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How to Grow a Budding Artist

Nov 7, 2007
My kids are artists and they know it. I'm not saying that they make "mature" art, or that they are much more talented than other children. What I am saying is that I've fostered a belief and a desire within them. What I've fostered in my children is a belief that they are artists, and I've helped them find a desire within themselves to create. I'm also saying that my kids love to create and they love their creations. In my line of work they are considered "budding artists."

My "line of work" is varied but it centers on helping children discover what makes them special and unique. In my line of work I've learned that what a child creates is an extension of them, so it should be affirmed and celebrated. I am a mother, artist and a teacher who has learned the importance of allowing creative energies to flow. I also understand how valuable it is to create an environment for creative discovery and exploration.

What I do with kids flows from what I have learned about my own creativity. I have learned that I became an artist not only because I was a creative child, but also because I was influenced by people who brought forth my creativity. Today, everything I do with kids is an effort to bring forth their creativity. I want children to know how special and unique they are. I want them to know what I have learned to be true: inside everyone is a creative spirit that waits to be released.

My interest in encouraging, affirming and celebrating the creativity of young people has a long history. This interest was ignited as I studied to become an art educator in my young adulthood. Later, I continued my study of education in graduate school, where I continued to learn about the ways to draw out a child's creative spirit. My passion for a child's creative development, although, has its real roots in my own childhood. When I was a child I made art that was encouraged, affirmed and celebrated. It's why I'm an artist today, and it's why I want to bring young people the joy of creating. Creating has been a lifelong blessing for me, so I am eager to pass the torch of creativity to the younger generations.

I've often been asked, "What can I do to make a child a budding artist?" The answer to this question is two fold. First, you must make an environment for creativity to be explored. Then, you affirm what is special and unique about what is created. What results is a child who knows that what they make is of value. What you now have is a "budding artist."

If you decide that you want to bring forth a child's creativity, you can begin by making an environment for their creativity to be explored. How you create this environment is pretty simple. All you really need to do is provide a child with a lot of art materials and then give them a place to use those materials. A box of buttons, a needle and thread, some leftover fabric scraps, a pad of good drawing paper and some markers make a veritable artist's playground. Add a kid's easel and a child art desk to the mix, and you've just about got the right recipe for artist making. All you need to add now is your own encouragement and enthusiasm for what is brought forth!

I have learned that careful consideration should be given to the selection of a kid's art easel, or an art desk, for a child. My experience has shown me that an easel, or art desk, that makes a child feel like an artist is a fantastic investment. An attractive, kid appealing, practical child easel, or child art desk, really gets the creative juices of a "budding artist" flowing. You might not even need to tell a child that they're an artist if you provide the right environment. In fact, after you see the latest creation someone just might inform you that they're the next Picasso!

My last suggestion for bringing forth the "budding artist" is tolerance. This is especially important when it comes to the tolerance of mess. The creative process is messy especially when the creator is a kid. That's why you want to be strategic when you give your child a space, and the supplies, to create. Don't put your child's easel in the dining room unless you can handle paint marks on the carpet! My children have a great art area within the office of our basement. The floor in there is linoleum (good for spills and leaks), there's plenty of good lighting, it's spacious and the mess is tucked out of our main living (so I don't have to constantly look at it!). I'm ready for a mess to be made in the art area and I'm prepared to tolerate it. This leaves my kids free to explore and explode with creativity!

Bring forth a child's creativity. Let a child know how special and unique they are. You'll discover that inside each and every child is a creative spirit that waits to be released!
About the Author
Alisa E. Clark, an educator for over 10 years with a Master's Degree in Reading Education, reviews and consults with companies and schools districts about the latest tools and programs to enhance student learning. Her web site is at http://www.indoorplayhouse.com.
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