Creativity Camp at Soho House!

This past weekend we hosted our first Creativity Camp for Families at Soho House Toronto. It was such a great event. We had kids of all ages, parents, grandparents, twins and sibling groups dancing, playing and collaging together.

Though this weekend’s programming was aimed at kids aged 6-12 we had two super toddlers get in on the action and they were great. They drew and toddled and explored. It was a fantastic reminder that creativity is about having fun first and that age limits certainly don’t apply on that front.

As mentioned we had an awesomely adventurous pair of twins who were bubbly and full of stories about their favourite arts activities as their dad and grandmother shared in the fun. Two brothers and a sister brought their dad  too which was great and not only did they make some amazing sketchpad collages but the boys got straight down to work filling the books with awesome drawings while their little sister showed off some fantastic dance moves.

I don’t know if you know this but Soho House has a great photo booth. One superkid headed straight there and he and his dad took photos which they incorporated into their collages. It was such a great idea and is already inspiring future activities at the Campus!

I had SO MUCH FUN creating and playing with this group and Soho House was a welcoming and supportive venue to work with so hopefully we’ll be working with them again to host future Creativity Campus workshops.

What inspiring or creative stuff did you get up to this past weekend? Care to share?

Happy Wednesday!

L

The calm before the storm - supplies for our Creative Selves collages before the families arrived.

The calm before the storm – supplies for our Creative Selves collages before the families arrived.

A Friday Dance Party Anthem for Courage and Creation

Sara Bareilles released her new single “Brave” this week (video below) and it’s all about being courageous with ourselves.

As the lyrics run over the band practice you might be tempted to dismiss this as a poppy girl’s music video but there’s a real and important theme here. We all have that dismissive and critical voice (Brene Brown calls it our inner gremlin) that insists that we’re not good enough, not creative enough etc.

It’s funny because that voice is somehow always louder than the praise from colleagues, support from friends and general good vibes that are all around us if we pay attention. A huge part of creativity (as was the theme of Monday’s post) is about moving past that cranky voice inside and showing off what you’ve created.

That’s why this is today’s dance party anthem at The Creativity Campus. For ourselves, for our kids, for the development of amazing new ideas we need to be brave.

So – today, Friday take a creative chance. As Sara sings – “Let the words fall out…Show me how big your brave is”.

Turn up the volume and dance like no one’s watching.

Happy Friday!

L

The Facts About Creativity

There’s a lot that’s ambiguous about creative work but there are two definites.

1) Creativity takes courage

2) Mistakes are mandatory

In my mind creativity is about coming up with a new idea or approach and expressing it. It is essential to let the work out to the world, to your friends or to your colleagues and that can be really scary.

For most of us our creative lives started when we were little kids with make believe, storytelling and pretend games. The wonderful thing when you watch kids creating is that they really get involved. They see one friend coming up with ideas, performing or acting silly and they get right into it themselves. There is no time made for thoughts other than – “That looks fun!” or “I have an idea too!”.

Really, they have yet to grow the part of their social brain that says “Keen isn’t cool” or “What if I make a mistake? That would be embarrassing.”

This is why creativity is ballsy. It’s why it’s work. We have to fight the experiences of our past and discouraging voices that make us want to stay quiet.

The great thing about doing workshops (I was at an amazing Tom Schlesinger one this weekend) is that you realize that you are not at all alone in this. We all want to express ourselves in some way and we’re all kinda freaked out by actually doing it.

Much of the reason I get worked up is that I’m used to striving for absolute perfection. The thing is, that’s impossible in life and even more impossible in creativity. One thing I keep noticing though is that the more that I am brave, the more mistakes I’m ok with making, the more those around me get into it. The more they try, the more they express themselves and the more they realize that mistakes can be silly and fun but they can also be valuable in both work and life.

The most important part of creativity is taking risks and making mistakes.  Original work means there will be nothing to compare it against in order to define the standards of perfection. We’ve been trained against it, but really, do you think symphonies are written in one try? Great novels in one draft? Amazing businesses with the first plan or executed task? We are supposed to learn as we go.

What makes it easier is that original work comes from inside of each of us and is a result of our own mix of experiences, knowledge, passions and, sometimes, pain. This means we’re not only hardwired to create because we’re human but we have all of the material we need to make completely unique work!

I know we’re not all artists or writers or actors or ad men but we are all human and there are creative ways to do math, walk dogs, write news, deliver papers and approach our businesses.

Today join me in my challenge and find a way to stray from your comfort zone and be courageous with your ideas.

Trial and error is recognized everywhere else – why not give it a chance in your life too?

August Creativity Camp!

The Creativity Campus is launching three weeks of morning Creativity Camps for kids age 7-10 in the month of August.

The goal of children’s programming at The Creativity Campus is to allow kids to explore their creativity while building skills in critical thinking, teamwork, decision-making and deeply rooting creative confidence through positive reinforcement and play.

Kids will create characters, write stories, sing songs, draw, build, dance and play. As they do this they will learn about creativity and imagination and be given the tools to nurture creative habits at home and throughout their lives. For more details on our philosophy please have peek at the rest of the website.

One week, morning sessions will be offered:

August 6-9 ($240)

August 12-16 ($300)

August 19-23 ($300)

Rates include all necessary materials and a daily, healthy snack.

For further information or to register please contact us at creativitycampus@gmail.com or by using the contact form.