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Young Writers Project: Spill The Paint

Audrey Dawson, a sophomore at Essex High School, says the inspiration for this piece came from a prompt: What does color outside the lines mean to you? “It made me think about how imaginative thinkers and those who don't conform are often outsiders, but there is power in imagination. The results of "outside the box" type thinking are limitless! Also, I included the coloring book imagery because for a child, coloring books limit creativity.”

Spill the Paint
By Audrey Dawson
Grade Ten, Essex High School

When we're given coloring books,
we're told to fill the pictures with meticulous strokes;
we're ridiculed for unrealistic colors,
skies are blue,
sunflowers are yellow,
and grass is green.
Don’t let imagination get in the way of reality.
Don’t scribble like a 2-year-old.

But when those black barriers
were broken by uncoordinated hands,
unique masterpieces were created.

So, spill the paint
and smear your fingers and toes with color.

Walk away from the restrictions
and leave your own colorful path on the pages.
Walk where you will;
create a life, an art, that is your own.

Your world doesn’t have to mimic the picture on the cover.
Make the sky green and the sunflowers purple.

Learn more about the Young Writers Project.

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