who you are. In order to go where you want to go creatively, you have to start somewhere. And the best place to start is precisely where you are. This is true whether you are a beginning artist or someone with long miles down the track. In fact, seasoned artists can waste time and energy mulling the dignity of their acquired position in the field when the truth is, they still need to just start again."

Do What Comes Easy To You

Many people make the mistake when first beginning a fledgling creativity experience to do something they found difficult, and work on improving it. Not only does this bring frustration, but it can stop the beginner artist in their tracks.

As we take our first baby steps to exploring the world through our creativity, we need to do what we love and find easy to do. Maybe its drawing with a pencil, stick figures, houses, hills and sky. Perhaps sploshing around with paint and colour. For me, I got out my acrylic paints and made a real mess in my palette. My colours were not even in the seperate compartments anymore, one colour dripped into the next and I had a lot of fun simply loading my brush up with mixed colours and spreading it on the page. It really did not matter what I painted, my inner child wanted to play with colour.

If you have the space maybe your inner child wants a big roll of paper on the floor, and stick her fingers in the paint and finger paint instead. Get messy, it doesn't matter what happens - it's just all about fun.

And if you are an artist with many years under your belt, perhaps those skills and techniques could have a rest for a day or more and simply do what you used to do as a child. It may bring your art new avenues of thoughts and inspiration.

Don't Compare

One essential thing to remember when beginning to paint, bake, create..whatever outlet you are using, is to not compare what you are doing with other people. And this goes for comparing in life generally. Comparison can be the killer of creativity and when we look at someone who may have been creating art for many years and compare their finished products with our own fledgling art, this can crush the spirit of the inner child beginning its new adventure through play.

Remember, every artist, musician, movie director, chef started somewhere. And many beginnings are fraught with what could be described as chaotic mess. It's not mess really, simply unearthing talents and joy buried within us. Art needs to be carefree, done for the joy of creating, not for the purpose of the end result or the creation. Julia Cameron says that it is about the process of our art not the product. When we start to look at the product we can get into all kinds of head funks. We might imagine a career down the line in painting, or writing or cooking etc etc.. and the mind uses this need to know the future as a way to sabotage our new beginnings. I know this from experience as I have to consistently remind myself of this too.

Paint for you, write for you, draw for you, make music for you, crochet for you..... whatever needs to be expressed through your unique expression and channel, do it.

You won't regret it.

Some Excellent Books For The Creative Beginner

When we begin to awaken our hidden or fledgling creativity we often need support or encouragement along the way. These books do just that. Enjoy!

Sometimes We Need To Forgive Those Creative Monsters

I had a couple of creative monsters in my closets for years that prevented me believing I could ever be creative again. In this video I speak about how important it is to forgive the creative monsters of our past.

Inspirational Words


Inner Child Poll


As Child What Was Your Favourite Way You Were Creative?

See results

To Be Inspired - Nurture Your Creativity


The Creative Process

"...Painting for process is not about having a cathartic experience, throwing paint onto the paper a la Jackson Pollack. It's about being respectful of the process, holding the brush carefully like a pencil, and being present when connecting the brush to paper.

The key to the creative process is to let go of the concept of "product...."

Extracted From '50 Creative Questions To Create The life You Want'.

Readers Comments - Do You Have Any Tips For The Newbie Artist? Or How Do You Feel About Your Own Creativity?

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    • TopTot profile image


      8 years ago

      Loved that picture of the Inspirational Words! It gave me a good idea for a project to do with my kids.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      While I was very ill with ME/CFS I was housebound and sometimes bedbound. I did some inner child work and I found simple pleasure in colouring with pencils in colouring books. Lovely lens.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 

      8 years ago

      Having grandchildren has renewed my creative life. I have discovered that I really like the texture when I use washable crayons. I have written several lenses about art projects I have done with or about my grandkids. I also wrote a lens about my favorite childhood toy, tracing paper. Oh, you have stimulated my mind so very well---I must go and write another lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this lens, I used to just love coloring in a coloring book! This lens made me want to go and dig out an old coloring book and have at it again :)

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Martin 

      9 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @NoYouAreNot: Hi Helenee, it is great to let my flowering creativity unfold. Like you, I always wanted to be a writer and realised after reading some of Julia Camerons books that writing means I am a writer. Bigs hugs xx

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I am so glad for you -- taking up again painting, it must feel wonderful. I always wanted "to be" a writer, but I came to terms with the fact that I AM a writer, after all. I am about to launch my own websites, I'll come back to share, promise!

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Martin 

      9 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @anonymous: Thanks Tipi I have many moments :-)) My inner child really does want to, my inner adult needs constant reminding its okay to PLAY!! lol!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You are just pure positive energy and inspiration! I love your ideation of those creative monsters turning into angels. Play inner child PLAY!!!

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Martin 

      9 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @chezchazz: Oh thank you! I commented on your lens earlier today. Lovely lens!

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Martin 

      9 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @pramodbisht: thank you creativity is a real gem to me.

    • chezchazz profile image


      9 years ago from New York

      Great lens! Blessed by a squid angel. Your lens is now featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," our squid angel info lens and lensography of the best lenses we've found.

    • pramodbisht profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice lens


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