How to Enjoy Art Like a Child

An "almost twelve" year old creates some stunning drawings in the Colored Pencil Drawing Class
An “almost twelve-year-old” creates some stunning drawings in the Colored Pencil Drawing Class

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

We are so creative as children, and then we grow up.  We become fearful of not measuring up.  We get discouraged by the sometimes thoughtless comments of others.  We lose our sense of wonder and enjoyment of the creative process.  How can we turn back the time-table and create as a child does?  Here are a few tips:

  • Have an “I am still learning” attitude.  If we think we have to attain a certain level of expertise with a project simply because we are older we will disappoint ourselves if the outcome isn’t what we would have hoped.  Then again, if we decide that every art project is an opportunity to learn, we will “win” no matter what the project looks like.
  • Reconsider “The Rules“.  When we are young we learn that tree leaves are green, trunks are brown and the sky is blue.  We stop looking.  Consider dropping those “rules” are really look at the subject you are trying to recreate on paper or canvas.  What colors do you really see?  Light and shadow bring all kinds of hues into a scene.  Forget your preconceived notions and see with fresh eyes.
  • Enjoy the process.  Let perfectionism go out the window.  Rediscover how cool it is to mix colors around on a palette or experiment with trying to address the artwork from a different angle.
  • Compete with yourself.  Only.  There will always be better artists around us.  Be humble.  Our goal is to improve and learn, building upon our last work.  If we do better than our last attempt, celebrate!
  • Try something new.  Get out of the rut.
  • Do some dreaming.  Look up artwork you admire on the internet or in art books and dream about artistic possibilities for yourself.  What would it take for you to accomplish the kind of art of which you dream?  Need to take a class?  Talk with an artist you admire?  Do some research?  Be inspired by great works of art and allow that influence to become a part of your art story.

We can learn much from children.  Children have a sense of wonder, a trusting attitude, a concrete faith and sweet innocence of the world around them that is reflected in their artwork.  In a society that belittled children, Jesus said:

Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:3-4

The Painting entitled "Jesus Blessing the...
The Painting entitled “Jesus Blessing the Children” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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