This is my own drawing of Mitchel Resnick’s Creative Learning Spiral from his book Lifelong Kindergarten. It is an illustration of how kindergarteners learn, which, according to Resnick is also how all human beings, regardless of age, should learn.
I tried reflecting on the spiral and comparing it to my own daily creative routine, and this is what I came up with:
In my drawing, I included when the phases usually happen (morning, afternoon, evening) as well as specific activities I do under each phase. What I realized from drawing my own spiral is that I don’t necessarily follow the order of Resnick’s phases, but they are definitely there. I usually imagine when I consume and engage with inspirations (books, articles, movies, songs, etc.). Almost immediately, especially with translation, I am able to create—to write something that is my own.
Play is usually separate from creation as I use it as a form of recreation (i.e., rest from the act of creation). Recently, I’ve been trying to incorporate play in my creative process itself by allowing myself to tinker around and follow where my interest will bring me. I’ve also tried experimenting with art forms that are intentionally meant to surprise the artist like blind contour drawings and newspaper blackout poetry.
I share through this blog, my newsletter, and social media. But sometimes, I just share with my close friends. And I reflect when I go back to my journal entries, revisit old or recent blog posts, and list my highlights of the month and year so I can review what I have paid attention to.
That admin part of my spiral is a reminder that I am old. There are things I need to do to function in the adult world as I do my best to continue living as a lifelong kindergartener.