Julie Simon, a pre-school teacher and participant in my Arts Int grad course this summer wrote this beautiful  reflection on the artistic process and what it means to her as a person and a teacher.  She has graciously allowed me to share it with you here.  Enjoy! ~EMP

What is the artistic process and what does it mean to you? How can learning about how you process things and learn be valuable to you as a teacher? To your students?

Okay….here is what I think the artistic process should be, ideally.

It’s a place…a safe place, calm, beautiful, evocative, ethereal or earthy…a haven.  Sometimes I travel there alone and other times I take the hand of another and we journey together.

It’s a feeling…or many feelings…an open heart – ready to explore and receive the gifts that surround me and are within me.  Brave, yet sometimes tentative and thoughtful. Excited, energetic, freeing, serene, or reflective.

It’s a thought…sometimes changing over time sometimes not.  Light, dark, color, creation, shape, shapeless.  Free flowing…

Being in touch with my own creative energy, giving myself space to explore it and let it flow can bring a sense of deep pleasure, release and serenity. Accepting that ultimately it is for me and is an expression of my soul – and does not necessarily have to be shared with anyone – helps to eliminate the tendency to try to please others.  It is, of course, a reflection of myself at a particular time and there will be change, because I am constantly evolving as a person. This is an aha moment, in a sense, as it relates to children’s development. We are always witnessing the child’s growth at certain points along the path…if we are guiding them to their own heart center, with gentleness and appreciation for their individual gifts, then we are helping them develop and honor their own creative process.