At a recent potluck party, I heard somebody say, “Don’t yuck my yum” and I haven’t been able to get over it since. And while it was about food (the answer I suppose, to “You’re going to eat that?!”), I immediately saw it in a wider context. It’s beautiful . . . it has everything I believe good art should have: somehow appealing, readily understandable, yet with layered meaning and reminds us that we can think for ourselves. It’s a gem.
And even though it’s actually about food, it can just as easily be about art, or music, or hiking, or pretty much anything else. And maybe we shouldn’t even try to distinguish art from food or any of the aforementioned categories (now there’s a mouthful).
Don’t yuck my yum = don’t rain on my parade: if I’m grooving on something, be it food, or a movie or a piece of art, just let me revel in the relish. But why? What’s the big deal about just piping up if you don’t like something?
Well, according to creativity research, it is very much a big deal: nay saying of the too early and too hearty variety can pollute the creative climate. It can be like putting on the brakes before the engine even gets into motion. Putting the kibosh on the subject at hand can sully enthusiasm, which is often all too elusive to muster in the first place.
Of course this doesn’t mean that no one can ever dislike something or venture a criticism. It just means that there’s a time, a place, and a way to express those opinions. It’s a call to take seriously the sacred nature of passion and what I like to call “the fragility of zest.”
Melanie Rothschild is a self-taught artist whose elaborate interior accessories have been sold in stores throughout the United States including Neiman-Marcus, the shops at the Smithsonian Institution, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and hundreds of others for almost two decades. Her work is shown in fine art galleries and has been licensed to Target. She considers moxie, an irreverent nature, and a respect for mistake-making to be the tools of her trade. Melanie has a master’s degree in the Study of Creativity and an undergrad degree in Anthropology. She is from and lives in Los Angeles. “Like” Melanie on Facebook today!
You might also enjoy celebrating happy accidents in Diana Trout’s book Journal Spilling.
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