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Arts & crafts

Every child an artist?

(39 Posts)
Imperfect27 Wed 18-Oct-17 14:17:38

Picasso said: 'Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.'

This could be interpreted in all sorts of ways.

What the quote made me think of was when I worked in a nursery and children made things to take home. Typically a toddler would go rushing to mum/dad/gran waving their 'masterpiece.' Some works of art were greeted with enthusiasm and joy, some were sneered at and openly derided, some were ignored. For some children, I think this might be the start of losing faith in one's own creativity.

I have lost count of the number of adults who have said in my hearing ' I am not artistic' and yet their creativity can and does flourish, maybe not in paint and pencil work, but in so many other ways.

I do think we all have a natural creative spark, but it can be trodden down by others, albeit inadvertently. What do you think?

minimo Wed 18-Oct-17 14:27:26

I agree. We as adults are quite hard on ourselves, aren't we?
There is something wondrous about the possibilities open to you when you're young. And I think we often are the culprits in shutting our own doors, rather than others doing it for us - though that may be the case too of course.

trisher Wed 18-Oct-17 14:49:45

I agree and one of the things that prevents people using their creativity is that they feel they must produce a finished product of a certain standard. What should be emphasised is the creative process that benefits the whole person. It helps with so many things including depression. You may create something you want to keep but just creating something is so valuable

ninathenana Wed 18-Oct-17 15:41:39

Very true, I was always very enthusiastic about my children's
scribbles creative work. Sadly it didn't work, neither of them has an artistic bone in their bodies smile
My mum couldn't draw a matchstick man but could knit the most amazing garments and adapt patterns to her own liking.

Greyduster Wed 18-Oct-17 16:13:22

My DS was always very keen on painting and drawing. He was never going to be wonderful, but I encouraged him. However, when he was at school his art teacher derided his efforts and gave him little in the way of guidance, to the extent that he stopped trying altogether. DD was never interested in art, and neither, it appears, is my grandson, although we try and encourage him to draw and paint and never belittle his efforts. We keep them all. It has taken me the best part of ten years to get him to draw arms and legs that bend at the knees and elbows!! I remember my adult older brother being very artistic. He could draw very well, and he could fold paper into the most amazing geometric designs without a pattern of any kind. He was an engineer by trade. Perhaps that had something to do with it.

vampirequeen Wed 18-Oct-17 16:46:27

When I was 13 the art teacher at secondary school told me not to bother choosing Art in my options because I'd simply be wasting mine and her time.

I took that to heart and dismissed art and all things arty until I started my degree with the OU. The first year was a sort of introduction to all sorts course and two of the things were art history and understanding the processes involved. That's when I rediscovered art and realised that I might not be able to paint, draw or sculpt but I could appreciate it and understand how things like perspective work. I also understood how art developed. I was fascinated and hooked.

For over 20 years I'd written myself off and never went into an art gallery. Now I love galleries. I may not always understand it (just seen the Turner Prize exhibits in Hull and was very, very hmm) but that didn't matter. Other things in Feren's Art Gallery leaped out at me and I could relate to them.

I also take photographs. I may not be able to draw a flower but I can take brilliant (even if I say so myself grin)

Teachers and adults need to be so careful because one throw away comment can affect the child for years.

Daddima Wed 18-Oct-17 17:03:06

I’ve always said that if you go into a P.1 class and ask who can draw ( or sing!) nearly every hand in the class will be raised. Somewhere along the line this confidence is lost.

Iam64 Wed 18-Oct-17 18:06:03

I'm from a family of artists and at 11 was told by the art teacher my painting was awful. I'd so enjoyed painting my representation of a night star - yes I was so discouraged I stopped. I took to visiting art galleries in my 30's and developed a fascination with art and social history. If I ever did a degree in my dotage, I'd love to do that.
As for encouraging children, others may have seen comments from some 'experts' that we are reducing our children's ability to succeed and aspire by praising every thing they do. Humph
Children need us to be interested in their art work, to ask about it and praise something about it. We can all enjoy the arts throughout our lives. Good families and educational establishments encourage a love of the arts (unless of course, all the departments are being cut due to austerity)

BBbevan Wed 18-Oct-17 18:56:33

As someone who was an art teacher, I love the enthusiasm of children's art, and hope all schools and parents encourage and facilitate anything creative.

However there are many adults who believe they are artistic but are not. This does not really matter as their enjoyment is important.

Nelliemoser Wed 18-Oct-17 18:58:20

No certainly not me. I cannot draw well at all. Now may be I could be one of those artists that make paintings by splashing paint on canvas and selling it for millions .!!!

Nelliemoser Wed 18-Oct-17 19:11:26

I was told at school I was tone deaf by a teacher who set me, at 13, very shy and lacking in confidence, to a sing a song by themseleves in front of the class.
It took years to get over that. I have been in a choir for over 12 yrs now and my confidence is begining to build.

The first community choir conductor never did anything to getting us warmed up and breathing exercises which can really help you go for the right notes.
I would hope teachers now would do better.

newnanny Thu 19-Oct-17 10:06:40

First year into infant school we had to draw a picture and write sentence underneath. Teacher wanted to do wall display for patents evening. She cut my drawing off and another boys writing off keeping my writing and his drawing and pinned up on wall. My writing had my name on. I can remember trying to explain to parents who knew I could not draw how picture looked so good.

Maccyt1955 Thu 19-Oct-17 10:17:00

I am absolutely shocked that parents/grandparents would deride/make fun of/criticise a child's work of art.

To me that is child abuse. It is a denial of all the joy that child has put into their own creation.

If I were working in that environment this would signal a very worrying red flag for me.

radicalnan Thu 19-Oct-17 10:19:34

I took my children to galleries with me and told them that art was a way of explaining something, a special idea, to other people with a picture, or words, if it were poetry.........doesn't have to be proficient really, just a way of conveying a message. How pleased were we when Tracey Emmin and Banksy showed up.

Schools do tend towards the obvious when kids are young, expecting their art to be representative not emotional. We rather liked a yellow triangle painting called 'Saturday Morning' and a frozen chicken in some pants entitled 'Chicken Knickers' both at the Tate I think.......not sure what the school teacher would have thought if we'd done those in homework.

Nelliemaggs Thu 19-Oct-17 10:21:21

I do so agree Imperfect. My mother was talented and two of my three siblings but I struggled and still do to draw a circle that joins up. My pictures were dismissed as rubbish and I watched my much younger sibling constantly praised and her artwork carefully saved. School was no better and I was told my work was useless. Nobody ever discovered that I was quite good at modelling, no not that sort of modelling, the kind that enables me to make entertaining celebratory cakes but I still see myself as hopeless at 'art'. All my offspring are talented artists and appreciate what little I can do.

moobox Thu 19-Oct-17 10:24:35

I would say I have never had much of an artistic bent, and my photography is a bit straightjacketed compared to many, but it is still a creative hobby and I am doing well at it

rockgran Thu 19-Oct-17 10:53:44

As a young teacher I remember one mother collecting her small child who was wearing a mask he had made that day. Instead of pretending to be scared or not recognising him she just said - "Oh - your shoe lace is undone." Even I felt disappointed!

Rissybee Thu 19-Oct-17 11:28:42

Too often there is expectation that any painting or drawing should 'be' something. We ask 'what is it', or 'is that a tree/seaside/mummy?' For young children a painting is usually an experience - of colour, texture and movement. Its this expectation that makes us think we are rubbish at 'art' as we get older and stops us from having a go and enjoying the moment as we did when a small child. Its better to ask children about the colours, what they did, how they felt and, sometimes, and you will be surprised, what it was and what it became comes out of the discussion!

Soniah Thu 19-Oct-17 11:55:08

I am running an art holiday in Portugal this week and the students are varied in their experience but we are all enjoying sketching then experimenting back at the villa. I have run many classes and holidays over the years and have had many students who, on retirement, take up art and tell me they were told they were no good at school but had always harboured a desire to 'do some art' I think being creative in some form is a natural human response and sometimes it just needs a little encouragement to shine through. My students are using some leaves to print backgrounds with at the moment and enjoying themselves immensely, just give yourself permission to play and enjoy!

Sheilasue Thu 19-Oct-17 12:01:39

Well my gd is NOT artistic and have had many a cross word with her art teacher when she was at secondary school. We went on google to get help with certain drawings.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 19-Oct-17 12:12:31

I agree that it is shocking not to thank a child for something they have made and give you. We all have had countless gifts we did not know what to do with, but kept for years because some dear child had made it at kindergarten or school.

A realistic evaluation of someone's capabilities as an artist, musician, dancer or sportsman or woman is surely only necessary if a child is considering at senior school level whether they could make a career at whatever it is they love doing. Here it is sometimes sadly necessary to tell children or their parents that they are perhaps not quite good enough to make the grade.

This should be done as kindly and tactfully as possible. I have always tried to say something along the lines of it being very hard to make the grade in the artistic professions, but that anyone who really cannot visualize doing anything else and being happy at it, should at least see if they can get into the relevant college.

All school children in my professional opinion have quite a lot of things they are good at, and grown- ups talking to children choosing senior school subjects or careers should point out all the things they are good at, and what they could do with the subjects they are best at.

Smaller children should be encouraged to do the things that interest them; most will either loose interest in the things they are not really good at, or keep them on as hobbies and enjoy them all their lives.

Mamar2 Thu 19-Oct-17 12:25:55

My kitchen door is full of my GCs' pictures. I love & treasure them all. I failed my Art A level, told I'd never be 'good enough at art' but I enjoyed every picture I made. At 59yrs old I got destinction in Art & Design Hons degree.
Not only did the course include painting & drawing but also screen printing, textiles, ceramics, art history, lots of research/written work & art shows. I loved it & was worth the wait. Wish I could meet that art teacher now. (Smug look).

BRedhead59 Thu 19-Oct-17 13:20:01

My favourite original is a picture of me with a baby and a football inside me. When I enquired my three year old said "You keep saying the baby is kicking, he must have a football"
He is now 34 and the baby 30!

harrigran Thu 19-Oct-17 13:29:22

GD has always been a good little artist, started drawing before she could talk. She could draw horses at three which impressed me, I still can't.

Coconut Thu 19-Oct-17 13:33:42

I too have witnessed parents ridiculing their children’s work, the crushed and confused little faces are awful to see. Even if the work isn’t brilliant, the criticism should be constructive not destructive