The Young Artist.
Art is a representation of reality. Art is the expression of emotions. Art is helpful in
escapism. Art is a song, a poem, a painting, a letter, a photograph. Art is a medium of
communication and most of all, Art is the artist.
Over the centuries, art has stood for several things, has been an integral part of several
movements, was the reason of several historic changes. But despite all, it did not
manage to earn a definition. Art has always been subjective and will always remain so.
Art is in everything.
If you are a parent of a toddler, you are probably used to coming home to different
artistic works every day. The early responses or creation of art in a toddler’s life is rather
vague. They don’t start painting right after they are capable of holding a brush or start
writing when they know how to draw alphabets. No, the process starts way before. They
experiment with things around them like soaps of different colours, toothpaste, veggies.
They tell tales on experiences even if the tales are disconnected and make no sense.
One day they have coloured the walls green or orange or both. Other days they run to
you with brightly painted colour sheets. Some days they are composing tunes using
utensils of kitchen and other days they are just simply admiring other pictures. They
learn to scribble before they learn to talk in full sentences and make sound before they
learn the meaning behind words. Although toddler’s may not be able to understand the
connotative meaning behind an artwork, art comes naturally to them. A reason behind
this could be that a lot of artwork is non-verbal with a range of things to choose from.
The phases of art in toddlers is somewhat predictable. They start with the
representation of something straight out of reality and later move towards reciprocation
of emotions in their artwork. Your child is an artist, everything they do is art which is
why it is an important aspect of growing up.
Art does not just stimulate child’s creativity, but it also helps in development of fine
motor skills, language, decision making and spatial reasoning. Art aids in sensory
exploration and self-expression. In a child’s mind, imagination and reality are friends,
they would start drawing something simple, like a cloud, and turn it to something
straight of their imagination, as Oscar Wilde says “No great artist ever sees things as
they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.”
The process of creating an artwork leaves a calming effect on the toddler. It improves
their mood and focuses their energy on a single task. These young artists can be up
making their masterpiece for hours and are usually very happy and proud of what they
Art is integrated in every aspect of toddler’s life. Parents must always encourage this
creativity in them. Avoid giving them direction and let them explore different textures
and colours. Ask them different questions about their art work and always be prepared
for a mess. Provide them with different things for their artwork like, chalk, sponge,
cotton slabs, cut vegetables, ice-cream sticks, pom-poms, pictures, pencils, pens, etc.
Ask yourself ‘what is not art.’ when you watch your child paint alphabets on the wall, tell
you stories about their adventures with their imaginary friends and take pride in
everything they do even if you don’t understand what it stands for. Art is like the song of
a bird, you may never be able to understand it but it is still beautiful (Pablo Picasso).