Creative inspirations come from so many sources: nature, a beautiful day, curiosity, making our home into a sanctuary, the humdrum of everyday life, or extreme challenges. All it takes is one thought that calls out to us, beckoning us to pour our soul into something creative. That process of creating can bring meaning to our lives that makes the difference between just getting by and living largely.
For individuals with special needs, the challenges that they face can be the seed that grows great creative inspiration (for their parents too).
Like the visual diary that I am creating with my colored pencils. It is a place where I can draw something beautiful that reflects the day’s experiences, record an inspiration, explore my feelings, or write poetry. Whatever I feel compelled to set down on paper with colored pencils goes in there. I draw whatever is truly important to me and this keeps me centered and brings me joy.
Evan’s physical limitations have propelled him to become a master of creativity. If one way of doing something doesn’t work, he finds another. If someone doesn’t understand a word he is saying, he finds other words that are similar but easier to decipher within his speech patterns. If he is full of joy he will burst into song, composing a mini musical expressing all that is happy in his heart.
Scott Menzel, visual artist, www.visualantearts.com says this about his creations,
“I want to rock and shock the world with bold visual poetry.
Art is something hard to explain but it exists and has a power. I believe my passion to create is the driving force to move myself through life. It allows me to express how I feel and gives me a sense of accomplishment. It is my method to prove my self worth when things seem over whelming and it helps achieve the peace within myself in a world that can seem complicated.
My art signifies my inner feelings, struggles, and dreams. Each creation is a fragment of this journey of answers.”
Evan and I (along with a friend and her daughter who also has craniofacial differences) met Scott at a Fall Festival. Scott’s assistant (I later found out she is Scott's mom) called out to us as we passed his booth of vibrant artwork, “Scott would like to give each of your kids a piece of artwork.” The kids turned and ran to him, excited to be receiving an unexpected gift. They ran to Scott, sitting behind the display in his wheelchair, and each child reached up and touched his hand to thank him. Scott smiled back kindly, connected to these special children through common struggles. The kids eagerly picked out their art and each found a special place for their masterpiece in their home.
Creative art has the power to transcend struggles, to connect us to new people, and to discover new found energy.