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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let talented children be talented

sketch a day #27 - 10 minutes
Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Elaine Stritch, Casey Kasem, Robin Williams, Geoffrey Holder Joan Rivers, Oscar de la Renta, and many, many other deeply talented people died this year.  Mike Nichols, who died this last night influenced the last Seven decades of televisions and movies. His death had me thinking... who are we replacing these people with?

Kim K. West? Miley Cyrus? Justin Beiber?  Basically, we are replacing these talented, talented, icons with people who are just as infamous as they are famous. The media is more full of narcisists, and dysfunctional stars than talented ones. Sure each has something about them that makes people swoon, and some even have staying power, but they attract more idolatry and admiration. That is a problem.

As an artistic person, and as a parent of artistic people, I feel like my parents generation did us a disservice that we have to reverse. I distinctly remember my parents telling 13 year old me that black females won't get anywhere as architects, so I should keep my sketching as a hobby. They instead pointed me towards law.  It was interesting enough, but when I changed my major in college to art, I remember, a cousin who I respected being called on to brow-beat me into changing my mind. It didn't work, but it did nothing to my confidence as an artist. I feel like this is why I have stopped and started so many times over the years. When your parents don't support you as an artist, will the world? How will you know.

This is why I have always done my best to support my kids as artist. Even though the boy is now more into programming than art,
I believe that he should integrate his talents into whatever he wants to do, and praise his work whenever he cares to show it. So what, my daughter may never make it to the Broadway stage. She may never design a costume outside of community theatre. She may not write the next great novel. She may not get her work in a gallery.  But she might.  Who am I to discourage her, especially when it is clear that her work is very good. (This isn't just me speaking.  Do you know how hard it is to get A's in creative courses in college?  Near impossible.)

I pray homeschooling parents will continue to raise children in the way they should go, and not in the way that we parents envision them. Sure, their argumentative nature as children may have us dub them little lawyers. Sure, we would love for them to be doctors, or pastors.  But, God doesn't gift EVERYONE with talents. That is quite evident based on the "talents" put before us today by the media. If your kids are talented, encourage them to pursue it, in whatever way they can and don't discourage. You will never know what dreams you are breaking.

We need hope for a future where creative people are more positively influential then negatively, don't we?

2 comments:

Nita said...

My daughter is an avid artist and author. I enjoy that I'm able to feed her passions and expand them. This year her art has taken a new level and depth through the tools I purchased for her and the courses I've placed her in.

C T said...

As a corollary, I would say, "Let untalented children be untalented." They don't have to excel at everything they do. Some things can be hobbies or just occasional fun. And sometimes the dance lessons can be dropped (Irish step dance, I'm looking at you).
As someone with no apparent artistic talent who did go to law school, I think your choice to do art worked out much better for being a homeschooling parent. :)