Today I want to let you know that it is ok to color outside of the lines.
Albert Einstein said, “You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece.” When talking about coloring a masterpiece I think of art. I think about our life like a painting being created. I imagine the blank canvas, the colors, the brush, the easel, the pallet, and the artist. How or what would be created on this blank canvas? Is there an outline? A structure? Is it freehand is there a thought in mind?
What I do know to help me answer these questions is the difference between process art and product art. (Stick with me, I promise it will make sense!)
Process art is the method behind the creation and a way to explore art in an open-ended, unstructured way… Humans are naturally drawn to art. It is a form of expression as we explore materials and uncover possibilities.
Product Art is about clear steps that should be followed. It has a specific outcome in mind. It expects the final product to look like the example. It has expectations around a right and wrong way to do it.
As a teacher, it’s my philosophy that learning is all about the process. Learning happens in the space in-between not knowing and then knowing. The process of learning allows us to uncover possibilities and develop understanding. Those moments of trying, attempting, frustration, wrestling, and challenges are the greatest moments of growth. It’s in the process we learn most about ourselves. When my students are in the learning process, I provide them with strategies on how and when to ask for help when things get hard.
As a daughter, I want to uncover possibilities on my OWN. I believe in the process and love to explore my learning independently. I want to work through the process and learn while building my understanding. Asking for help isn’t an option I take often. Maybe it’s because I am headstrong. Maybe it’s my nature.
As a mother, I anticipate the product. I set a clear expectation that should be followed. I have a specific outcome in mind. All while expecting the final product to look like the example. Instead of allowing my children to learn through the process I have wanted to uncover the possibilities for them. When I see them struggling, I want to run and make it better even before they ask for help. In doing so, I get in the way of their learning process.
In my current place of process, I find myself in all 3 perspectives: Teacher, daughter, and mother. As a teacher I want to teach through the process, as a daughter I am exploring and uncovering, as a mother I am desiring to run to my child’s side.
Is it Process or product?
Well, it’s both. Over the years I have learned to accept that, it is ok to give my children space to color outside of lines. Something beautiful happens when we engage in this practice. I know now that through this process, my daughter is more like me than I ever realized.
When I think about the canvas, I notice there are no lines only edges. The edges serve as boundaries, not limitations. There is no right or wrong way to paint on the canvas. There are only suggested techniques to help enhance the painting process. It’s an open-ended opportunity to mix colors, use your brush or fingers, or other tools. The best part is there are no mistakes only learning opportunities. If the paint falls or drips in the other direction it will still be beautiful. What I will advise is, that the process can be messy. I’m currently experiencing messy! Your hands may get dirty, you may even think about not finishing halfway through. That’s when it’s ok to ask for help and not give up. When you are finally done, step back, and look at the masterpiece. It will be even more beautiful than you could have predicted, only because the process was so much more.
God the creator saw a blank canvas and created you and me His favorite masterpiece. He doesn’t give up on us when things get messy. He sees us and is waiting for us to uncover the possibilities. He is in the process!
P.S. Love you Forever, Like You for always.