Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso

Creativity is something that needs to be nurtured and prodded into being. But it is also something that everyone can have.  Why is it that some children think they can't be creative?  When did realistic drawing become the only "good" drawing?  Obviously it is not, or people like Mondrian and Jackson Pollack would never have become famous.  But it is something children too often believe.  

 Peter Reynolds has an excellent book entitled "The Dot".  In it, a little girl doesn't think she can draw.  Her teacher encourages her to just make a mark, so she does.  It's one small dot on the page.  Then this brilliant educator tells her to sign her work and proceeds to post the drawing on the wall.  This encourages the student into believing she is creative.

As an art teacher, I never understood the concept of writing your name on the back of your work.  You should always sign the front.  Be proud of the effort, even if you are not satisfied with the result.  I can guarantee that most artists are seldom 100% satisfied with their work.

Children can see the art in everything, up until their vision is discounted. Is there something adults say to them to squash their notions of expression?    

So, take my word for it:  Art does not equal realistic drawings.  While they may be art, there are so many other things that are also art.  Take a look at your grandmother's quilt.  Check out the weaving of an oriental rug.  Look at the pattern on your china.  Closely examine a piece of handmade paper. But creativity is not just in producing things that may be considered works of art either. See the shapes in the clouds and the colors in the morning sky.  Compare two stones from the stream to see their likes and differences.  Creativity is in your mind's eye.  Creativity comes in appreciating the unique qualities of things, including a child's crayon drawing. 

No comments: