Posted on 2 Comments

Protecting the little artist in us all

lots of coloured paint

Pablo Picasso has had many inspirational quotes attributed to him but one I can certainly ascribe to is “Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up.” 

We were lucky in our house as there were always creative project in progress in one room or another. Because art was a part of our lives and we were surrounded by it, remaining an artist as an adult, certainly wasn’t a problem. I often wonder if it will be the same for Adam and Rosie as they grow up from being little artists – will they become full grown artists too?

The world Adam and Rosie (and all our children) are growing up in, is, after all, a very different world now. Of course life changes – it has to – but sometimes I wonder about the enormity of the changes that have taken place in 2020. 

Being back at school has its own challenges. As an Art teacher my classroom experience is a very different one to the classes I attended in High School. I mean – talk about ‘sanitised art’.  We’re wiping surface down as soon as a student looks in the general direction of a paintbrush. Art should be messy, art should be an interactive and immersive experience where paint platters merge in a kaleidoscopic cacophony of colour.

Don’t get me wrong. I know we have to be responsible and take care of one another but with face coverings ‘masking’ our identity, it seems harsh to be sanitising the expressive and creative environment too.

Yes, we all have to play our part in this new world, but I do wonder whether this will stifle or enhance creativity on a wider scale. Will our children ‘experience’ art in altogether different way – and will that change the nature of the artwork we see in years to come?

Maybe expressive modalities such as art will be the thing that gets us all through given the benefits to our mental health and emotional wellbeing. We just have  to make sure our children get the same chance to be messy, experimental little artists as we did. If they can’t explore at school maybe we should make a commitment to have that liberating, fun art time at home? That way, we are least giving them the best chance of still being able to access that inner little artist when they are all grown up.

2 thoughts on “Protecting the little artist in us all

  1. Well said! It is so hard to sustain creativity while navigating safety protocols.

    1. I have to say, I’m feeling rather stifled in the classroom too, it’s not just the pupils.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *