Thursday, October 1, 2015

What is ART? Process VS Product


Stumbled across the following article and cannot help but shake my head at the lack of understanding of how to instill a love for 'creative experssion' in children and since I can imagine that thinking like this is not 'new' this is likely why Picasso likely was quoted stating the following ...

In case it wont open it basically goes on to say "We all know kids can be boundlessly creative. Sit them down with a piece of paper and some crayons, and you never know what the result might be.

But here's the problem: sometimes, you really don't know what the result is supposed to be. And let's face it, even the most eager junior Picasso or Emily Carr can occasionally lack follow through.

Crash Gallery is here to help.

From now until the premiere of the show (ahem: next Friday, October 2 at 8:30 p.m.), some of the artists from the show are offering their services to help put some finishing touches on your kid's (or kids') art*! 
Just tweet or Instagram a photo with the ‪#‎FinishMyKidsArt‬ hashtag, and they'll take a crack. After all: completing unusual art challenges against a clock is what Crash Gallery is all about."
As an early childhood educator I find it very disheartening that so called professional ARTISTS would even be suggesting FINISHING a child's work FOR THEM let along as part of some 'contest'? To imply that if their work is not 'recognizable' to the adult eye as being something makes it unworthy of being seen as 'finished' art. Or that the child's self expression in that moment lacks follow through because all they wanted to do was a few brush strokes and than felt their work was 'complete'? 
In my experience it is ADULT THINKING such as this that truly ROBS children of their artistic inclinations and leads to those of us who in adulthood claim 'oh I am not creative' or 'oh I cannot do art I suck at that' ... where nothing can be further from the truth cause we can ALL create art if we just let our soul speak through the medium we are trying and do not put up mental road blocks! 
Think of all those things you currently love to do can you imagine if someone tried to walk up and complete YOUR work on you without even being ASKED for help, feedback or advice on said work but they stepped in and said 'here let me make that better for you'?
 How would that make you feel? 
Motivated to try harder or crushed of spirit like 'why bother someone else will just need to fix my work so might as well not try' or angry and wanting to poke their eyeball out with the paintbrush .... having had art teachers like this throughout my career I can say I have felt ALL of those things at one time or another! 

Am I alone here in thinking this initiative was way off base and not something that a 'professional artist' should be endorsing? 
Maybe my thoughts on art and what art is and how art in childhood and art in adulthood differs? 
I get that as you grow into adulthood there are 'lessons' one can enroll in on how to improve technique and so forth to improve your 'artistic flare' however in childhood it should be solely about the PROCESS of getting to know a medium and expressing oneself with it how to use the materials with 'respect' so as not to damage the materials and how to care for the  brushes, pencils, clay and other mediums properly so that they will do what you want them to. However other than those basic 'lessons\ until the child is old enough to start ASKING for help to perfect a technique or how to get a certain brush stroke and so forth IMO we should not be interfering in their process let alone trying to FIX their work?
My job is to inspire them to notice the in-depth color, textures and beauty in the world around them and to, if desired, make representations of things in their world via art mediums in an effort to help me  learn now THEY see the world. Doing art with children is not meant as a medium for me to teach them how to see the world! f they want to have a purple cow or green clouds or 8 legs on the bird than that is all good! 
What do you think? Is children's art 'unfinished' as the article linked implies? Is it in need of adult support to complete it or have the artists lost focus of the joy of the PROCESS of engaging in art with their focus on the product of what someone ELSE considers art?

Would love to hear your opinions on this?

Have an amazing day!
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much


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