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Being a Brave Artist!

Lately my favorite day of the week is Thursday. That's because on Thursday my daughter gets out of school early, and my son is still in school, which means we get two hours of special time together. If you have two kids you know how rare alone time with the older one is.

I have a three year old and a five year old and OMG three is an exhausting age. Five on the other hand is so much fun! My daughter is in this easy going phase where if I ask her what she wants to do she will say something like, "I don't care mom, whatever you want to do." It's magical. So on Thursdays we go to lunch at our favorite spot, The Little Lion. If you haven't been to the Little Lion, you gotta go, it's delicious.

We've started playing a little game at lunch and it's a lot of fun. We call it 20 questions. We don't ask them, we write them. So I bring flashcards and pens, and I'll start by writing a simple question, something like, "What is your favorite color?" She will answer in writing, then turn it over and ask me the same question. We go back and forth until lunch comes. Sometimes she will flip her card over to see how I spelled something, but mostly she just sounds out the words. I never correct her.

As we were having lunch the other day I started thinking about how learning to write is so much like learning to draw. We are supposed to let our kids spell words however they sound to them. Don't correct them, and it will help them build confidence in their writing skills. Let them be a "brave speller" as my daughter's kindergarten teacher once said. As they get older they will figure out spelling. This got me thinking. Isn't art the same? Over correct a child and she will lose her confidence and love for art. Instead teach her to be a brave artist, to focus on the process, and her love for art will blossom into a lifetime of creativity!

I don't know when or if I will ever correct my daughter's art. Maybe when she asks for it I will give her advice, but mostly I hope I will steer her back to "sounding it out." At this age there is no right or wrong in art, there is only doing. I don't ever want to be the one to cast the seeds of self doubt. I hope my daughter remains a brave artist her whole life!

Every creative endeavor requires risk and bravery, so being a brave artist is what it's all about. Next time your child asks you to draw something for them, or tells you they can't do something, try asking them to be a brave artist and see what happens.

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