Picasso’s Challenge

Photo J. Crocker

Photo J. Crocker


Do you wish you were more creative? This post is a preview of the upcoming free program: Picasso’s Challenge – Unleash and Nurture Your Real Creative Genius coming to the Fountaindale Public Library on Tuesday, October 1 at 7:00pm. Sign up here.


Go into a Kindergarten classroom and ask the students to raise their hands if they think they are an artist. Probably every hand will go up. Ask them if they can draw. More hands. Ask if they can sing? Ditto. Ask if they can dance. Ditto ditto.

Now go into a high school classroom and ask the same questions. You’ll be lucky if one student raises her hand to any of these questions.

What happened? How do we lose that child-like quality that makes us believe we can do anything creative? Where does it go? And why? Pablo Picasso probably said it best:

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Many of us would welcome reclaiming that youthful exuberance. Unfortunately, the vagaries of life seem to root out that notion and replace it with a destructive force that tells us we are not good at drawing, singing, or dancing anymore. We delude ourselves by not recognizing our own unique artistic bent. While we may never be Picasso, John Lennon, or Rudolf Nureyev, that shouldn’t hold us back.

But it does. All too often.

Holding ourselves up and comparing ourselves to the greats is detrimental as it collapses the confidence you need to actually fulfill your own artistic needs. Sir Ken Robinson talks extensively about this phenomenon:

“Too many people never connect with their true talents and therefore don’t know what they are  really capable of  achieving.”

But “I am not creative,” you might say. Nonsense. Every single person has a unique, creative gift to share. And every single person on earth has an obligation to both find that gift within themselves and to give it to the world. And while your gift might not be Cubism, Imagine, or defecting from the Soviet Union to dance freely in the West you can, at the very least, make the world a better place through your creative contribution to it.

So take Picasso’s Challenge. Find your own ‘it.’ Whatever your ‘it’ might be.