Creatives whose brand of art is children’s literature are the luckiest creatives of all, because children and creatives have a lot in common …
They both are in touch with the romance of life … the wonder, the joy and all the angst and drama that comes with living life. Both are concerned with all the internal stirrings that bubble up and how to bring those inside things to the outside.
Creatives take care of this through their work, of course, but children are experiencing life and their emotions for the first time and they need to learn the ropes – how to act, how to not act, when to not get too carried away, or too excited, or too dramatic, etc. – and all the bad consequences that result when social norms are crossed, and all the good and fulfilling connectedness that result when they express appropriately those inside things on the outside.
This is the parents’ job, of course, but they’ll also learn these things from other people and experiences. So who best to teach them that than creatives? The very people who live their life in trouble, because they tend to get too carried away, too excited or too dramatic? Those people with ponies who tend to let the inside things spill out all over the outside.
If you are, or if you know, a creative, you know exactly what I’m talking about … creatives are intense creatures! All that intensity keeps them atuned to life happening around them.
Creatives cry easily, get overwhelmed with little things, generally feel and empathize with the hurting, and can feel joy all the way down to their toes. And they’ve learned important lessons the hard way … when alone in the studio, anything goes, but being out in public means putting the brakes on getting too expressive about what you might be excited about or upset over.
Most creatives have learned the hard way that all those deep feelings need to be kept under control in public settings. It sounds silly to average people … of course any sane adult keeps themselves under control, but the sheer intensity of the level of emotions a creative has, requires quite a bit of effort to remember how to act in polite company.
Children have to learn this, too. As they grow, discover and experience their own emotions that are bubbling up inside, they learn that there are right and wrong places and ways to express those emotions. Their parents are there to teach and guide them, of course, but they are also learning from other sources and people like us!
Who else could be better equipped to show them than all us creatives … the ones who have spent their entire lives practicing at “holding it in” in polite company. Then one day we discovered our own favorite art medium – the art medium we were created for – where we could let our ponies run free.
When we pour our emotions into our art – even a simple children’s book – those emotions will come out the other side to the reader. Reading a book is a safe, appropriate place for children to experience their own intense emotions.
It doesn’t matter how simple or complex the words, or how young the reader, if we put our books together well, even a very young child will have those Aha! I knew that! I felt that! moments.
They might not be able to express it. All they’ll know is that they “connected” with those words. And they found out that it’s perfectly okay to have those strong emotions, that other people experience those, too, and here’s a safe place where those strong emotions can be safely experienced.
And they’re a bit more connected to their world and understanding how life works.