Thursday, July 3, 2014

Your Child Is An Artist

I've been looking through Arthur Zaidenberg's Your Child Is An Artist (copyright 1949), and have found some quotes I love and want to share...

"It only requires an examination of the lives of our friends and acquaintances to find comparison material for a study of the worth of a wholely 'utilitarian' education, i.e. one devoted to the study of such objects as will fit one into a successful career in business or science exclusively, as against an education which not only produces the competent, useful man but brings forth the man himself, in his richest potential, creative and appreciative of creation, able to express his emotions and understand the emotional expression of others." (32-33)

"It is my contention that this language [art], native to every child, lost in the inadequate educational process, can be reacquired." (33)

"The Austrian, Dr. Cizek, was among the first to introduce the theory that the teaching of art to children was a process of encouragement of the use of an instinctive language to be intuitively learned." (39) Adults tend to praise children based on how realistic their drawings are, and how they've gotten "better" at drawing something realistically.

"Parents should present their children with pencils, colored crayons and colored chalks at the earliest possible age, even at the risk of damage to the wallpaper." (59)

"One cannot teach drawing to a child...One can only prepare him to teach himself by supplying him with the tools, stimulating his interest, acquainting him with the importance of art and leading him on the natural graduated stages of his growth process into more and subtler artistic creation." (59) The author does suggest improving manual dexterity, mental dexterity, correcting misuse of materials, suggesting a child follow a path in which he or she showed an early aptitude.

"The 'don'ts' must prevent you from surrounding him with bad pictures in his home, suggesting second-rate pictures to copy and praising work of bad taste because they are 'popular' and done by 'successful' men." (59) No visual twaddle.

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