Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he or she grows up.” There’s a telling story about a psychologist interviewing young children. He asked a classroom full of four-year-olds, “Who here is an artist, a singer, a dancer?” Every child in the room responded enthusiastically, “I am!” In contrast, when 16-year-olds were asked the same questions, only a small number of them responded affirmatively. Their innate creative spirit had been squelched.
When I shared that story at a seminar, Daniel, age 45, raised his hand. The story brought to mind something that happened to him in kindergarten: “As a boy I loved to draw and I was very good at it. In fact, I was so good that my teacher accused me of tracing. She didn’t believe me when I told her I had done my drawings free hand. She made me sit in the corner and wear a dunce cap.” Daniel threw away his pencils after that and hadn’t drawn in 40 years, even though he admitted that he still felt passionate about art.
Kids Love to Create Art
Like Daniel, my 19-month old granddaughter is producing art at an amazing pace. She loves to draw and color all day. Apparently most kids do.
According to Binney & Smith's last Crayola Color Census in 2001 on average, a child in the United States will wear down 730 crayons by his or her 10th birthday, that equates to 11.4 boxes of 64-count and kids, ages 2-8, spend an average of 28 minutes each day coloring. Combined, children in the U.S. spend 6.3 billion hours coloring annually, almost 10,000 human lifetimes!
As parents and educators we need to make sure our kids stay encouraged to create!
Back to Daniel
People in the group asked Daniel if he had saved any of his original child masterpieces that he drew as a kid. Daniel bowed his head and said, “I think about them all the time and wish we saved them." That moment really spoke to me as so much of my past got thrown away or lost in old scrapbooks that are nowhere to be found.
Saving the Masterpiece Memories
My son and daughter-in-law, like many families, are doing a much better job of saving those art pieces and special moments now with all of the new technology at hand, something Daniel’s family was able to do. I put together her first year of videos all on private You Tube link for everyone to have and my son and daughter-in-law produced a wonderful book of photos of year one as well. But after Daniel’s sharing, I still wondered about how to best save all of the art and special memories that are being made daily so I went online and found a free app called Keepy which helps you keep your kids' drawings, report cards, Lego creations, or anything else offline that you want to keep online. You can even tweak the lighting, colors and the crop of your photos with easy tools. And since our kids create more memories then just art it even helps you organize, record and share audio and video moments with all family memories in just one location. What I also like is that all generations today can keep and share family memories in one place, much like what Steve Jobs did for music with the iPod. I remember how kids were on their play stations, parents on laptops and grandparents on phones. Now with smart phones, tablets and apps like Keepy, we can all encourage, empower and store our children’s brilliant moments forever!