Why are you an artist, Dad?

Why am I an artist? Our daughters posed this question to me earlier this week as I was trying a new way to create. I am always amazed by the way paint works and saw some interesting acrylic pours at our local farmer’s market leading me to try this new method and I asked our daughters to help me.

At 4 and 6 years old, our daughters are very inquisitive, we want them to always be that way which is why I was excited to hear this question.

Focus on the intricate pieces of the feather. What comes to mind? How might this showcase art in nature? Consider how our young learners could become natural artists.

Why are you an artist, Dad?

Growing up I would never have considered myself an artist. Artists were people who drew and painted. My small lens didn’t allow for me to see past what I thought an artist was. My definition of an artist has completely changed as I age. When our daughters asked me that question I had to think for a bit before responding. For them to see me as an artist and to vocalize that was astounding to me. You see, I’ve never discussed with them that I was an artist, they’ve picked up on that from the different items I create.

I’m an artist because I want to stretch my brain, to make connections in different ways, to try something new, and to show our children that we all are artists.

We must unstructure our imaginations if we hope for a culture of exploration and ideation.

I’m a photographer who enjoys teaching. I’m an artist.

I’m a gardener who enjoys teaching about nature. I’m an artist.

I’m a curious explorer who enjoys trying new things and failing. I’m an artist.

I’m a parent who enjoys hearing a child’s questions. I’m an artist.

I’m a writer who struggles and enjoys blogging. I’m an artist.

I’m a DIYer who enjoys trying new things. I’m an artist.

I’m a Lego designer who enjoys piecing blocks together. I’m an artist.

I’m a woodworker who enjoys gifting items to others. I’m an artist.

I’m a CREATOR. I’m an artist.

I continue to hope that our children see themselves as artists. If they see it in their daily life, they will see artists way differently than I did when I was younger. If the budding artist is given a chance to showcase their work and accepted for what they create, then we are promoting a culture of ideation.

How might Calvin have reacted if his parents showed interest in his creations?

Think of all the times and opportunities that we might pass up because we “aren’t good enough” or “we don’t know how to do it”. I come back to the comment my children made to me about why I am an artist. I didn’t pass up the opportunity to try something new. I tried this new to me method of painting and showcased it for our children.

It was a fabulous conversation and we are all better because of it.

How might you be exhibiting an artist’s mindset today? What kinds of new ideas might you try to be an artist. Artists are not just painters, illustrators, and sculptors, but writers, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, speakers, teachers, parents and the list can go on.

When someone makes beauty out of the world in front of us, that’s what I consider as an artist. Break out of your shell and give a gift to someone today. Don’t hesitate, just jump in and try.


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