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 I've been thinking about how and why we learn to draw for a few years now.  I started self-analazing my own drawing and character design thought process when I began writing my first art instruction book, "Creating Characters with Personality".  It was harder than I thought to verbalize how I've learned and how I process drawing.  This has led me to start looking back at my artistic life and how I learned art.  What made me learn the most?  What drove me to draw and stick with it?  What led to others I knew as a child to stop drawing?  I think I'm ready to present some of those thoughts here on DA and hear what you think.  So, this is part 1 of three in a series.  I'm not sure where this is leading, but step one is my establishing an online art instruction school called Taught ByA PRO (www.taughbyapro.com) that will (in phase one) concentrate on drawing instruction for all forms of media.  Here we go:


I believe there are THREE major problems in the way we learn art instruction in the United States. 

 

PROBLEM #1: Well-meaning adults kill a children's joy for drawing 

Most of us have fond memories of drawing as a child.  When you are a child, you draw for the joy associated with creating something out of nothing.   Even at the most basic level, children learn they can communicate funny stories with their drawings.   How many kids have waged wars with airplanes, tanks and legions of troops all on a piece of paper as they describe the action to their parents or friends?  Drawing is a shared experience when we are very young.  Just like talking or walking, we can all do it.  Then, at a certain point- usually around ages 5 to 10, some of us start becoming VERY GOOD at drawing.  Better than most.  The great equalizer that drawing used to be is no more.  Now, its competitive.  This is the point where drawing becomes work for most kids.  They loose their confidence and therefore loose their interest. 

Simultaneously, around the age of 4 or 5, children begin getting more and more art instruction from well- meaning adults.  Some of it comes from parents: Jimmy, grass is green, not blue.  Or from teachers: HOW many legs does a dog have?  The pursuit of reality or realism in your drawings starts to make drawing something to get frustrated over.   I believe the pursuit of realism in drawing at an early age is something that is pushed on children much too soon.  Later in life, there is nothing wrong with trying to obtain realism in your artwork, because it is an advanced artistic lesson.  It is a pursuit of perfection.  If you can create something that looks exactly like a photo or someone you have seen before, for many, that is the pinnacle of artistic talent.  Why is this?  Because many parents, grandparents, or other adults in the life of a child artist cant explain how to improve the art they are looking at.  They look at it (and because they themselves stopped drawing as a child) cant find the words to describe what is missing in the artwork they are being shown.  The easiest thing they can do is instruct the child to draw a picture in a magazine, a comic book, newspaper, or the vase on the table.    Children artists soon figure out that the closer they get to copying what they see in front of them, the better the compliment from the non-artistic adult.  What also comes with this is non-artistic rules.  When non-artistic adults, who dont know how to explain concepts like perspective, lighting, or shape-based construction of figures and elements, they say vague terms like that doesnt look quite right or something is wrong with that picture, it doesnt look like the photo

Suddenly, there is a right and wrong way to draw.  Before this, it was pure joy and free-form expressions of whatever popped into your head.  Once there is a wrong way to do something, there is automatically a displeasureable outcome associated with not getting it right.    These (unwanted) art lessons begin and some children adapt and rise to the occasion to start applying them to their drawings, which leads to the above point of some children getting better than others.  For other children, this shuts them down and they slowly stop drawing. 

Some would say that this culling of children that just enjoy doodling and those that will one day become professional artists is natural; maybe even necessary.  I agree with that point to a degree, but I have met too many talented artists that feel they missed the boat early in their childhood development and turned away from an art ability/desire that they loved to pursue something more practical.   Teachers or parents instructed those young artists that they would not have a future in art, so they stopped pursing it.   Most of us know someone who has told that sad story.  This leaves me to believe that this early childhood discouragement is more of an epidemic than we know. 

I believe that, just like our schools have done for math, reading, and writing, we need to have a curriculum in the schools that progresses students throughout their childhood and into adulthood (or high school graduation, at least).  Not all students would stay with the curriculum, but those that want to should be able to grown beyond elementary artistic basics and repetitive concepts.  The Masters where taught to draw very early in their lives and grew in that knowledge of drawing until, later, they started painting.  We give children paintbrushes as children without telling them how to use them.  We tell them to paint a tree before they know how to draw one.   We are setting them up to fail. 

Thoughts?  (Part 2 and 3 will come shortly) 

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:iconvitaminanime:
vitaminanime Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015
Very interesting. I remember my mom told me when she was in kindergarten? she told me she had a teacher who told her she would never be an artist and she didn't draw again for years until our friend who's an artist showed her that anyone can draw, and she's still not much of a draw-er
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:icongolden-angel-dragon:
Golden-Angel-Dragon Featured By Owner Edited Sep 14, 2014  Professional General Artist
... I wonder how my father would react to reading this if he understands English fully.... I'm in that pit of "Well-meaning adults kill a children's joy for drawing"
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:iconbfan1138:
BFan1138 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Student General Artist
During my pre-college years, I don't recall every drawing anything for the sake of drawing, unfortunately.  In middle and high school I learned I had talent, but since I disliked school so much (and still do, to a degree), it never occurred to me that it would probably be more enjoyable if I tried it outside of class/homework.  I didn't discover THAT until a year ago, at 25 years old no less.  I could have saved a lot of time, effort, and grief if I had known I love drawing sooner, but I still learned many things about other aspects of my life which I value now--so perhaps it was for the better.  And while I was concerned about beginning this path relatively late, the universal advice seems to be that you are never too old to draw or animate.

(Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure I didn't hate art in school either, but for some reason it just never occurred to me that it was a path worth pursuing.  Of course, animation was basically never discussed in those classes, so that may be why.)

Anyway, I better make a point so I'm not just rambling!  I think it's important for parents and teachers to not only refrain from squashing desire early on, but to encourage children to experiment art, music, etc, and perhaps discover a love and/or talent for one of these fields that would not have been discovered otherwise.

Also, others have already mentioned this, but we need to stop perpetuating the idea that only certain occupations are worth getting an education in.  I say bring on the Philosophy majors; we need more of them!  Bring on the artists, the musicians, the writers, and the storytellers. I don't believe our careers should bring us down to an early grave from stress and lack of meaning.  I hope I can be excused for that little soapbox rant, but I feel strongly on that subject.
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:iconbfan1138:
BFan1138 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Student General Artist
Oops, that's "*ever* drawing" in the first sentence, not "every drawing."
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:icontombancroft:
tombancroft Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Great points, thanks for adding them.
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:iconsimeonleonard:
SimeonLeonard Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now that this series is complete, would you consider updating each entry with links to the next and previous parts? I'd like to share this on Facebook but people who aren't familiar with DA might have some difficulty finding all three parts. I found this very interesting! Thanks for sharing your insight. 

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:icontombancroft:
tombancroft Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Good point.  Thanks
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:icongolden-angel-dragon:
Golden-Angel-Dragon Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Professional General Artist
Or maybe copy and paste them all into 1 journal!
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:iconbj0yful:
bj0yful Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Nail on head, Tom! I can testify to the scars of early childhood discouragement.
In the third grade I painted a poster-sized solar system that received a D because my parents weren't supposed to help me.  (My mom showed me how to use the compass to make round planets. The rest was all me.)

I was also plagued with the stigma that being an artist was not a viable career option. I got the ol' "You better marry for money" bit a lot. I know my parents meant well, but the damage was done. I learned to hide my talents in more "acceptable" ways... volunteering to paint theater sets, etc.
To this day the voice in my head that I'm "goofing off" if I'm creating art is loud and clear. Even when I'm designing for clients I have to muscle my way through the lie that making art is somehow "playing" and not serious work. My head knows this is false, but that message has been so ingrained it takes a conscious dedication to override it. 


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:icontombancroft:
tombancroft Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Great thoughts. Thanks for the addition to the strand.  
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:icontiquitoc:
Tiquitoc Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm in agreement there.

True is the fact on the first cildren's interest is to draw, and they want to catch the worl who surround them.   Sadly, bit per bit, the adults try to kill that initiative due they think the kids must be taught, mainly for a society well accepted carrer, you know: lawyer, medic, engineer, etc.

So then, is the moment when the love for create starts to die, and it's painful to see how it progress, but, the first contact, the children must to explore by themselves, to touch the paint, feel the brushes, hold a crayon, and let their imagination leads her hands; later, we can start to teach them how to use the materials and later, who knows, maybe we are having the next Da Vinci in front of us! :D

So I accept that part where we must not start to kill that interest, that curiousity, because, there is the magic...
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:iconjazylax:
JazyLax Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Student Filmographer
I remember when I was around 7 or 8 when I decided I was going to become one of the greatest cartoon artists of all time... Its still a long way now that I just started my animation studies, but indeed one of the things that I always did was draw for fun, for the joy of it, and without caring. Suddenly my friends (of a bit greater skill than mine) would tell me I was wrong, but ya know? I drew what I liked and how I liked, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding. But now I draw for both things. I draw for fun because its my dream to create an influential comic, but I also draw because if I am to become a professional, it wont always be about the fun, but about how greatly skilled I am. 
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:iconbj0yful:
bj0yful Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Glad you had the gumption to stick with it! Keep drawing! :)
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:iconokayim:
Okayim Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
Sadly, I agree with everything said...I know the art program at my middle school and high schools were also incredibly low-funded. Whenever budget cuts had to come up, the art programs were always the first things to take the blow (visual art, band, etc.). 
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:iconmagentamorbid666:
magentamorbid666 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013

You said it perfectly. I was lucky enough that my mom was more encouraging with me and my siblings talents (my brother is a musician) and my dad was happy with anything I did. My grandfather is also an artist so I guess I had more encouragement overall.

I still remember though, no matter how good an artist I was there was always someone better than me. My best friend when I was young always drew better horses. In college my fine art teacher actually said I should draw more like my friend Amy, that my work wasn't right.

When I have kids I'd like to think, and hope, that I'll encourage them in whatever talent they have.

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:iconmmkaay:
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I'd say this applies for doing everything in life in general. The standards and things taught and said by authority figures shapes the limitations and "rules" we have in our paradigms of our daily lives.
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:iconmarc-f-huizinga:
Marc-F-Huizinga Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hi Tom!

This definitely is exactly as it is. I remember days where I was drawing exactly those tanks, soldiers and airplanes and I really loved every single second of it. Then as I build a conscience and the ability to analyze what I was doing everything became a competition. Sooner or later I dropped out of it completely because I tried to get a grasp on concepts unknown to me. So by the age of ten or twelve I didn't draw anymore at all, maybe an occasional doodle in along my math notes.

As I grew older and was trying to find what I wanted to do with my life, I couldn't find anything I really wanted to pursue. Suddenly in the far corners of my mind, that artistic feeling called out to me. Here I am, 4 years since that day, relentlessly pursueing that what I used to enjoy the most. And guess what? I'm really enjoying it again.

I think there's something to be said on the development of a child's brain with this. You often hear stories of people that get in a rut and don't think they're improving. Sure, sometimes the mind is ahead of the hand in terms of coordination, and sometimes it's the opposite way, but it's when we face problems and don't quite know how to deal with them that makes us improve. Which in turn gives us newfound joy. Just like drawing those armies and airplanes I used to draw.

Can't wait for the other parts, Tom!
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:icontombancroft:
tombancroft Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Great comments, thanks.
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:icondeckboy:
Deckboy Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Sorry for the double post.  I meant to add that my mother went to college and got a BA in Art History.  So she always had an appreciation for art.  She knew the basics of how to draw and different basic art tools, and she had several books detailing how to draw different things like trees, animals, boats, etc. . .  So I was able to learn from her (and the books) when I wanted to.  It was never forced on me or forced OUT of me.
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:icondeckboy:
Deckboy Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Totally agree.  I hadn't thought about this before, but my parents never discouraged me from art.  My first art class was in high school and the purpose of that class was to get students to try "new forms of art" (clay, draw, paint, sculpt, lineart, etc. . .)   I think this was actually really important for my own growth as an artist because I was allowed to experiment and grow in my artistic skills in the way(s) that I wanted.  I started drawing at a young age and cannot remember ever being verbally discouraged in any way, even though I was drawing stick figures getting eaten by dinosaurs or a guy on a skateboard going across the page or buildings from a flat 2d perspective, etc, etc, etc. . .

Very interesting Journal thanks for the great thoughts!
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:iconmeghanart:
meghanart Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Student General Artist
Tom, you've made some interesting points that got me thinking of my own artistic journey thus far. The parts where you mentioned realism intrigued me a lot. As a huge fan of Disney, Pixar, and all animated things, I grew up copying them and learning from the films by watching and drawing them frame by frame. Even to this day I sometimes feel the pressures of non-artistic adults that my work isn't as good as it could be, because it's cartoon-ish. Somehow I persevered through high school. I think it's because I was influenced by Neopets (I drew lots of fake creatures and created characters for them, posted online and got feedback) and kept a sketchbook, where I could draw whatever I pleased.

As an art student now, I understand the importance of realism, but when I was younger (and sometimes even now), the pressures of your work "not being good enough" because it's wasn't real was, and sometimes is still, definitely frustrating.

I teach an art class for home schoolers ages 5-10 in my city and I'm going to make sure I don't pressure them to much, now that you've pointed this out to me. Although I want to teach them to be able to draw realism, having fun with art and learning basics (like you mentioned, shapes, composition, lighting, etc.!) are important, too, especially as kids.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.
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:iconmeghanart:
meghanart Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Student General Artist
I will add that I was talking to my dad recently about his artistic career. His was short-lived - mostly only in high school. He was fantastic at copying pictures, and still is. It's pretty great. But he told me that he never was able to make things up. I think he wishes he would have been able to when he was younger.
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:iconmmstudiotrademark:
MMStudiotrademark Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist
I fully understand where you are coming from with this, because many people do not know this about me, but when I was little I would misspell stuff in my comics all the time! My Parents would always correct me, but to me it was just funnier looking if candy was spelled Kandy or if soda pop was spelled sodee pop! Today I still write that way sometimes on purpose. I know it annoys some people, but too me it just makes cartoons a little more fun.Plus one of my mottos is, "there's no wrong way to draw cartoons!"
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:iconlordguardian:
LordGuardian Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
very nice journal
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:iconfrazamm:
frazamm Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013
I did get that from time to time. My reply to the non-artistic adults would usually be: 'I drew it, I have to like it,' or 'It's not as you think.'

I used to pester my dad to draw when I was little and then would comment on his mistakes. Finally he gave me the pencil and said, 'Here, then you do it!' I do remember the time when he wanted me to copy profile drawings of persons interviewed on a newspaper. Sometimes I got them right, most I got wrong but he put away each and every one. I don't know where they are now.

But in the main, I guess you're right all the way.
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:iconwoodpeckery:
Woodpeckery Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I do totally agree! I think that's really what happens, I mean I'm 14 and when my mum looks at my drawings she still says things like: "Isn't there something wrong?" And I look at the drawing and say"maybe...but what?" and she just says "I don't know"....and so I spend the rest of the day deleting my drawing and doing it again and again...
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:icono0risa0o:
o0Risa0o Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow, that's really good observation. I actually loved drawing as a child, and I never stopped drawing since.
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:icondanubius2000:
danubius2000 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
I agree absolutely. Even if the individual human won't become a super talented artist, still the creative process and the joy of creation is very important to maintain a healthy spiritual attitude. Something similar exists in sports, but some people need more than this, and want to endeavour into different creative processes. I also agree with the fact that children are told to early that they can't draw, while sometimes even the teacher lacks the basic artistic experience to have the proper authority for judgement. And there is the issue that the children aren't educated properly to draw, and the teachers and parents expect them to be super talented by nature. Michelangelo went through an artistic training as well, so everybody has the right for proper artistic formation. At least one chance
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:icondoodlee-a:
Doodlee-a Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
There are some things I agree with and some I don't. I definitely love how much my parents encouraged me to draw, and while there were some things that got corrected over time, I found drawing to be my outlet for dreams and fantasy, which my parents encouraged and I loved. At the same time, my mom was a photographer, and so she gave me a passion for the beauty of life and nature. Yes, I like to strive for realism, but I also have a wild imagination that I can put into my art.

I think the biggest thing that I hope to encourage in my kids if they become artists is variety. Because I definitely struggle with making more than one type of character. They all have very similar builds, and it's hurting me artistically.

With kids, I think it's important to encourage their passion while sharing your own passion. Let them be their own person, but also let them see what kind of people created them. :)
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:iconfoofighters111:
foofighters111 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student Filmographer
I definitely agree with what you're saying. I only took 2 art lessons in my life, once when I was 7 or 8 years old and the second time during grade 11. 

The first art lesson that I took wasn't very enjoyable because I was young and did not know better. The instructor would tell me about colours but I just couldn't get it and I was pretty discouraged to be honest, so I just refused and hated the lessons... it felt like a chore and a bother to me, I didn't get to have the wild imagination running to my mind and putting them on paper. 

The second art lesson I took was during grade 11, and that was when I decided that I wanted to become an artist in the Film/gaming industry. So I decided to take extra curricular lessons after school to get help with my portfolio to get accepted into Sheridan's Animation Program. I worked on some art pieces during the grade 11 year. When grade 12 came along, this teacher told me some criticism that these artwork that i did would definitely not get me into the animation program. She was right in the first part, but I was pretty devastated to hear that, and seeing my mom beside me really upset by it (tearing up too), I was very VERY close to just giving up on art all together.  


Although, between the two art lessons that I got, I was mostly self-taught. I used to doodle so much! I would make up stories, characters, props, etc etc. I obviously cared on improving my skills, but there was no one to tell me that my drawings sucked and wrecked me with criticism. It was my escape from reality, my frustrations, anger, and I was always happy when I doodled. Those were honestly one of the most happiest times in terms of creating drawings. 



I'm currently a second year student at Sheridan Animation program. I have to say, I do love every minute of it, I improved a lot since. Although I do have complaints about the program. The workload is honestly just too much sometimes. With the amount of stress, it is REALLY tough to get creative and have fun with it. I really want to have fun when I do my assignments but I can't change my perception of it because I constantly think of other assignments that I need to finish before the deadline and end up rushing it and turning the way I didn't really want it to be. I do blame myself that I could manage my time better to work it out, but it's just hard sometimes and feeling stressed and occasionally overwhelmed doesn't really help to calm myself and have fun drawing.    

(but really, I do love art, and never regretted choosing it for my life and keeping positive and hopefully everything will be worth it at the end when I really enter into the industry) 

Love to hear more about your three problems on how we learn art!
 
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:iconberylliumart:
BerylliumArt Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student
Wow, thank you! I have a little brother, and unfortunately he seems to get frustrated with drawing fairly quickly. I hope he will learn to enjoy it someday!
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:iconmaxwestart:
maxwestart Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
There's also the issue of the adults who may oppose children thinking of drawing or any visual artform as a career - but that's a whole other post.

Your idea isn't new.  Dr. Betty Edwards does talk about it in her book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"; many children eventually stop drawing because they or the adults around them emphasize making a drawing looking "correct".


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:iconattitoonz:
AttitoonZ Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
No argument whatsoever.  Great piece, Tom.

I WOULD, however, LOVE to hear NOT JUST YOUR thoughts, but fellow DA artists as well
on one theory that I have:

  My best friend told me YEARS ago, that while in 2nd or 3rd grade, he was drawing a cow in a field.  Utilizing a little creative
license with Mother Nature's color scheme, he began making the cow purple or blue.  The aforementioned technicolor bovine caught
the eye of his teacher who told him "Cows aren't blue (or purple)."  From that point on, he NEVER drew for fun again. 

While all of you are busy wiping away the tears, I had a theory on this story which coincides with Tom's example above:  EVEN IF the teacher
NEVER said anything to him, he would've NEVER really continued drawing like I have.  Why?  Because unlike my best friend, I used to get yelled at by
teachers AND by classmates for drawing when I should've been working on school stuff.  In fact, in 2nd grade, I drew the shark from the JAWS poster on the back
of my assignment.  The teacher called me up in front of the class, embarrassed me, and summarily ripped the assignment in two right in my face.

Yet, it did NOT break my spirit. 

  Think that's true?  True artists (for LACK of better words) aren't deterred at a young age?  It's in their blood?  They are compelled by some...thing?
Hell, I've TRIED to stop drawing (long story) years ago.  Twice even.  Um...yeah.  How'd that work out for me?
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:iconshembre:
Shembre Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
"The easiest thing they can do is instruct the child to draw a picture in a magazine, a comic book, newspaper, or the vase on the table.    Children artists soon figure out that the closer they get to copying what they see in front of them, the better the compliment from the non-artistic adult... We give children paintbrushes as children without telling them how to use them.  We tell them to paint a tree before they know how to draw one.   We are setting them up to fail."

For me, I've had lots of adults who refused to find value in anything remotely cartoony looking. I could not figure out what the aversion seemed to be. It made me mad, especially when they'd basically just say, "okay, now here's this still life. Go at it. I'll tell you if it's right or not later." I've had one or two stills that I enjoyed drawing, but usually they're boring, and the instructors usually don't even tell you why you're drawing/painting it, if there is a purpose besides it being easy for the teacher to set up. I didn't learn about the elements of drawing until I took a college level class. It's amazing how people want to concentrate so much on science and math when you can't do anything without seeing something that an artsy person created.
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:iconkristi-o:
Kristi-O Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
For me, I was sort of 'lucky' in that my parents didn't see much merit in drawing. It was simply a thing I did in my spare time. My mother had a tendency of squashing childhood pursuits by overindulgence. It's hard to describe...one example I can think of is that young me loved cats. My mother acknowledged this interest, and proceeded to buy me everything related to a cat. Cat shirts, cat pants, cat books, cat gym bag, cat jewellery, etc. 

Even as a 10 year old I found it embarrassing to have my life being defined by cats from my mother, so I started to tone down my love for cats, and found that she in turn stopped buying me so much cat related stuff. My sister at one point aspired to be a Doctor, but again my mother's overindulgence of that scared my sister off of the idea. Whenever my mom approved of an interest we had, she became almost fanatical in her support of it to the point where, as a young kid, it was really intimidating.

Drawing however, my mother never saw much to it. She never gave it any attention because in her eyes, it wasn't an 'acceptable' pursuit. Not that she ever told me to stop drawing, but she never told me to continue doing so either. Because of this it flew under her radar, and I was able to keep drawing and develop as an artist the way I did. Sure I'd get the occasional comment how I was good at drawing, but there was never a focused interest in what I was drawing. Drawing was my safe bubble where I could put my ideas to paper, get them out of my head and see them realised in the real world in 2D form. And I was able to do it without being judged by my parents. I never had to explain to them what a drawing was, what the idea behind it was, etc. I was able to do this from childhood, all the way to adulthood, just focus on my own development rather than dwell on someone else's perception of what I should do and where I should be. 

When I told my mom I wanted to draw for a living, my she told me "I think you're wasting your time". That was the first time she ever really gave me her opinion on me doing art, and it stuck with me for a long time. She only started to change her view once I started showing her that I could in fact get a job based on my drawing skills, and seems a little more supportive now, though she's still not really interested in what exactly I'm drawing. 

I do envy kids who grew up with an artist in the home, I would have loved to have drawing instruction given to me, rather than having to figure it out for myself via books, internet searches, and artists willing to share tips and advice (Thanks Tom!). But I do feel lucky in that I was able to draw without feeling pressured by my parents.
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:iconfloupfloup:
Floupfloup Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
There are thigs i agree, and some, not.

For my tory, i was both discouraged by my surronding... And my taste. My own taste. The thing which was pushing me to draw. in fact, i really like to draw, but i'm not content of what i'm doing. From then and now more than ever. 
That's true that for most of the "adults", they always correct chidren and always put in their mind their representation of the reality, of the art. 
After, drawing is always an art, and an art is mostly to express something. expresse what we have in mind, what we see. The imagination shouldn't have any limits, but, by growing, maybe adults want to keep chidrens close to reality, for keep them safe from decpetion? 
The compétition and the art work is not, for me, a conséquence of that. Competition born instinctively from each one heart. I think everyone want to exist in eachother's eyes, and by being the best, they achieve their goal. 

Learning should be an interest, and not an obligation. And this is the big problem. Because people is killing the interest, but the society is asking us to be the best, showing that the competition is the best way to be happy. And it's by seeing our own limits that we lose interest. (maybe? )

---

Sorry for my poor english~ 
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:iconboyann:
Boyann Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
My parents - especially father - vehemently struggled to discourage me from drawing and art career, especially since i fanatically loved to draw comics.
To a certain degree my staying in drawing was an act of defiance.
I used to wonder - being extremely lame with maths and science [chemistry remains one of the most hated and misunderstood subjects ever in my life] - how come nobody ever told me or any other child that there is no future in pursuing science considering there is no talent nor inclination towards that instead of flogging a kid to master that, pushing the kid away from music, drama, arts..? I still remember stories how artists starve, that only the chosen ones make it... but what about, say, history or sociology, physics or biology..? What about, say, a child in love with insects and studying them, is there a parent to discourage such a child with horror stories of unemployed biologists who have to repair bicycles to survive because there is no chance in the world that their expertise for centipedes is needed or paid..?
I didn't have to wait to grow up to pull my courage and pursue my dreams - as a kid I accidentally found that my father hides comicbooks that he's reading, forbidding me at the same time to read them and draw, telling me to do it when I grow up and get respectful life of a serious man.
From that day I didn't look back and stayed with drawing and comics - and I firmly believe that it's the urge, not 'the natural gift' that pushes someone to draw and learn in spite of obstacles and 'well-meant' suppression of others.
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:iconsketchy-wretch:
Sketchy-Wretch Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I sincerely wish schools out more effort into having art as a class, when I was a kid I missed out because everytime an art program would start it's be shut down due to low funding. I don't know what the big expense was either. All we used were papers, pencils and a teacher at the board.
You're right though. Once you tell the kid there's guidelines you pretty much break them. Just gotta see if they really like drawing. So much that they'll ignore the bad things people say.
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:iconnukilik:
Nukilik Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student Filmographer
On one hand, I don't disagree with what you said myself. I'd love to live in a world that breeds creativity.

But when I discuss with people the answer I get is: "we get disencouraged from most things as we age, not just art. We start with a ton of wild interests as kids and life/society leads us towards narrowing them until we choose a suitable/viable path to focus on". And indeed most people liked dancing, singing, animals, pretending to be an astronaut/doctor/firefighter as kids but chances are they didn't follow trough with most of these interests, if any. At most we keep them as hobbies.

Now, I'd also argue that more incentive is given to math/cience/writing/etc. than art, but then again I'm sure there's more jobs that require people to know math, basic science and writing than drawing or painting so really, I don't know.

Maybe the problem is the way our society works: we are pushed away from most of our passions in favor of fulfilling some specific role, and if we are VERY lucky, it's a role we'll choose and enjoy :/
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:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

I have to disagree with you. Writing really isn't always encouraged considering that writing is art as well. I can't tell you how many times my mother and most of my teachers would tell me that writing wasn't a viable future. I've always loved writing but stopped years ago because of that. Then I got to high school and my junior year my English teacher told me that she loved my writing and that I was good. She told me with practice and patience that I could probably become a published writer. Because of her, for the past seven years I've been improving my writing skills. But because of all those years of discouragement, I keep my writing to myself. I guess a small part of me still believes what I was told for most of my life.

Sorry to ramble but I just wanted to show you the other side of part of your argument.

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:iconnukilik:
Nukilik Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student Filmographer
I meant writing as in 'functional writing': employing proper english/gramatic which is required for almost any job.

Creative writing is definitely art and on the same boat with the other art forms :)
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:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Proper English should be a requisite for writing novels. I've seen some "best-sellers" with atrocious spelling, grammar, and sentence structuring.
Anything creative is generally discouraged. Even schools seem to discourage it with the majority of school funds being given to sports programs. What's sad about that is our sports teams really weren't that great, especially our high school's football team, but they got the most of the extra curricular programs' funds. The art teachers didn't get much of a budget for the art club or the art class supplies, either. I remember using home interior paint, that had been donated by other teachers, for an acrylics project. But the football team always got new equipment whether they needed it or not. :roll:
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:iconkartoon12:
KarToon12 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That sounds EXACTLY like my school. :no:
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:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

To me, dreaming of being a sports super star is more out there than dreaming of being an animator, writer, or any other artistic field. Also, art careers are safer: you're not going to get a concussion from drawing or writing.

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:iconexcessit:
Excessit Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The world spins around the belief that money's worth more than one's happiness...
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:iconjillamos:
jillamos Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student Filmographer
Fortunately as a child I had the freedom to draw as I please, cleaning bums. Lots and lots of bums (don't ask). But unfortunately it's not like I had too many adults noticing my drawings. They were more focused on quietness. They wanted me to confirm to talk and talk, like everybody else.

That's the problem of raising children; you're stuck between teaching the norms of society and teaching them freedom of expression. But most adults would rather teach children to conform to the norms.
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:iconjillamos:
jillamos Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student Filmographer
*cleaning=including. 

weird error.
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:iconsoratheartist:
Soratheartist Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow. This is a well written article. My mother, mainly, discouraged me from drawing in a "manga" (that's what she calls it) style, and tried to persuade me to draw like Lee Hammond and other artists like that. Whenever I made a work, she's always pointing out things like, "his eye's crooked" or "her chest looks too flat". I'm still a bullhead, so it never really bothers me. My father never does that, though, which I find interesting. Thank you for writing this. I look forward to reading the next one.
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:iconlilaym:
LilayM Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Student Filmographer
Haha. You're talking to a victim of this perfectionism. Right here.

Frankly, I do not consider myself as a person who was drawing "since forever". As a kid, I loved it. Then... this happened. And my friends who were, as I had thought, much better than me - so I stopped. Only by the strike of luck did I start again - and here I am, about to pursue art as my carrier. Funny how life works sometimes.
I bet those friends of mine don't even draw anymore.

I loved your insight. Certainly waiting for the next parts.
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:iconjo-san:
Jo-san Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well written. I look forward to the next part. :)
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