Yep, that's me, Pam Robbins, the founder of Purple Crayon, in one of my rare moments of complete, unadulterated play—something I don’t give myself permission to do very often. And something, as a life coach, I know I should do more.
That’s why I created Purple Crayon in 2017: to push myself to play—and to encourage other women to do the same.
A few years ago, I read the book, The Gift of Play: Why Adult Women Stop Playing and How to Start Again by Barbara Brannen. It opens with the quote: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
Brannen attributes the quote to C. Wyatt Runyon, but I’ve also seen it attributed to George Bernard Shaw. No matter. The point is, if we don’t allow ourselves to play, we literally lose a bit more of us each day. As Brannen says, "hidden in our play is the real person that we are.”
So why open Purple Crayon?
Because, when I’m piecing quilts or cutting glass, "my heart sings, my soul dances, and I feel fully satisfied, absorbed, and free"—Brannen’s definition of “play.”
But, before Purple Crayon, I didn’t have a good place to create, and, if given the choice, I’d rather create among, and sometimes with, other women.
I also knew I wasn’t alone. There are lots of female "hobby" artists out there who enjoy creating among or with other women, and we all need an inspiring place to play.
I started envisioning some kind-of communal "sandbox," and Purple Crayon was the result!
And the name?
Anything that makes your heart sing and your soul dance, and makes you feel fully satisfied, absorbed, and free.
“Purple Crayon” is also the name of a popular 1955 children’s book by Crockett Johnson: Harold and the Purple Crayon. The protagonist, Harold, is a curious four-year-old boy who, with his purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it.
Like Harold, I believe we can manifest anything we want just by imagining it. To hear your little voice—the one that tells you what you want—however, you have to have the tools and courage to listen.
Purple Crayon gives you that support. Simply choose a medium of expression and show up. It's that easy.
So, what are you waiting for? Come play with us!