Children’s ability to make quick decisions – when it comes to creative projects at least – really astounds me. They know instinctively what they want and they don’t question themselves.
In the school holidays I was teaching 9-14 year old girls how to sew their own, three-tiered gypsy skirt. It was a little challenging and they were up for it. None of them expressed any doubt whether they could do the project. Some of them had sewn before.
The pattern for the top, middle and bottom tiers were all different lengths. The first step was to choose six different panels of fabric – three for the front and three for the back – and check there was enough of the fabric they wanted for each panel.
A small mountain of fabric of various shapes and sizes were turned out onto the floor. They leapt on it with gusto, extracting the fabrics that caught their eye. They laid them out to check if there was enough fabric against the pattern piece. If there wasn’t, they chose a replacement or decided to join two pieces together for the length they needed.
They didn’t procrastinate. They hurled themselves into the exercise. They were determined to do what they wanted and didn’t seek some kind of perfection. They just knew it was going to be good. They didn’t sensor themselves or question whether their choices were right or wrong. They had an innate trust in themselves.
Watching them reminds me that we adults should approach any activity – particularly creative ones – in the same way.