I get such a buzz from seeing children’s art! It’s fresh, gestural and honest. Young kids create without judgement, relishing their own expression as instinctual image-makers - creating art like we breathe or eat - a natural and imperative part of their daily lives. They use colour and line intuitively, with clarity of vision and confidence.
Art is a fantastically versatile non-verbal language that people of any age, even toddlers, can use to communicate successfully. Thoughts and feelings that might otherwise remain internalised can be expressed, giving rise to pleasure, relief from frustration and greater self-assurance.
Images give substance to an artist’s dreams or imaginings. As your child makes a picture she needs to pay close attention to the world – gathering and recalling information. She is constantly learning about herself through a rich variety of tactile and sensory experiences.
But do you really understand what motivates your child’s art?
One thing is certain – like all kids, he cares a great deal about realism.
Prior to the age of seven or eight, kids draw what they know, rather than what they observe (intellectual realism). As they mature they become more interested in visual realism, which is the realistic appearance of the subject in their art. This is a particularly challenging turning point. Without encouragement and skill development most people lose confidence to create art at this early age and carry that negative self-belief into adulthood.
Perhaps you can identify with this experience?
Your child will feel in control and successful when you show him that his personal expression is always valuable. Your thoughtful acknowledgement will grow his self-esteem and willingness to embrace new challenges.
Do you know how to do that? Do you know which words and actions to use?
In my next article I will explain why your well intentioned “I love that!” or “Awesome” are exactly the wrong things to say!
Feel free to send me an email with any burning questions, if you can’t wait…