Nurturing Our Children’s Creativity words Sally Chung illustrations Amy Sihyeon Jeong
When we hear the word “art”, we often think of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, or Van Gogh’s Starry Night and hastily conclude that we aren’t skilled enough to do that kind of art. We draw a line and limit our creative potential as the imaginative and experimental individuals that we are meant to be. Somewhere in our transition to adulthood, we pick up a false notion that creativity is for the gifted and the gifted alone. As a result, we grow up into adults who have a limited and rigid understanding about what is “good” and “bad” art.
Maybe you began to think of yourself as not “creative” or “artistic” enough after a negative childhood experience. Perhaps it was that elementary art teacher who praised your friend’s artwork with enthusiastic statements such as, “Wow! That looks amazing!”, but passed you by with only a gentle nod and a reluctant smile, even though you were very proud of the sketch you made. Or, perhaps it was when you attempted to draw your favorite car for the first time, but a friend looked at it and laughed and asked, “What is that?”. Still, maybe it was the time when you received a C- on a new invention you made in science class that your teacher criticized as unoriginal. Whatever your story is, I’m sure that many others can empathize and agree that they too do not consider themselves as the artistic types.