Before my kids were able to fully express themselves through words, they were little artists creating images as bold and unique as they were. And while mini masterpieces on important papers, floors, and walls tested my patience at times, it didn’t take long for me to realize that a crayon in the hand was worth more than 64 in a box.
I first noticed my eldest son’s emotional connection to art in preschool. While all his classmates had drawn charming stick families with giant, endearing smiles for an Open House display, mine created a small forest of trees. When I asked why he didn’t create a family portrait like everyone else, he dramatically confessed that he had: “I made us into forest trees so we could be very big and live forever!” My son is an introvert who struggled to articulate his daily needs, wants, and fears; art gave him a voice to express the contents of his heart in a way that made sense to him.
Soon, drawing became everything. He drew during meals, car rides, shopping trips, and bedtime. Notebook upon notebook filled with the creative thoughts and ideas of a boy who saw a world of forgotten possibility. He lit up creating and describing his images. He grew confident and proud, thinking one day he’d become an artist. What he didn’t know was that he already was an artist. His work was being seen by family, friends, and viewers online, and that same work was making people smile. He was an artist of more than pretty pictures — he was an artist of possibility and imagination. [read more…]