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The enemy of creativity is perfectionism

I don’t normally share ads, and I’m not sharing this because I want you to buy this. In fact I’m telling you explicitly: DO NOT BUY THIS, or anything like it, just to create a mandala! You don’t need fancy tools to make mandalas or Zen doodles.

When I teach doodling and doodle-mandalas to my students, inevitably there are a few who ask if I have some things they can trace to make the rows of circles perfect, and the shapes within the rows perfect. These are the students who are focused on perfect results rather than experimentation, exploration, discovery, and fun.

When I teach adults who approach art projects in this way, I am not surprised. They’ve had a lot of practice at driving those things out of their lives in favor of the illusion of perceived perfection.
But I am always sad when I have a teenage kid wanting to take that approach, because it means that their short life has already had the fun structured right out of it and they are more concerned about failing than they are about having some fun making some art.

One of the jobs of an art teacher is to teach children to play, and reacquaint them with play, while also guiding them to more complex results through experimentation, exploration, discovery, and fun.
If you are someone who wants to be creative, but you are tempted to buy something like this, DON’T BUY SOMETHING LIKE THIS! Get yourself a sketchbook, some pencils, colored pencils, markers, and watercolor paints. Then pull up some Sketchbook Skool videos on Youtube and start PLAYING with your supplies. Have FUN. Don’t try to be perfect. None of us are perfect. Just practice every day and allow yourself to ENJOY what you are doing. Do NOT judge your results.

The enemy of creativity is perfectionism, but playful enjoyment and exploration are what cause creativity to bloom and thrive.