The Drawing Board Creativity Series: Painting Night

This blog is an op-ed piece written by Rachael Heffernan, writer and researcher for The Drawing Board.

Everyone finds themselves in an uninspired funk every once and a while. Except, it seems, children. Children always seem to be discovering things, or trying out something new, or getting excited about mundane activities.

Well, part of that is obviously because everything beautiful and wonderful and fun in this world is new to children, and due to that small fact everything is way more exciting to them than it is to us dreary, old, done-everything 20-somethings.

Everyone thirty and older just scoffed at this post. And with good reason, because another part of why children get so excited about stuff all the time is because we give them stuff to be excited about.

Give adults some children to entertain and suddenly they’re off to the museum, or looking up crafts to do, or pulling out an old microscope to look at grass. Suddenly making cookies seems like a good idea, and before you know it you’re running around in a tutu talking about fairy circles and the magic of the universe.

“Well,” I thought. “I don’t need to have children around in order to put some effort into making my life interesting. I’m going to do some stuff!”

And the first thing I came up with was to grab a bunch of weird, random things – whisks, spatulas, sponges, a slinky – and try to paint with them, with the help of some of my lovely co-workers.

painting 4

We got together with some ultra-washable tempura paint in a room in which we had taped 6 large white Bristol boards to the walls and floor. Then we shoved some hors d’oeuvres in the oven and got right to it.

It was a fun night of sabotage and creativity. We all got covered in paint, which made eating tiny pizza-bagels more difficult, and succeeded in using every weird painting tool in one way or another. The Bristol boards are now lovingly hung on my wall in my living room, a little pop of colour and creativity to remind me of a great night.

If you find yourself bored of the same-old same-old, go to the dollar store, buy $3 worth of Bristol boards and let loose! You don’t need a lot of money, space, or expertise to have a good time and bring some much-needed creative energy to your life.

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