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This article is written by Ann Strecko Koeman
I believe that children need to be encouraged in what ever they want to do, as long as no harm is caused. It is a fundamental philosophy that I hold stead fast to and share with whom ever comes my way. Even more so when I am approached by an adult with irrational concerns about a child pursuing anything creative. What I mean is that too often I have heard a concerned adult, sometimes a parent or relative of a child who is concerned that the child in question has declared that they want to be an artist when they grow up. I usually respond with delight and may even say how nice that is. Sometimes the conversation takes, what I call, a negative turn as you see the said concerned adult thinks that the child is being foolish or irresponsible.
Now when that child is of pre school age I like to remind the parent that there is plenty of time for the youngster to explore many interests and that it is great if they can feel supported. If the child is of school age I still say the same thing but will ask if this is something the child is seriously thinking about, and if so what is that adult doing to support the child. Well, sometimes that is not what that adult wants to hear from me! In such instances that adult is looking to me to admitting defeat. In other words, I am expected to say something like: “Oh no don’t let any child grow up to be one of those starving artsy types.” But, I won’t, and I can’t. Here is what I prefer to say:
So your child has declared they want to become an artist when they grow up. Fantastic! Have you talked with them to understand what causes them to say this? Is this something they are serious about? Do they have any questions? Are they interested in developing their creative abilities in order to help them in becoming better in their chosen field? You know, being creative has a lot of value in many fields of work and professions.
Not all students of the Arts choose to work full time and gain employment as a painter or sculptor! Sometimes studying the Arts is adjunct to studying in other fields of interest, such as law, business, medicine, teaching, etc. Did you also know that the majority of University and Post Graduate graduates of Arts Programs are employed full time? Did you also know that of that group the majority are working directly in a creative work environment? Here I can give you links to some official studies.
My goal is to encourage everyone young and old to find their own creativity and see how it can enhance their lives. One does not have to become a major artist represented in the finest galleries and earning massive amounts of cash to be declared successful. Any person can declare themselves successful when they are truly happy with what they have chosen to spend their life doing.
I encourage anyone to encourage young and old people to pursue their creative interests. Support these people emotionally first, and support them by giving them gifts of supplies they need.
If you want my advice on what you should get them, let’s talk.
For the sketching and drawing enthusiast I suggest they get very good pencils, an eraser, a good sharpener, lots of paper, a surface to work on and good lighting. And Emotional support.
For the general all around craft enthusiast: a good pair of scissors, a glue gun, (OF course if age appropriate), white glue, a variety of adhesives and ways to fasten things, lots of papers and just about anything you can find! Plus, emotional support.
For the painter, I suggest an easel, good paints, canvas boards, good brushes and a bucket. Finally, emotional support.
For any type of creative endeavor I am very happy to recommend supplies to help encourage your future budding artist, but you have to provide the support.
Ann is a Mixed Media Artist Crafting Writer Home Schooling Stay at home mother and Domestic Engineer Business woman that believes that everyone has creative capacities and just needs encouragement and support to develop their abilities.