I don’t know if Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso ever met in person. If they had met, that would have been some meeting. I can only imagine that out of the millions of subjects and topics they could have discussed, imagination and creativity would have been on the top of the list.
There are two quotes by Picasso and Einstein which have inspired and guided me during my years of working with young children.
The two quotes are:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” by Picasso, and “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” by Einstein.
I think the beauty in these two quotes is that Einstein actually answers the question Picasso asks. So how do you keep the artistic spark in a child? We try to teach children to trust their intuition, not be afraid to ask questions and to use imaginary play to explore the limits of the world around them. (My mother always said: he who asks a question may feel a fool for that moment, but he who does not ask…. remains ignorant!).
One way to try and achieve this goal is to engage with a child in a conversation which is based on questions. Inquire, then pause…let the child have the time and space to answer, which can open the door to his imagination and give him the confidence to keep exploring.
Knowledge is not the enemy of creativity. It is just the starting point.
Take what you know, trust your intuition, add some imagination and who knows where you will end up.