Remember these words:

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10,NIV).”

I want you to know that some of the things you have been told about being artist are NOT true. There are so many myths out there.

Here are my continuing thoughts about myths of creativity. Here are the last 4 myths.

You can read the first post with the first 3 myths here.

1. Children’s art isn’t worth much unless the child is extremely talented.

This myth has to be debunked.

Every piece of art that a child produces is a learning opportunity.

Once they feel that there will be no judgment, then they are free to express themselves. Those pieces that the child feels are worthy of display need to be displayed.

Here is an excellent way to present a gallery and change up pieces of art as they are created. Using old frames, paint them and leave empty — no backing. When your child makes a picture use sticky tack and put in frame. Change anytime.

I teach both children and adults to say, “I am an artist.” That’s an important statement.

2. Don’t teach any lessons to children as you will inhibit their expression.

This one is just plain crazy.

All subjects and sports have skills associated with them.

The skills can be learned simply and progressively. They don’t have to be a big part of the experience but we all need to practise certain skills. And then after some training we can be allowed the freedom to draw or create as we want.

I took basic watercolour lessons when I began my journey into art. Then I took creative art lessons, then perspective, outline drawing and I watched videos. I took classes. Then I experimented on my own. The order is up to you.

But don’t shy away from learning something new.

New techniques are so much fun, too. This year I had children experiment using sponges and watercolour. What fun!

Kids at work — with sponges and watercolour for a background.

3. A real artist draws and creates from his/her imagination.

This one just isn’t realistic. All artists use something for inspiration.

In order to know how something looks one must research it. Even if it is a non-realistic piece an artist has to start somewhere. Using photographs, real life or even other artist’s work helps an artist learn and grow.

Artists need to learn shape and structure, so using what’s around them is essential.

A batik landscape by Janis Cox — sold

Of course, imagination then can come into play when the artist is comfortable with the subject.

4. Real artists love every piece of worth they produce.

Well that’s pure crazy. Are you happy with everything you do? Have you not burned a dinner (I have.) If you are a knitter I am sure you have pulled out your project at least once. (I have.)

So don’t expect children to like everything they do.

You can ask them what part of the work they liked the best. But if they find they just don’t like it — that’s fine.

I have so many “practice art” pieces that I have used the back of the watercolour paper, and even cut my created work to make cards and name tags.

It’s up to the artists when they are satisfied with their work.

You don’t have to say, “great picture” to every piece of art your child produces (or you produce either).

When you ask artists how many pictures out of 5 they really like and are willing to share, most artists will say ONE or TWO.

Be realistic.

Think sports again. All sports figures do not have an “A” game every time, do they? Don’t expect it and explain that to your child so he can relax and have fun.

The masterpiece will come easier when there is no pressure.

Here is a round-up of 4 more myths about art and creativity.

  1. Art is only worth a lot when one is extremely talented.
  2. A real artist shouldn’t need art lessons.
  3. Real artists draw from their imaginations only.
  4. A real artist LOVES every piece of art she produces.

That’s the myth busting. Let’s break these myths. I am working on a way to inspire you to create with your children. Stay tuned.

Do you see why kids and adults think they can’t draw or create?

Follower of Jesus, writer, artist, podcaster. Author/illustrator of Tadeo Turtle & The Kingdom of Thrim. Illustrator of Remember The Seasons. Writes at JanisCox.com.
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Follower of Jesus, writer, artist, podcaster. Author/illustrator of Tadeo Turtle & The Kingdom of Thrim. Illustrator of Remember The Seasons. Writes at JanisCox.com.

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