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  • Helen English Artist

Asking questions

After listening to a pre-schooler’s take on life this week, I got to thinking about how we change our communication as we grow. At three or four years old we are full of questions. Why? How? When? A constant barrage, and really important to respond with an answer or an invitation to find out. Somewhere we can lose the motivation to ask questions but an inquisitive mind is a really important thing to hang on to or reignite. It is the seed of creative thinking, and how we experiment with ideas.


By creativity and creative thinking, I don’t just mean visual art. Creativity can be writing, sewing, music, dance, acting, and anything else that we put our minds to in the spirit of inventing ideas. Curiosity is how we can find our own voice in creativity.

Generally, when we begin a new to learn a new skill we grow by understanding the process and practising the elements to produce the desired result. Repetition is great for learning but, for me, it is also a source of increasing boredom which takes me into more creative waters, and that’s where I think that you develop a personal signature on your work.

How can I do that better or more quickly? What would improve that feature? Real creativity comes as we try out other ways to achieve the same or different results.


Sometimes being given new limits by someone else will alter your way of working and create new ideas. This weekend, the 200 show opens at my local community arts centre and this is a wonderful place to see how a lot of different people have figured out personal ideas within the boundaries of 200mm. It’s a great forum for seeing work from a wide range of ages and experience, and is very inspiring. I can't wait!

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