Originally published in Creative Catalysts magazine, late 2018
There's a term I like to throw around from time to time: "art class conversations." It's synonymous with creativity and openness, among other things, and that's exactly how I use it in day-to-day conversations.
I have great memories of my high school art classes—hours upon hours spent with close friends, new encounters, and classmates of all personalities who typically wouldn't even grant each other a second look in the halls. Those classes were conduits for relationships I've kept years later, friendships that have run deeper than family in some cases. And, maybe even more importantly, those classes opened my mind to new ideas in a fascinatingly unique way.
For those not familiar with the art class dynamic, I can only describe it as a nebulous conversational buzz undulating throughout the classroom, a thick cloud of thoughts floating unseen around our ears. Each of us is focused on our own work, biting tongues, tapping feet, angling papers and dipping brushes.
As ideas come to life on paper, so too our conversations bloom into directions they otherwise might never have ventured. Detailed debates, intricate explorations of religious, political, and philosophical origins all take place around an active art table, and they do so without the typical hesitation that arises out of differing societal viewpoints and dogmas. The result is a refreshingly open environment for conversations of all kinds, the perfect recipe for change in a world starving for human connection.