Curiosity Created the Cat

If creativity is the mother of invention, curiosity is the grandmother. Curiosity is the eye-opening, fearless, thrilling, scary pursuit of the unknown. It is adventuring into uncharted territory, challenging the status quo, and deciding to question the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” ‘why” and “how” of accepted life, practices, and daily activities. It is asking “what if?” and allowing an explanation of the answer. Ultimately, through all this, curiosity gives birth to great artistry, imagination, inventiveness, and vision.

Children are gifted with a remarkable capacity for curiosity. Young boys and girls spend time on playgrounds exploring day-to-day objects with wide-eyed wonder and spirited investigation, absent of judgement or self-censorship. Unsure of what lies beneath the sand in the sandbox, children weave remarkable stories of pirates and adventurers as they dig to the bottom. Curious about what lies beyond the tress in the backyard, children transform themselves into jungle explorers on a survival mission. Even a closed closet door inside a home can become a secret passageway into an unknown realm in the infant’s imaginative mind. The young brain marries curiosity with creativity, and beautiful stories, sketches, doodles, skits, and joy emerge as a result.

Somewhere along the way in life, adults begin to censor their own curiosity, and subsequently, their own imagination. Added knowledge of the world prompts many people to say “that’s silly” or “that’s wrong” or “that’s not practical” to inquiries of what’s beneath the sand in the sandbox, beyond the trees in the backyard, and behind the closet door. There is so much beauty and inspiration in this questioning, and it’s time we all find ways to return to this spirited investigation. The most brilliant minds the world has known - Da Vinci, Einstein, Galileo, Descartes - were brilliantly curious, and formulated revolutionary, unprecedented art, science, mathematics, and philosophy because of their curious spirits. Albert Einstein himself said “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

I recently took a leap into the unknown, deeply curious about what it would be like to follow my passion and leave behind my previously accepted status-quo. In doing so, my creativity has flourished. I’m struck by the beauty in daily life, landscapes, nature, and animals. I’m painting with broad, bold brush strokes using vibrant colors. I’m shying away from judgment and instead looking at daily life with an inquisitive spirit. I’ve opened my eyes and rekindled my childlike sense of wonder, and doing so, have cultivated my personal painting style, found inspiration in a broader variety of subjects, and delved into the immense possibility of artistic expression available to me. With a paintbrush in hand and curiosity awakened, my creativity has taken flight. I’m proud that this reflects in my work.

If you’re curious about similarly stimulating your curiosity and creativity, check back on my website for upcoming online and in-person painting sessions that will help you establish the fundamental building blocks of an exciting painting and further explore painting techniques together with a fearless mindset.

I hope this inspires you to ask a few extra questions today. You may be surprised by where that takes you.

Caryl Pomales