Every Child is an Artist

“Every child is an artist. The prob­lem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~ Pablo Picasso

Art
Pho­bia.…many adults have it, but it doesn’t seem to be some­thing we’re born with. Have you ever seen a three year old intim­i­dated by a big piece of white paper and a huge brush loaded with gloppy paint??? Art Pho­bia appears to be an acquired defi­ciency, some­thing we pick up some­where between bliss­ful child­hood inno­cence and an over-active adult self-awareness. Thank­fully, a fear of express­ing your­self through Art doesn’t strike every­one, but for those who are most sus­cep­ti­ble it often begins to rear it’s ugly head some­where around third grade. So, the ques­tion is, “How do we keep this mon­ster at bay?”

Unfor­tu­nately, there’s no easy answer. Entire books have been writ­ten on the sub­ject of art and fear, but here are a few ideas.…

Teach Art early and teach it often! Con­sis­tent art instruc­tion from an early age pro­vides a good foun­da­tion for build­ing self-confidence. An encour­ag­ing and non judg­men­tal envi­ron­ment is also a must. And since efforts at achiev­ing “real­ism” can be a source of great frus­tra­tion for a young artist, projects that are more abstract in nature are a good place to start until more con­fi­dence is gained. Devel­op­ing in your stu­dents a will­ing­ness to embrace mis­takes and a tol­er­ance for uncer­tainty are also help­ful in avoid­ing this pit­fall. If you have other ideas, please feel free to share them in the com­ment section! I’ll end with another great quote.…this one by artist and teacher Howard Ike­moto.

When my daugh­ter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her that I worked at the col­lege — that my job was to teach peo­ple how to draw. She stared back at me, incred­u­lous, and said, ‘You mean they for­get?”

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3 Responses to Every Child is an Artist

  1. Anonymous August 31, 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    Cheryl, This is a very good post. I very proud of you!! You are the best! Roy

  2. erica August 31, 2008 at 11:11 pm #

    First– Roy’s com­ment is the cutest.

    Sec­ond– I love that quote & I think it’s so funny that we both used the same one!

    Third– I LOVE your blog. I think it’s so, so great that you’re doing this! God made us to be cre­ative beings … both as kids and as adults … I wish more peo­ple embraced their creativity.

    xoxo.

  3. Anonymous September 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Okay…I admit I have Art Pho­bia. But I don’t have Cre­ativ­ity Pho­bia!!! I do feel God’s plea­sure when I cre­ate. Thank God for mak­ing us cre­ative beings! You are amaz­ing. Wish I had just one ounce of your teach­ing abil­ity. jb

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