Children and Creativity

Do you still Color Inside the Lines?

Are you a follower of rules? Or do you kick over the traces now and then? You may just find the answer from the way you used your crayons to draw with as a child.

Do  you still color inside the lines?
Do you still color inside the lines?


I remember when I first started school how we were always told to be careful to color inside the lines.

It was rather difficult to keep inside the outlines using those thick crayons.

I remember clearly which of my classmates managed to accomplish this rather onerous task long before I did. I was particularly envious when they copied whole sentences from the blackboard with perfectly formed letters.

Interestingly, many of those children turned out to be perfectionist, conformist, attention to detail types.

But perfectionism can be a two-edged sword. Attention to detail can be great but too much of it can reduce you to a picky and rule-bound automaton.

To those of us whose crayons strayed well beyond the lines and whose straggly contributions were sorely berated – let us be kind. We won’t mention the words “disorganization,” “negligence” or even “lack of concentration.”

Rather we will remember the wonderful sense of freedom it gave to be using bright colours and bold strokes that were too untamed to be curtailed by mere outlines. Could it possibly have been a sign of boundless energy and uninhibited originality?

And then, I wonder how many of those kids – now grown up – have continued to color inside the lines?

It’s an interesting thought.

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