I watched a TV program this morning about infants and very young children (up to 4-5) having most of the parts of their brains active (as if everything stimulates them) while adults have reduced areas of their brains active (and consequently, are stimulated by a narrower band of triggers). This change seems to begin as young children become self-aware and create their own self-narrative of "I" in time-space. At that point, they begin a process of 'forgetting' any expanded consciousness they may have demonstrated or experienced during their younger ages.
This made think about how artists are challenged to "play" with their mediums to enhance their creativity, jump-start it, or simply explore their world through their art as if they were seeing it through the eyes a child (e.g. seeing something for the first time). It seems when we do that, there is an intrinsic freedom felt to explore trying things we might not normally try or a release from the limitations that we've developed in our art-making. What is it about seeing as a child that frees us in our art? How do we categorize the type of art that we make when we believe that we've created it from a child-like place? Those times I've done so, there has been the use of rudimentary shapes in the work, no fear in using non-traditional materials and techniques, and an overall sense of fun and folly in creating and appreciating the work.
Do you see and feel a difference in the art you produce when you feel you have 'played' versus the art you've made when you feel you haven't? Can you describe that difference and where you think it comes from?