by MICHAELA CHAMBLEE//Staff Writer
A lot of people think they have creativity when creating art, but it could just be that they have talent.
Simón Silva is one of 11 children in a family of farmers. He grew up as a migrant student and relied heavily on his artistic skills and interest to cope with what he says was a difficult childhood. Silva was born in Mexicali, Mexico in 1961, and came to the United States when he was a little more then a year old. He worked to earn money to pay for his college tuition and graduated from the prestigious Art Center of Design in California with a bachelor’s degree in Art.
“Going to school was really all I had,” said Silva. “I didn’t want to be at home, and school was my outlet.”
Silva was the keynote speaker for a workshop presented by the Title V Access and success program on Oct. 27 at the Reese Center campus. Silva is a creativity crusader, author, and speaker from California who travels around the country presenting workshops for educators, students, parents, and business people.
“In the world today,” said Silva, “there is renewed interest in the term, “creativity.” It is no longer a word reserved exclusively for artists, musicians, or scientists. Ushering in a new era of education, the word “creativity” is being heralded as an essential 21st century skill.”
After explaining his childhood in his presentation, Silva asked the audience what art is. To him, art is a way of life, an experience journey, a unique universal language, about communication, something that can take us to a place where we need to go, about inspiration, about answering questions, something that can make us more human, giving voice to the ignored, respect, making good decisions, trying to explain the unexplainable, and a way to develop our sense of purpose and direction.
“Children have more imagination,” said Silva. “Therefore, they have more creativity. A child doesn’t see things as they are. They may draw a horse with six legs, rather than four. Someone who has lost their imagination will just draw a regular person, and that is talent.”
Silva wrote a book titled ‘Cultivate a Creative Mind’ that offers ways to nurture creativity and help find hidden abilities and talents by guiding back to creative confidence.
“Teachers use this book as a way to allow their students to get a better idea of how to use their creativity,” said Silva. “Some teachers have even written to me about how their students were able to find their creative mind again after reading my book.”
During the presentation at the Reese Center campus, Silva explained why children have a more creative mind than teenagers and adults. He explained the different things that children don’t have in their minds, such as failure, doubt, time, rules, and mistakes. He also explained what children have in their minds, such as individuality, color, freedom, imagination, and curiosity.
“Instead of asking children what they want to be when they grow up,” said Silva, “we should be asking them how many things do they want to be when they grow up. Because, in today’s society, there are more than one thing a person can be.”