I’m really excited to continue our Creative Giants series with Katie Axelson! Katie is a professional writer and contributes regularly to The Write Practice (which you should be reading religiously.) You can also find her at her blog and twitter. Today’s story is all about finding the freedom to make messes, the way we did when we were kids, and I’m so thankful for her sharing today in preparation for Life After Art.
I sat staring at the mug wondering how to paint it. Noticing my struggle, the studio owner swooped up beside me and began to ask questions about the mug. Eventually she got me to confess that I wanted to splatter paint but didn’t want to make a mess.
“We’re all about making messes here,” she said. She picked up my unpainted mug and set it on the floor – away from other people but in a clear walkway. As she handed me a splatter brush and palette, I asked if she wanted me to lay a tarp down move to an inconspicuous corner so I didn’t get paint on the floor.
No, she told me right there was the perfect spot for mess making.
Her words took me back to fourth grade when our art teacher assured us that art rooms were for making messes (and cleaning them up).
I whipped the brush and watched baby blue flecks fly across the room, some hitting the mug but more hitting the floor. I looked up for confirmation that this was ok but she had disappeared to help another lost soul find his inner artist.
Maybe the point of this exercise wasn’t really making “art,” but making a mess.