If I need inspiration, a creative jump start, often I’ll find it in a box.
A box of crayons.
I open up the box, take a deep smell, pick the first color I notice and begin. I’ll doodle, scribble, sketch. Perhaps I’m percolating ideas for a client, or I’m designing a display, or writing to a friend.
Crayons have taught me to take care.
Afterall, who wants a flattened crayon? Or worse, one that is broke and you can feel it through the paper. Not me.. And I’d take special care to not smash the points, or to sharpen the flat ones. Even putting them away gently so I don’t cram too many crayons into one side of the box.
Crayons taught me to take chances.
Afterall, when would I ever really use colors like raw sienna or burnt orange? Perhaps to add depth to the bark of a tree or a pumpkin.
I know someone that managed a group of benefits specialists and when annual enrollment came along, typically a very stressful time for her direct reports, she would scatter coloring books and crayons around their work spaces. It turned out to be a unique and fun way to alleviate some of the daily tensions.
I believe it was Robert Fulghum who suggested “If you want an interesting party sometime, combine cocktails and a fresh box of crayons for everyone.” Oh, yes!
And I love this quote by RuPaul: “Life is about using the whole box of crayons.”
Ain’t it the truth?