Coloring with No Lines
I'm guilty of the same thing. I remember being little, around three years old, and loving coloring. My mom brought home scrap paper from work for me to color on, but for some reason I didn't. I colored on furniture and cardboard boxes. At that age I didn't understand why I had to restrict my artwork to an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper.
When I was in kindergarten, I remember coloring with my classmates. Some of them produced really nice looking pictures of art. The colors were smooth, even, and didn't have many blank areas between the colors. I looked in awe seeing how I could make my work look like theirs.
The teacher instructed me to "color between the lines." For most of the year, I didn't really know what that meant. I colored where I thought I was supposed to, and sometime later I realized that when I colored pictures, the crayon marks were outside the lines of the picture. I had to learn to have a steady hand, develop hand-eye coordination, and learn to conform to the social norms of coloring.
It was the law of the land: color inside the lines. That's what everyone does, and it's what I was supposed to do. Slowly, I learned to color and keep every color in its own place.
Later on in high school I took my one and only art class. There I learned all about art history and all the multiple techniques used to create beautiful works.
One thing that I really admired about art is creativity. I admired people who brought new and innovative ideas to the art world. These were people who challenged the world (and me) to see things differently.
Now as a parent, I want my son to develop his creativity. I don't want to make him color inside a box (or think inside one) just because "that's what you're supposed to do."
Instead of just coloring inside pictures, I want him to be able to draw his own pictures; of anything that his imagination can dream up. I want him to be able to question why we color the way we do.I want him to practice doodling and designing. I want him to be able to express himself in colorful ways. I want him to imagine more than he or other people have been able to before. I want him to be able to color without boundaries for the rest of his life.