After my summer two week hiatus, I’m back in the studio today. I had some lessons with regular clients, and then had an hour session with two 5 year old cutie-pies who are just meeting with me 1 hour a day for this week, for a mini drawing “camp”.
The girls arrived wide-eyed and full of chatter, but were very focused when we got down to business. For years, I refused to work with kids under the age of 8 years old, because developmentally, that is the age that most kids start wanting to draw realistically. Before that developmental milestone, kids typically want to draw symbols of their world, and experience, without care about whether or not their drawings look like the actual object they are looking seeing. This symbolic phase of drawing is very important, it helps kids develop language synthesis and express their view of their worlds.
But last year, I made the exception to work with a 5 year old when his Mom said his self esteem was being negatively effected at school by his lack of drawing ability. When I worked with him for a year, I saw his motor skills greatly improve; he learned how to make mistakes and try again, without starting over from scratch; and he learned how to problem solve his way through a more challenging drawing. One day in celebration of his accomplishment, he even kissed me on the shoulder when he finally figured out a tough drawing problem! So sweet! After that year of working with Adam, I realized I really could impact a child’s drawing foundation, without pushing them out of their appropriate developmental phase of symbolic drawing. Since then, I’ve been willing to work with kids 5 years and up, and I am so thankful I get to, because they are little rays of sunshine!
Today, as my two little girlies were getting loaded into their car by their Dad, I overheard (not hard to do, remember how loud 5 year olds talk!) one of them exclaim this about me: “She was nicer than nice!”. Can’t imagine a better way to return to work. Happy Monday!