Helping Young Artists

Brilliant still life by, then 8th-grader, Tiberius Chan.

Just wrapping up the hard part of the Pleasanton Art League’s first ever art show featuring young artists, the PAL’s Pals Art Competition. Several thoughts have been zooming around in my skull these last two months and I’m going to write them down here.

Give paper, pens, pencils, erasers, paints, drawing tablets, to young artists. This might be a bigger treat than candy, toys, or games.

Try not to ask “What is it?” I even catch myself saying this once in a while. It really doesn’t matter “what it is.”

Constructive criticism is good: but maybe you shouldn’t be the one giving it.

Inquire what is their favorite part of their creation? Every artist has a spot they like in their piece!

Would they do anything differently next time? If the answer is nothing (I envy the confidence kids have!) ask them what they plan to make next.

Acrylic Plein Air Painting of Shadow Cliffs, Livermore, CA. by John Huber, age 11

If your child only draws, puking rainbow unicorns or X-wing fighters or odd anime characters, should you worry? No. I suspect if some of my idols were kids today, M.C. Escher would be drawing a Star Wars dwarf spider droid and Rosa Bonheur copying from “Spirit“.

They are making art, that is what matters. The rest will follow.

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