I have a girl in my in-person summer program now who reminds me of so many other little and big students. There was this nagging perfectionism in her, this idea she had in her head of what she wanted the end result to be, and it was blocking her from truly enjoying the artistic process. There were so many tears at the start of the week, so many re-dos.
And then one day she said: "Today, I will embrace my inner piglet." Per my suggestions, she took some oil pastels, mixed them with vegetable oil, and truly got dirty and happy. I could see the excitement and the release in her face. She saw how satisfying it was to play with materials, to give into the process, to let accidents happen and allow them to lead her to unexpected results. From that day forward she is a person. She is much calmer, much more open to trying things, to using creativity as a way to play and relax. I absolutely loved this intense transformation that only took a week to transpire.