I went to the most fabulous workshop I have ever been to. First of all, if you know anything about me, it is that I am obsessed with this new adult coloring book trend. Ever since I was a kid, I loved coloring books! It was my gateway into the artistic world and I hold it very dear to my heart. I signed up for this workshop hosted by the local LA artist Anne-Louise Ewen. It was a workshop that featured her second coloring book, 25 more Beautiful Things.Included comes a copy of her giant, poster sized coloring book, some paintbrushes, and a water-color set. Not to mention wine and snacks as provided by the ever amazing Gum Tree Cafe, one of my favorite cafes in Hermosa Beach. I came in with very high expectations, totally ill-prepared for what was to come.
Prior to the paint session, Ewen made a little introductory speech to coloring. She addressed some of my very own thoughts about society and it’s hand in instilling fear into people to prevent them from being creative. From a young age, we are taught by authoritative figures such as our parents and teachers how we are supposed to do things. Even things as simple as coloring. We are taught to color within the lines and when we failed to do so (or at least when I did), we were told that we were doing it wrong. We were told that our artwork is not beautiful. That it is a failure in the world’s eyes. Even I myself was a part of this movement. I remember one of the first times Mike and I colored with each other. He was definitely not making it in the lines, and I remembered giving him tips on how to do it right. He was the first person to ever tell me that just because it isn’t in the lines does not mean it does not look good.
Creativity is the biggest form of rebellion. To be creative means to think outside the box. But not only think, but also to act outside the normal realm of what is commonly accepted. So many people want to try new things, but stop themselves from doing so, because they are afraid that they will fail, or at least, they are afraid that the world will consider them as a failure. But the only failure in life is to not try at all. The reaffirmation of my thoughts and feelings from this very wonderful person really reminded me to let go of control. My whole life, I was formed and shaped to believe that everything needs a plan and a purpose. But that isn’t true. Sometimes, things just need to be. And in so being, it is inherently beautiful.