Monday, May 18, 2009

Creative LA

I'm no Richard Florida, but I think LA is one of the most creative cities. After my latest trip there, I am now further convinced by this. Why?

1. Location: Not only does LA have inspiring warm weather and beautiful light, but the ever-changing landscape of this metropolis is simply breathtaking. Whether you travel to the beach and become mesmerized by the ocean, drive through the awe-inspiring mountains or simply admire all of the colorful flora, LA is a feast for the eyes and imagination.

2. Attitude: The vibe in LA changes from community to community, but for the most part there is an underlying casual attitude that encompasses the entire area. Such a vibe can only foster the creative spirit and encourage you to take creative risks.

3. Diversity: Not only is the landscape diverse, but so are the 10 million+ residents that inhabit Southern California. Everywhere you travel, you see evidence of cultural diversity and often hear another language or two spoken nearby. There is such an assortment of inspiration around every corner.

  • What's your favorite creative city?

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Creative Power of Kids

Last week I taught about seven art classes in a row for kids in kindergarten through third grade. It was part of a Cultural Arts Day at an elementary school. I've participated in this program for the last three years as an artist.

This year, I noticed something interesting about the students. Normally, I have a mix of grades, but this year I started with the kindergartners and finished with the third graders. This progression gave me the opportunity to observe creative expression from the youngest kids in the school to the oldest.

And what did I notice? The youngest students were done with the project the quickest, while the older students finished just in time or not at all. I wondered why this was. Then I realized it was because the kindergartners had less inhibitions than the second and third graders. The older kids spent so much time analyzing the colors they chose and filling in all the details. Yet the younger kids went with their intuition and just had fun coloring.