Creating Like a 3 Year Old

Sculpey Blog

Teresa Pandora Salgado
Teresa Pandora Salgado March 18, 2021

I have studied at the feet of the masters. I’ve read, literally, every single clay book and I’ve watched nearly every clay video; but it took a three-year-old to teach me how to freely create.

My granddaughter, Jolene, will be three in August. She’s been claying since she could sit up. She crafts about six inches from my left elbow; so, I’m keenly aware of her artistic sensibility. This is what Jolene taught her Granny:

  1. Get some stuff
  2. Put it together
  3. Explore every nuance of the colors you really like
  4. Throw “bad” colors on the floor
  5. Make more stuff

Let’s break it down.

Get some stuff.  Which stuff? All of the pretties you have accumulated – clay, liquid clay, molds, stamps, glitter, and hoarded experimental debris … all of it.

Put it together. Jump right in without overthinking. Snuggle into the joy of play. Do that for at least 20 minutes without expectations.  The “20 Minute Effect” is a thing.*

Explore every nuance of the colors you really like. Chances are, you are drawn to the same colors you loved as a kid. Stick with those for guaranteed visual satisfaction. Mix them with black, mix them with white, dilute them down with translucent, sparkle them up with glitter clay. Linger awhile.

Throw “bad” colors on the floor. Ok, I admit it.  I’ll be glad when Jolene stops doing that; but I do have to admire her decisiveness. Never feel obligated to work with colors you dislike. Mix them, trade them, use them for cores or give them away.

Make More Stuff. Give yourself the gift of time, relaxation and practice. I’ll bet you make time for others every single day. You deserve time for yourself.

Time will be the topic of my next March blog post. Until then, create like a three-year-old, my Friends.