Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Daughter - Future Artist?

Up until now, this blog has been about my slight obsession with jewellery design. But today I took a break from creating and tackled a more difficult project - weeding through my daughter's drawings and schoolwork from last year. Lauren is 5, and LOVES to draw. She is just like I was at her age. She draws almost every day which means that, between schoolwork and endless drawings from home, every year I end up with a pile that looks like this:

Each year I promise myself that I will go through her drawings throughout the year so I don't have to do this. But it never happens - life gets in the way. So at the start of each school year I sit down on the floor surrounded by my daughter's creations, and go through them one by one. It's a daunting task - not only because there's so many, but because I really find it hard to let any of them go. I am a tosser by nature. I love to be organized, I love the act of organizing, I actually look forward to cleaning out my closets. But since the first day my 18-month old daughter brought home a paper with a small scribble in the center, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of any of her work. I don't think anyone who hasn't been a parent would really understand such an attachment, but the act of taking anything that my daughter made and placing it in a garbage can was really hard for me. Still, the logical side of me said that we would soon need a bigger house if I chose to keep it all.

Well, after an hour or so of contemplation, I got the pile down to this:

This is pretty good; I think I'm getting better at this. Here are a few highlights from my budding artist:

Princesses continue to be a favourite theme, always with long dresses, long hair and long eyelashes.

Sometimes Lauren copies characters from her favourite movies, like this one from Monsters Inc. (the words at the top are, "I C Mom. I C Dad".

Apart from horses, giraffes are still her favourite animal.

Bugs were big for a while. This one looks rather surprised to have letters on her body.

And ladybugs - the perpetual favourite of little girls.

Finally, the ones that are impossible to throw away. There are countless drawings of
three people: a woman, a very tall man and a little girl. Go figure.

I love you too, little artist.

1 comment:

  1. I just happened to come across your Etsy shop and came to check out your blog, because as a fellow artist/designer, I love to see other people's work process. Your work is beautiful, but your posting on your daughter really struck a chord with me. Just like her (and yourself!) I loved to draw at a very, very early age.

    Your kid has talent. Real, undeniable artistic ability. She has the ability to organize space and color that people train for years learning how to do, and teachers rip their hair out trying to get kids to think creatively.

    This post is two years old, so you probably have done everything I am about to suggest. Please look around your area to see if you can get your child into some extra-curricular art classes. Let her try out everything from painting to pottery. See if you can find art workshops that are fun, but take art education seriously. Sometimes local community colleges will allow young kids to take certain classes. Also, start taking to professional art supply stores and start to buy her some "grown-up" art supplies, as well as the age appropriate stuff.

    I am a big advocate for doing this, because it was one of the best gifts my mother gave to me when I was your daughter's age. She enrolled me in wonderful art workshops as a child, and not only did I learn about about art and design, but I met so many creative adults that inspired me. She started getting me "real" art supplies-- She bought me a professional drawing table when I was 9, and I still to this day use it, 31 years later.

    I grew up, and ended up going to Pratt Institute for undergraduate, and NYU for a M.S. in Digital Design. Unfortunately, my mother never got to see me accomplish either of these achievements, passing away my sophomore year of undergrad.

    It is not easy being an artist (especially in NYC) but I am still working on it, still trying. Like my mother, I have become gravely ill and I don't know if my life will be short, like hers. But I do know, that when I look back on my life, the fact that my mother took my artistic ability seriously is something I will always love her and thank her for.

    Creative Moms are the best! I am sure I am preaching to the choir with you, but I just wanted to say, keep it up with the wonderful encouragement, and help your daughter swing for the fences.