My daughter is an artist. I realized it for the first time when she was around nine months old – at a drop-in play school class she crawled to an easel, pulled herself up, and started to draw. So far, she hasn’t stopped.
Most days her bedroom, her desk, the playroom and our dining room are filled with the parts and pieces of her works in progress. It grows like a giant mystery collage, encompassing every item that catches her eye. (Nothing is worthless-everything is art.) Shiny tinsel scraps, crumpled receipts, coins, plastic hair curlers, eye droppers, popcorn chips, ticket stubs … If you put it down at our house it is fair game for “mixed media”. Be careful.
For parenting an artistic child – allow for opportunities to create, to explore, to experiment… But give structure and technical support too. Creativity and passion combined with technique and skill have the opportunity to really make something amazing…
Wax pencil crayon and water colour crayons, age 5
Acrylic paint on canvas, age 6
Acrylic on canvas, age 5
Wax pencil crayon on card stock, age 6
Mixed card and ink (plus amazing message…), age 6
Every child has a gift, a talent, a desire to create. Children learn by doing! My lessons from parenting this little one have led me to wonder and learn about creativity in all of us. What can I learn from this uninhibited spirit who lives to make?
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” (Scott Adams)
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” (Thomas Merton)
My daughter (the artist) has no filter. She holds multiple thoughts in her mind and swirls them around until they become something completely new in recombination- sometimes amazing, sometimes ridiculous, but always new. Psychologists call this skill “cognitive disinhibition.” It is the ability to entertain many and various ideas simultaneously, allowing for the possibility of discovering new combinations or unusual strategies due partly to the volume of inspiration/information available in the working memory. Wow! Kids can do this? Kids can do this. As Picasso observed, it is “grown ups” who have lost the ability. Today’s challenge is to create like a child: open your mind, let go of your inhibitions and listen to your inner voice… Ready? Follow your dreams.
“I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.” (Vincent Van Gogh)
Watercolour, age 7