Whilst ‘artistically speaking’, I am not the most talented of creatures, I still believe in my ideas – I’m just not always able to make them materialise. In junior school we were challenged to mirror the work of a famous artist (note I didn’t say copy, as that could be deemed to be litigious in today’s world!) I chose to replicate the still-life painting of sunflowers by Van Gogh. So, maybe my brushstrokes were a little heavy and clumsy, but my teacher was impressed and my very first ‘painting’ made its way into the school’s gallery.
I was chuffed to bits and, with my confidence high, there was no stopping me. I progressed to pottery classes and wanted to prove my worth as a creative and inventive mind. (OK, I was young and naive, let’s say no more!) Not content with making the customary mug like my fellow students, I opted for something that would highlight my inventiveness.
It didn’t end well!
My idea was to create something that combined the attributes of an ashtray with a vase. Yeah – you may mock, but as an impressionable ten-year old, I was aiming to please both my parents. The ashtray part was for Dad and the vase for Mom; the idea being that the flowers in the vase would eradicate the stench of tobacco with their own particular scent. Genius, right? Well, maybe the idea had some merit (???), but there was something else missing.
Oh, and an ability to control the potter’s wheel!
Let’s just say, co-ordination is not my forte and using my hands to shape the clay and my feet to control the wheel was a disaster waiting to happen. All I can add is that what later came out of the kiln was in no way a reflection of my idea. It never made it home! And I didn’t try pottery again – sometimes you just know when you’re beaten.
Since then, I have avoided learning anything that involved co-ordination. Using my imagination and creativity has been much kinder on my soul, far less devastating. These days, I leave the ‘co-ordinated’ stuff to those who can! I’d rather be a dreamer anyway!
As Einstein put it so aptly, “Imagination is everything. It’s the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
(Unless of course you want a ‘vashtray’!)