5 Lessons To Learn From Kids About Being An Artist

Last Sunday, I had the chance of spending an entire afternoon in the company of 500+ children as they made drawings, colored and painted. I couldn’t help but notice the happy, playful children, full of energy, enthusiasm and nothing but positive vibes.

The Masterpieces

So, do children get ‘adulterated’ as they grow up? Do they lose their natural disposition as they become adults?

According to some studies, a child smiles approximately 400 times a day and it steadily decreases to about 18 times a day as a teen. Most adults need to hear jokes in order to smile.

But, every adult was also once a child. So, how did we lose these innate natural qualities that each of us was born with?

VR All In Love With Art

Imagine a world where only the body and intellect grow older and mature, but the heart, emotions and mind remain child-like.

Children don’t have a bias, they create art with innocence while enjoying the process. They are not burdened with information on color theory, artistic movements and technique, children draw, paint and color with wild abandon.

Art by Jayden Meyer, Age 8. “I was inspired by watching a reptile on the grass at VR Bengaluru with so much color around. People should accept reptiles like lizards. They are harmless and very clever”.

Here are some things I learned from seeing children create art that day. I’m so sure these lessons will help me become a better artist.

Lesson 1 : Everything Is New

1. Everything Is New

Children constantly explore and love learning about everything. They ask a lot of questions and are naturally inquisitive. Life is fresh and new, and that mentality is reflected in their art. They see the world with a fresh perspective, and basing your artwork on a child’s perspective can help you also look at the world from a new perspective. I’m going to go to new locations to sketch this year, whether it’s a park, hill or beach and look at something I’ve seen many times (like a flower or object) and draw it from a new perspective. I might sit on the floor instead of at my studio desk to draw. I’m definitely going to change things up a bit this year.

Lesson 2 : Keep It Simple

2. Keep it simple

All a child needs is any piece of paper and some crayons to get inspired and create something beautiful. They are never picky about their mediums or brands or products they use for their art. When I’m feeling uninspired, I go back to basics. I grab my pencils and a sheet of paper to sketch. It really frees my mind to think of ideas and almost always inspires more art.

Lesson 3 : Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

3. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

The kids at the art event used a variety of mediums, sometimes two or three mediums together like felt pens, color pencils, crayon, water colors, graphite, acrylic etc Many of them were using a particular medium for the first time too. I typically work with alcohol markers but after seeing these young geniuses, I’m going to try watercolor pencils and acrylics. I might even dabble in some digital art or find a new subject matter. Who knew a mall could inspire so much art. Right? I probably won’t make a masterpiece but I might just love it, or at the very least, learn to appreciate my chosen medium more.

Lesson 4 : Tap Into Your Imaginary World

4. Tap Into Your Own Imaginary Magical Universe

Among the children’s drawings that day, I saw so many monsters, rainbows, dragons, princesses, flying leopards, talking animals and unicorns. They all took a prime spot in the artwork. Children have the uncanny ability to see the unseen because of their powerful, pure imaginations. Just because I’m a grownup doesn’t mean I can’t have a vivid imagination – it might just be repressed from years of growing up! Im going to watch more cartoons and fantasy movies. Sci-fi flicks, Alien abductions and Dungeons and Dragons here I come. More importantly, I’m going to keep an open mind.

Lesson 5 : Enjoy The Process

5. Enjoy The Process

At the event, I saw the kids thoroughly enjoying creating art. They weren’t focused on the outcome at all. Mistakes were made and ignored, colours were applied and reapplied, perfect drawings were made and erased. Art to them was about having a great time and expressing themselves in colour – spending time with their family and proudly making something handmade with all its flaws. One of the reasons I became an artist was to rediscover the fun I had drawing as a child. Art was and continues to be my happy place. Every drawing of mine serves as reminder to me to always keep my art-making process light-hearted and fun.

Where Every Child Was A Winner

Note : I was invited to be a judge along with two Art Professors from Chitrakala Parishath, Gopal Kambar and Vishal Kavetkar at this community art event called Art Buddies. This student art competition was organized by VR Bengaluru in association with Art Chutney and co-hosted by 3Peel as part of the month-long Whitefield Art Collective which is on till 24th March 2017 at VR Bengaluru.

Connecting Communities With Art

Please do come to VR Bengaluru this month as some of my work is being shown along with that of several other Indian contemporary artists till 24th March. And, on 18th and 19th March, I will be live painting a giant wall mural as part of the Young Artists Wall/Basement Art Project. There are a ton of other events too – check the Facebook page of VR Bengaluru for updates.

Come say hello!

P.S: All artwork in this post was created by children who participated in the Art Buddies competition.

Photo Credits: Rohit Sarcar

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  84. Hi Michel – thank you for saying these lovely things. Yes I’ve tried to follow these 5 lessons from the time I started – art for art’s sake. You are always welcome at our home – let’s draw together soon! Love u

  85. It looks like these 5 lessons are already in your head since some time. The point is the children do go that way. As grown-ups we are still thinking it might be a good idea for us to go the same way.
    This freedom of letting go and starting afresh.
    I have always thought I can’t draw. This is only because I didn’t feel as competitive versus my shool mates as I was in other scholar matters. So I focused on the easiest path…
    When I prepared my trip to India, I thought I will use the many free time to start and draw. I didn’t realise I would not have that many free time. My next opportunity is retirement. So I have already 2 projects to start in three years from now, 2 things I have declared to be unable to do till now: gardening and drawing. 😂
    Will need a teacher. You might have the right profile for that.

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