Yesterday I saw a couple of interesting videos. Although they are not directly about woodworking, I think that they pertain to many of us who are involved in not only creating woodworking projects, but also those who design their own patterns for furniture, boxes and all other projects.
My brother was the one who sent me the links. He said that they made him think of me and how when watching them he wondered how differently my life may have been if everyone thought more like the guy who was lecturing. It made me think too.
As I watched each one, there were many things that came to mind as to how true what he was saying is. From the time I was very young, I wanted to be an artist. I was only 13 and I painted a replica of the cover of Elton John’s album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” on a 16” x 20” canvas. That was in 1975. I was living in the suburbs of Chicago at the time and I had heard that Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s lyricist in the early days) was going to be at a radio station downtown one day. My girlfriend and I took the day off of school and several busses to get to that station, and we waited for hours until Mr. Taupin emerged from the elevator at the building where the show was broadcast from. We did finally see him and I presented him with the painting for Elton. It was quite a thrill. (I have a picture of Bernie Taupin that I came across recently, and I will post it later if I can put my finger on it!)
Looking back, it seemed like a silly thing to do. But teens are silly and I was no exception. I loved Elton John and had pictures of him plastered all over my bedroom wall. I also loved art and loved to recreate things through painting. Creating is part of my life and part of me.
Of course my parents weren’t as thrilled about this I was. I am sure they worried about my future. My sister went on to receive a master’s degree in business from DePaul University Business School (with honors, no less!) I suppose it was quite disappointing to them to hear my own ambitions.
I am not close with my own family for many reasons that I will not get into. Let’s just say that we differ on many basic views and values and leave it at that. The point that I am trying to make is that sometimes it isn’t easy to be true to yourself and follow your own dreams. There are many obstacles and pressures along the way that try to push you into directions that may seem unnatural to you.
I was surprised at the feelings that these videos brought up from deep inside me. I suppose it stirred up many memories of my own childhood and my own struggles in finding my place and doing what my heart dictated. It has been a life long struggle to get here, but never have I felt so comfortable and happy in my life as I have since I began to actually LISTEN to what my own heart was saying.
I think my own children feel much differently than I did as a child. I have always made a conscious effort to support them in any decisions they have made. Of course, I advise them, but I also allow them to not only follow their own paths, but to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them and refine their plans. So far it is working for them both.
As creative people, we need to find support from those we choose to have around us. I believe that is why this forum here at Lumberjocks is so popular. We think somewhat alike in the respect that being creative is an important factor to our own happiness. We seek support from our peers and it feeds our creativity and lets us know that ‘it’s ok’ to want to make beautiful things for the sake of making beautiful things alone.
There are different degrees of success here, but I think it depends on what you define the word ‘success’ as. Myself, I think that just by being here and creating is success in itself. It has nothing to do with financial gain or status. It is feeding our souls and it is the immesurable amount of satisfaction and peace we feel within ourselves when we are being creative. No money could ever equal that.
I hope you take the time to watch these videos. They are about 20 minutes each and they are full of some valuable observances that really make you think about things. (Both of them can be translated into 50 languages, for those of you who don’t speak English as a first language) I believe that most of you will see yourselves in some of the examples. I certainly did.
Here are the links to them:
The first one is called Schools Kill Creativity> .
And the second one is called Bring On The Learning Revolution> :
I hope you take time to look at them. You may not agree with everything that is said, but I think that it may make you aware of some things or even validate some of the things that you as a creative person may feel or have felt over the years. In any case, I think they send some important messages to all of us.
I want to thank my brother Bob for bringing this to my attention. I also want to thank him for the support he has shown me these past several years. I love you, Bob!
I hope you all have a wonderful and creative day.
(I had a difficult time posting the video here. I couldn’t get it to link and embedded it. If you want to read more about Sir Ken Robinson, you can click HERE to go to his page)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"