Give any child playdough and watch them make shapes out of it. They will use their imagination and artistic instincts to create a world of their own. Children will try to imitate the world around them through their unskilled hands. Materials like paper, scissors, and paint boost artistic impulses in children. Children find art fascinating in several ways; they have feelings that cannot be shared through verbal or written language. Art acts as an external expression of these feelings.
As a child grows in age, society starts to impose limitations; behaving in a certain way, proper language, what one should and should not do. While the rules seem to bring order to a chaotic world, they also end up diminishing a child’s creative thought.
With the passage of time, a child’s imagination begins to give in to intellect. Situations push them to think from the brain instead of the heart. Feelings give way to knowledge. As they begin to concentrate on school assignments and meet expectations laid out by parents, they miss out on self-exploration.
They stop exploring artistically. But society fails to completely squash the artist in all children, leaving remnants of creativity and the appreciation for art lingers on. The divine heritage that children inherit from nature should be encouraged in order keep the artist alive and prospering.
The popular myth that “artists are born, not made” is not true. Every child is an artist and has a passion for art. But art does not exist in isolation, it needs to be shared and expressed for others to see, especially in children who look to their parents for encouragement. An artist needs to acquire skills to use the tools and media to produce art that replicates the forms they see within their minds. Skills like painting, pottery, sculpting are acquired through practice. They can certainly be taught to anyone with a vision in their head.
Take the case of singing sensation Elvis Presley for example. He suffered from stage fright during childhood and underperformed at events. He also scored a C- in eighth-grade music class. However, he never lost his love for music and kept practicing to perfection. Or Pablo Picasso who was encouraged by his father to paint at an early age and become one of the world’s most celebrated artists.
For parents, it is important to nurture a child’s artistic side as much as any other element of their being. Especially for a parent who themselves have lost connection with their own creativity, they might mistakenly look at art as useless and not having a role in preparing a child for adulthood. But nothing could be further from the truth; art gives children a channel of communication, a way to express their thoughts long before speed and writing skills are
adequately developed. Art turns children into adults who know how to communicate their thoughts to others and fosters creativity that can be used anywhere from the boardroom to the classroom helping other children express themselves through art.