Monday, August 25, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box

"Thinking Outside the Box". We hear this all of the time, but what does it really mean?

My mother used to ask me, "If all of your friends jumped of a cliff, would you do it too?"

"No, of course not" I would tell her.

"Good, then you are thinking for yourself".

Now this is certainly an extreme oversimplification of the situation (I was probably 7 or 8), but you catch the drift. Use your head, don't do something just because everyone else is doing it, seek unique ways of solving old problems. If you have to get down that cliff to get home, don't jump just because everyone else is doing it, build yourself a sled, or a parachute, or a glider. You'll still get there, just with less damage, and less damage is good. You'll stand out from the crowd because you'll be the only one that isn't bleeding.

You might remember my youngest son from "The Lost Rolls". Well, he turned four this spring. He goes to the library once a week to hang out with all of the other kids in town that are too young still for school, but enjoy the thrill of a well written story about a fire truck. They also do a weekly art project.

A few weeks ago, the teacher had all of the children sit around and mix up a batch of plaster. The kids mixed handfuls of dirt into the plaster to make it look like wet dirt. Handfuls of the muddy compound were scooped out and formed into flat circles as the base for that weeks project. There were boxes of assorted sticks, rocks, and bark that the young artists were instructed to press into the mud to create their masterpieces. Rocks were pressed in as eyes, sticks became mouths, and bark became hair and ears. Some kids made other types of two dimensional art, using the natural materials to create some very impressive designs in the mud.

When I finally saw my sons piece, my jaw literally dropped. He saw what everyone else was doing and decided to go another direction.

Good job son, you are thinking for yourself.

Scott bulger Photography Blog
He calls it his "forest".


Unknown said...

I taught elementary school for several years and I loved when my students would create awesome things. This is definitely awesome! I love it. Such talent!!

Barbara from MS

Anonymous said...

Wow! When is he opening his Etsy shop?:)
Isn't it the greatest feeling, when you know that you've given them the confidence to do their own thing!

formfireglassworks said...

Wonderful - you should be immensely proud!

Anonymous said...

He's going to be like his dad! :=) I'm so sorry I haven't been by in a while. I've been trying to at least leave comments if I see someone has added new photos.

Your son is blessed with a great dad!

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

May he hold onto that mode of thinking for the rest of his years! : ) S

Anonymous said...

obviously an independent thinker - which is no bad thing!

Anonymous said...

How proud you must be! Looks like you may have a future artist in your home.

Scout, my 4 year old, has really gotten into drawing lately. I have been so impressed with her so I know how you feel. All of my children were given a special gift for the arts.

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

As for thinking outside the box, I feel like I have done that since early childhood and I hope that I never loose it. Hopefully your son won't either!


Did you expect anything less? An artist is born! Architecture perhaps?

Will Michael Photography said...

Truly awesome! Really and truly. It's a masterpiece.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

I'm impressed by his work and your beautiful photograph of his work - a wonderful combination.

Crash said...

He is quite the little artist. It's encouraging to see that in younger people. :) You must be proud, Dad.

Waterrose said...

That is great...hope you have that in a place of prominence...looks like the next budding artist!

Sherry said...

"outside of the box", my kind of guy!

I love your new logo.

Inklings and Imprints said...

wow - wonderful!

kim* said...

i like this one. its very different.

Anonymous said...

My gawd, this looks like something you would seen in the finest NY galleries. I can hardly believe it. I was stunned. I was scrolling down looking at all you truly intimate and remarkable photography tht you've done and when I saw this I stopped dead in my tracks and thought, "Oh my gawd what an amazing sculpture!" (And I had not yet read the story about your son and the school project). Boy, we not only miss what is all around us (I feel the same about that as you do), but we miss how truly truly brilliant children are. They ALL have amazing's just a matter of whether adults have the ability to see those gifts in children. AND to top it off, if adults don't even see the ASTOUNDING world around them, how the heck are they going to see anything remarkable in children? They don't. So I bow to you for not only seeing the world but for seeing the world in your child. Bless you! Robin

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