Dr. Joy’s Joyful Pleasures: The Imagination of a Child 

 July 27, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

Remember when you were a child? Curious about everything? You could pretend that a box was a castle or a fort. You put a towel over your shoulders and pretended it was a cape. You could invent games and play for hours. Your world was a magical place! 

Your imagination is a powerful gift that allows you to create new forms, ideas, inventions and solutions. But somewhere along the path of growing up you may have been told that imagination is not real, is an illusion, or is childish. You were taught to stop using your imagination. Don’t believe them! You need your imagination today more than ever to cope with change, chaos and confusion.

To get back in touch with your imagination with these simple activities:

Set up: Do you have your own private room or private space where you can leave projects out and close the door? If not then set up a card table in an out of the way place for your creativity projects. Cover the card table with a plastic tablecloth to protect the surface. Use a comfortable chair. Bring your favorite music into the area. Turn your phone off. Eliminate any interruptions.

 1.  Your tools: large box of coloring crayons, a large pad of art paper, paper tape. (Don’t buy a coloring book. That’s other people’s designs.) You were taught to stay inside the lines. This exercise will free you of lines and restrictions! 

Choose some pretty colors and start moving the crayons around on the paper. Don’t think. Just listen to your music and keep choosing colors and drawing on the paper. Feel, don’t think. This color feels good next to that color. I like this shape, etc. When you feel you have finished put the paper up on the wall with paper tape.  Stand back and look at it from a distance. What do you see? Turn the paper around putting the right side on top. Stand back and look. What do you see? Continue until you have looked at the paper from all sides and angles. Then take it down and go back to the table. Feel don’t think. What is trying to emerge from your colors? Do you see a design, pattern, shape you want to help emerge? Do this often to retrain your mind! You are not limited. You are creative. You are exercising your imagination!

2. Your tools: camera, print paper for photos, scissors, cardboard or mat board any size, rubber cement in can with brush inside.

Take your phone camera for a walk in your garden or a park. Don’t take the usual landscape shots. You are getting outside the restrictions. Look for interesting designs, colors or textures in nature. Go in real close and photograph something people won’t recognize. Print them and take them back to your imagination table. Cut the photographs into shapes that emphasize the interesting patterns you photographed. Arrange these pieces in a pleasing collection on your matboard. If you are happy with your design then brush some rubber cement on the backs and glue them on the matboard. You can prop your creation up on a small tabletop display easel to enjoy.

3. You can also do exercise #2 with magazine cutouts. Only choose the colors, textures and designs, not the recognizable forms. Follow the same instructions. Stores that frame pictures have bags of matboard scraps. They are stiff, colorful and make a great backing for your work. 


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