My parents recognized I was an artist when I was in first grade after I drew a picture from the book titled The Poky Little Puppy.
Neither of my parents were artists. So how did I become a great artist?
First of all, your child needs to have some desire to become an artist. My son Hyrum reminded me of this because he is an artist, not because I am an artist. He enjoys art and he does it on his own.
Desire is key!
This is sad, but true.
Even though a child has talent, that doesn't mean they will pursue their talent.
As a parent you can not give your child desire, but you can create an environment that makes it easier for their talent to grow.
Here are 5 of my top 10 tips of advice for parents of budding artists.
#1 - Train your child to work. Artists work and they have grit!
If you're child can work, they can become an artist.
If your child can take an overwhelming job like a dirty kitchen, bathroom, or playroom from chaos to order, they can become a great artist because art takes discipline and mastery.
How does one train a child to work?
When they are 3-5 years old they think doing jobs with their parent or older sibling is a game.
Work with the child doing simple things like folding small rags, sorting laundry, unloading the dishwasher, etc. Most parents baby their children and do way too much for them because it's time-consuming to teach children to work.
Training children to work will pay rich dividends. It's raising your child "Hard, Easy" instead of "Easy, hard."
I paid a neighborhood girl $10.00 a week to clean my bathrooms, mop the floors, and fold and put away the laundry with me on Tuesday afternoons so I could have the "emotional strength" to work with little children training them to do simple jobs like peeling carrots, cooking, cleaning, etc. Sometimes working with them is fun and it is best done one on one, but sometimes one feels like you are beating your head against a brick wall to get them trained.
I spent 61% of my energy each day training my children. Now they are amazing teenagers who can work! It's worth it!
As they get older don't be afraid to give them harder jobs - I always ask myself - is this job at least as hard as milking a cow night and morning. If it isn't - keep adding jobs so you can raise a child with grit.
Artists have grit.
#2 - As the parent pursue your own goals and dreams.
So many parents worry and encouraging their child to pursue their talents.
"Do you as a parent pursue your own talents?"
Becoming a parent, is a very time consuming task but it's important to pursue some hobbies and "sharpen the saw" as Steven Covey would say to keep yourself excited about life and to fill your bucket.
Actions speak louder than words!
My dad inspired me by pursuing his talent of running a 5K during one of the lowest points in his life! He had huge financial reversals, he was very sick and not sleeping for months. He ran a Santa 5K Run after preparing for 90 days. He said he couldn't have done it without my little brother and sister running beside him. He said that they were like angels running beside him giving him wind beneath his wings! My mom and my 8 other siblings were also cheering him on! He's an inspiration!
If you as a parent can pursue a talent or hobby and still be a great parent, that will inspire your child to go for their dreams as well!
During the same time that my dad was preparing to run the 5K, my mom decided to accomplish her dream of creating a paper doll quilt. She had always loved paper dolls, quilting and decorating her home around the monthly holiday.
So she created a paper doll quilt on cloth where she can dress the doll each month! I drew and colored it for her and she sewed it together! Each month she changes Gracie Mae's clothes and she is so happy that she accomplished her goal!
Even if your talent is something simple like reading - read books and share your passion with your children so they know you enjoy it!
#3 - Give your children, grandchildren and neighbor children art supplies for their birthdays, Christmas and rewards.
I didn't realize that I wanted art supplies because I always got dolls and they were beautiful and fun for awhile.
But my jaw would drop and I would practically be drooling when I saw some child get an art set for Christmas. I didn't realize how bad I wanted it, so give your children art supplies and lots of white paper so they can create!
Another tip: If you give a child an art set - get it out of the case it comes in and put it in a handy travel bag so it doesn't look like a shiny museum piece but actually a usable art tool instead!
#4 - Encourage your child to fill sketchbooks and help them limit their time on electronics.
Teach them to always carry a sketchbook so they can draw on the bus, at the doctor's office, at school, while waiting for their piano lessons or for you to pick them up instead of playing on a phone.
Warn your children about the dangers of pornography so they don't waste their life in time-wasters and sleaze. A great site is to help you teach your child to avoid pornography is https://protectyoungminds.org/
Back when I was a kid I watched so much tv and played so many video games that it really bugged me, but it didn't change me.
I wish my parents would have encouraged me to draw or do something else with my time. Figure drawing is super important, but the figure can be learned with swimsuits on and from good resources. Learn from art books, Youtube, coloring books, comics, etc.
When I was in college studying art one of the students was a very advanced draftsmen. I asked him how he was so good at figure drawing and faces, etc. He went to his desk and brought back 10 sketchbooks and slammed them down on the desk.
It made a great impression on me.
He had filled 10 sketchbooks and that's why he was such a good artist!
Wow! I started sketching more after that!
Always carry a sketch bag or sketchbook because life is made up of lots of carpe diems - lots of little moments to seize the day!
#5 - Take your children places.
Take your children on trips to see nature like Yellowstone, National Parks, the ocean, lakes, mountains, and sand dunes.
Take them to art museums and any kind of museum so they have visually rich inventory to pull from later in life.
Especially take them to the library to get books they like, fairy tales, picture books, artist biographies for children.
Guess what? Books have lots of art inside!
The next 5 tips will be coming next week! So stay tuned! Good luck inspring your children! You can do it!
The Color Dancer