I cannot say enough that art is not an age thing. At least, the children have nothing to worry about in this regard. That might not be so very true for adults. At the very least, children’s art must never be overlooked; it is the adult artists who are lagging behind in that race.
Children have amazing gifts of unbridled intuition, enthusiasm, and imagination. I have taught many, many incredible children. In fact, every time I am ready to just give up on life, God loans me another prodigy to be my art student. I am in the process of creating KidZite to give back to the communities who have always provided me with fabulous students and their families. That site [KidZite, i.e. Kid’s Site, get it?] http://kidzite.wordpress.com is long from being ready for prime time; but it is coming. You might like to see more about my children’s programs at my e-portfolio:
I cannot urge parents enough to find true artists who can teach art to their children and to do that while their children are still that, children. The problem is to find the correct teacher. A poor art teacher can be devastating. As I have said before, many who teach art are not artists themselves. They have no vision, no understanding, and no empathy for a child’s true gifts. Instead, they push accuracy too much and not vision enough.
I can honestly say [and I do so at least once a week now] that if a child is not in a quality art program by the end of the second grade, his chances of becoming and/or remaining an artist becomes very dim. School, Nasty “Friends,” Social Pressure, Looking at Bad Adult Art and Wanting to Be Just Like That, etc., kills that.
One might argue that they don’t want their children to be “artists,” thinking of the title in its narrowest form, as a group of Bohemians who waste money on art supplies. Let me say again and again and again: Being an artist is not necessarily that of being a painter or the like. Being an artist is a way of Being–of Becoming Aware–of Increasing from Within–of Wondering–and of Inventing Because of. The greatest challenge to becoming an artist is that of remaining childlike–at least from within; and in this cold, relentless world, a child needs a great deal of encouragement and coaching to be able to retain his spirit and energy.
For those who might wonder why I continue to teach children, I am happy to say that it is because I love it–every time one of them walks through my door, they bring their pixie dust with them. They help me keep my inner child intact. I also have done it for such a very long time that I have finally figured it out. It would be a waste to stop now.
I am not teasing when I say that doing your daily art thing is as important for children as is brushing their teeth–perhaps more.
I wrote one of my masters theses on William Blake who wrote The Songs of Innocence and Experience, among many other much more complex works. His treatise was [as has always been mine] that the child is superior until maturity dims childhood’s brilliance and honesty.
One of the primary aims of my program is to find and preserve that child within–for that is where the artist resides.
“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.” – Aristotle