I always loved art growing up. My parents noticed this right away, as early as 3 years old, and from that point on I was highly encouraged. I have hazy memories of special craft days once a week when I was in preschool and kindergarten where my mom would get out containers filled with sequins, silk flowers, ribbon, pom-pons and foils and boxes of fabrics, paint, construction paper, crayons, markers … anything imaginable. Although the details over time have become vague, I still remember there was always something magical about that round plastic container. I currently work at Creative 360 in Midland, MI with an art program for adults with special needs or mental illness, or anyone who wants to learn new skills in an open, friendly and relaxed environment. I see every day how creation sparks joy in the creator and those around them. I also occasionally teach beginning drawing and painting workshops at Michaels, also known as the happiest place on earth. Yes, craft stores are my Disney World. I love working with beginners because so many people are threatened by art, convinced that maybe that other person standing over there can do it, but not me, no, I’m not an artist. In reality, creating is not only for this elite group born with special genetic super powers. Everyone can create something, and even if drawing or painting turns out not to be your thing, there are so many other avenues through which to use your creativity. A lot of times, people who were at first scared to even touch the brushes finish a painting, sit back and look at it, and declare, hey, that’s not that bad! I love that moment. I also love that there is no expiration date on art. I have students come to me that are in their 70s and have never picked up a paintbrush, nor even drawn a stick person in decades. Everyone is an artist. Each person on earth has the ability to do something creative that can touch another person, and it is never too late to begin. Creating allows us to form connections with other people, and gives us the power to turn our world into a more interesting, beautiful place. Are you ready? Let’s go.