Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Make Time to Play

Lately, I've been thinking about how important it is for everyone to make time to play. Artists have this sneaky way of finding ways to play for their whole lives. We have a channel for play in our artwork or craft.

At YIKES! Studio, art is also play. I play with color, shapes, and forms every day. Being in the studio and working with clay, silver, enameling, and metals allows me to give shape to my thoughts as they arise, and the work I do in the studio influences my thoughts and musings again, creating a creative cycle.

Play is a central focus of YIKES! (The name itself is pretty playful.) For many artisans, there's a relationship between play and craftsmanship. Playful jewelry must be created with care and skill so that its joyful presence can endure for years. And craftsmanship without a sense of play can seem too utilitarian, lacking in imagination. In the studio, it's possible to see how play and craftsmanship support each other and really make the other possible!

Although play is usually associated with kids, it's really just something that surfaces in different forms throughout our lives. One of those ways is through art. Research in art therapy has shown that adults who are artists remain more intellectually and creatively vibrant through their elder years, continuing to develop artistically and emotionally.

Everyone can make time to play. Play doesn't have to be linked to a slick finished product, or any finished product at all. Make some time to play with color. Use clay or paint or whatever strikes your fancy. Make something and forget to judge it. Just experience it!

Play could also be thought of as a gateway to deeper experiences. The creative spontaneity of playing-- whether it's with art materials or not-- opens us up intellectually and emotionally. Staying playful throughout life allows us to keep engaging with the world-- just getting out and loving the big sky, the water, the colors and forms and surprises. ❉

Suzanne Anderson is the creator of YIKES! Studio Jewelry. Suzanne has been busy creating for most of her life. After graduating with a BA from Maine College of Art, she worked as a graphic designer and a painter. Suzanne works to ensure that YIKES! Studio creates work that is fun, beautiful, always interesting, and adorns the wearer with joy. Catch up with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Etsy, or her website at www.yikesstudio.com.

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