Let’s Reclaim the ”Defunct Artist”

By Sana Ali Qambrani. Sana, 15, is from Matli, Pakistan.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. – Pablo Picasso

I’m 15 years old and this expression tends to fade as I’m getting older, maybe this is due to some sort of insecurity or a hectic lifestyle. Granted, I’ve seen many individuals around me who made ART their lives, though some can’t make a living off of it, they love what they do. We’ve became so caught up in wanting to make money or a high status for ourselves, in some cases for our loved ones, that we’d let the ARTIST within us fade away, it’s gone somewhere in the turmoil of our busy lives and it’s pretty sad. Many times, I’ve felt that this artistic creativity is an outlet we use to keep our sanity in this chaotic, stringent world. It’s because of this that we get intrigued with people who make their living producing music, painting, writing and dancing. A hint of jealousy is aroused because we get envious of their ability to stay true to their artistic prowess, that which we’ve suppressed in order to adjust in this exacting world.

When I was a child, the whole world was a canvas for me, every material thing that could leave a stain was my paint and brush, I didn’t need a palette to mix them, I didn’t think that “this paper” wasn’t the proper canvas to hold my “masterpiece”.

A child’s drawing tells so much more than we’re usually willing to see, even the simplest piece, let it be a poorly colored house with an indistinguishable palm tree, can tell you the story of their contemplations, sensations and ambitions. “In every individual the germ of art appreciation exists.” The child is the first artist: out of the material around him he creates a world of his own. All children are artists: their imaginative play is of the self – the same stuff as the artist’s dream. In the right environment this inborn gift need never die, what kill it are neglect and the encroachment of selfish material interests.

Life stamps the imagination and artistic instincts out and only in few cases, those we call geniuses, do they rise, and become sculptors, artists, poets and writers. It’s for every normal human being to be an artist, it’s his divine heritage. What baby cannot draw and sing before he can read and write. What child does not love to make things out of clay and sand at his feet?

Imagination surrenders to the intellect; emotion gives place to knowledge.

Children are always so spontaneous and uninhibited in their approach to art and life, but as we get older, we get bound by rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts, pros and cons; we judge ourselves more and worry more about what others are thinking. Every child is an artist: their state of mind allows them to freely explore and immerse in present moments to come out with something absolutely stunning! The artistic expertise of children are due to the fact that they’ve not yet learned to judge what they do, they just simply do it. As adults, we’ve instilled the idea in ourselves that there is “good” and “bad”, and if we don’t feel that we’re good, we drop our ART. All children are artists and will remain so if they’re not tricked or forced into the acceptance of adult standards. Children will carry their creative potentialities into adult life if adults will respect them as persons and stop trying to mold them into the adult image. You’ve got to let yourself go to be creative: children possess this quality of letting themselves go with the flow of their art. “Every child is an artist until he is told he is not an artist”. Children seem to lose their creative and artistic ‘expertise’ as they’re told, “it’s not the one thing”.

I absolutely believe that innate creativity is critical thing to nurture, and I think a great deal is lost later in life when children are made to fear taking risks and exploring different means of expression. I find that creativity demonstrates itself in different ways, and art, like any other skill, must be practiced and nurtured. Children are told to drop art to undertake more “academic” lessons, that there’d be always time to be “artsy” once they’d finished school, but for me art is such an important part of learning and it’ll be best not to leave it for another day.

The creative adult is the child who has survived.

Children should never be discouraged to be creative; they just need to be confident to express themselves. They should be encouraged and supported in fostering their sprit of curiosity, imagination and exploration. I think, we as adults, are rarely able to be creative as our children are in their own way.

Creativity opens unimaginable doors, whether it stays in the form of physical art, moves on to music or even writing. So why let that little artist get defunct? When you get bored, stressed or sad, draw a picture. When things get stressful, sing a song and dance. As long as a hint of artistry can be found in our lives, we might just be a little bit more content with it!

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