Alien Cyclops Mommy - crayon on construction paper - Saera age 2 1/2
(I’m not sure what her fascination is with one eyed people…)
Monkey with banana - crayon on construction paper - Saera age 2 1/2
(ok I drew the right eye on this one…)
Mommy - crayon on construction paper - by my 2 1/2 yr old daughter.
What is it about art done by young children that is so interesting? The standard answer is something about innocence and purity, uncorrupted by societal preconceptions. I don’t buy that. I’m not saying that children are not innocent, but they certainly are influenced by society. They are sponges for culture and soak up all the different ways that people communicate which are all constructs of the specific society that they are living in. So while they might not be expressing sarcasm or bitterness, I think that the thing that we connect to in the art of children is not innocence but something else instead.
I have said before that to me, all forms of art are an expression of internal thought. Drawing is one of the clearest in this regard, as the line is a very direct form of expression compared to other media which have multiple layers to obscure the patterns.
When you think of a drawing implement held in a hand, imagine it as an extension of the brain itself. Much like meters that record seismic activity, the drawing hand captures a snapshot of what is happening in your mind. And the mind of a child is in an amazing state of constant learning. New connections are being formed all the time and nothing has truly been hard-wired. During the process of drawing, new connections can be discovered and what you are looking at in the art of a child is a snapshot of a mind that is actively exploring.
This particular drawing is my daughter’s first truly representational drawing. The mental leap that she made as she put the crayon to the paper this one time is pretty impressive, and what you see on this page is what an “aha” moment looks like. As we get older it’s harder to have these moments, but not impossible. I try all the time.