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Gina Quarles : Idea Hunting

Healing Through Creativity

Idea Hunting

Creative ideas are everywhere —
especially when kids are around

By Gina Quarles

If you are an artist of any kind, do you find yourself looking for subjects or ideas to create? I think we all go though this. I am a writer and we call it,"writers block." Fortunately, sometimes and unfortunately, I have many distractions around me. We are a five kiddo house on some days. On most days, we have two kiddos. So rarely is there ever a dull moment going on here.

Instead of getting annoyed at the rough play or the three-year-old's endless chattering on and on to whomever, or the never endless pieces of conversations of what fourteen-year-old girl's chit chat about on the phone, I find I have to just sit back and surrender to it all. You soon learn to just go with it. If you do not and you try to control it, you just may erupt or you will eventually blow your stack! Often times, after I have made up my mind, my non-realistic expectation to write soon begins to fade. Once I have digested this and I find if I pay attention, I will inevitably encounter a prompt of some sort eventually from pure observation.

As I am watching my fourteen-year-old with her fashion expertise and begin to relish in seeing my three-year-old using her imaginary play, there is much for the taking. The three-year-old never runs out of ideas and I find I am left curious as to what will be coming up next. Three-year-olds just work that way. I step back and soon discover that I am suddenly surrounded with creativity right before my eyes!

There will be imaginary play, drawings, stuffed animal tea parties, conversation going on between them, and much more. As I am playing and listening to my children, I observe, take mental pictures and notes. If something sparks my interest as an idea and I think I may write about and build upon, I will jot it down in my notebook. If I hear a funny phrase that one of them makes or a hilarious gesture, I take note of it. If there is music playing, then it is even easier. One child, my fourteen-year-old will be singing like Taylor Swift (which she can really do!) and my three-year-old is dancing away. She is creating her own dance moves as she goes. They both are different every time. There is my next piece! How to Dance Like a Three Year Old!

So the point I am trying to make here, as a parent, if you work with children or are just near them, pay attention. They are so full of fresh ideas. They are spontaneous. They are unashamed and uninhibited. They do what comes naturally and take risks, more so than we do as adults. We have much to learn from our younger generation. What comes to them so easily, we have to work so hard to try and quiet our mind to even close to that place. When I open myself up and surrender to my environment and whatever it may be at the time, there is usually an idea right there waiting to be devoured.

The more we are observant to our surroundings, the more we have to work with. We are given life's free art supplies in which we can create a drawing, a piece of literature, a story, a poem or an other art form. That is the wonderful thing about art, it has no boundaries. It is endless. We just have to open our eyes to see it all before us. It takes practice. But, the more you do it wherever you may go, it becomes easier. I carry a pen and a little note book in my purse at all times.

When you are in the workplace, shopping, at a restaurant, a park or anywhere, pay attention. You never know what you will see. You may hear an interesting and thought provoking conversation going on, you may end up in a museum or a junkyard. But it does not matter, because at the end of the day everything has its own unique story to tell. Often times as we become even more observant, we can end up with more than one idea in one surrounding spot and you may end up going back there over and over and keep adding to it. The possibilities are endless. So start looking around and noticing this world we live in on purpose and in detail. Oh, and don't forget your notebook and pen. •

© 2012 Gina Quarles. All rights reserved.

Gina QuarlesGina Quarles is a mom, wife and a creative soul who is passionate about the art of writing. She's currently recovering from a near-death auto accident and working on a book, which is an outlet for her healing. She encourages others along the way through kindness and hope. More »