I think Einstein was onto something when he said, “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.” As someone who was raised in the rural south without much access to art education at an early age, this speaks to me.
We had no art centers in town, but my school district had a lone part-time art teacher who visited classes monthly for 30 minutes per session. She would roll her cart into the room, play music for us, and deliver a brief tutorial on the color wheel or some other basic lesson. Often she would give us quiet time to paint or draw whatever we wanted, no rules, which felt like luxury. This teacher, saintlike, would then stop to visit each child and personally compliment his or her work. In a place where kids grew up underexposed to the possibilities of their own creativity, our art teacher—30 minutes at a time—validated what Einstein called the “irresistible urge” of the artist in each of us. No wonder we hungered for her visits.
Today, this is why I feel incredibly fortunate to live in a place where the arts are so richly celebrated and, more importantly, made accessible to all. The valley’s multiple art centers are filled with devoted teachers helping the young (and middle-aged, and senior!) explore the “true art” of their own irresistible urges to create.
This month, head to your closest art center and sign up for a class or two. Einstein would be proud.