One day when my eldest daughter was 4 years old she came to me and said, quite frankly, “Mummy, I have an art brain, there’s just no room in my brain for anything else except art.”
Being an art brain myself I was naturally thrilled with this idea. When you have an art brain you not only see the world in visuals, you hear it, smell it, taste it and feel it in visuals too. We picture EVERYTHING. As delightful as this is, it can also be a little challenging. When my daughter started to learn to read and write she would literally copy the font script that her words on the paper were printed in, be it arial, helvetica, futura, you name it. It was a struggle to try explain to my little person the differences between fonts and why they were all right but essentially all look different. It was very confusing to her.
At such a young age she knows exactly who she is and where her strengths lie – from dress design to painting, from building 3D models to writing songs. As an adult, I’m still figuring this out. I find myself now trying to keep her out of the boxes that life and society wants to put her in. In school, art becomes a subject along with science, maths, english etc, but for her art is her entire way of thinking. It’s how she sees everything. I find myself using art to teach her maths, I use art to explain science, I use art to help her remember those tricky english words with funny illogical spellings.
Pablo Picasso put it perfectly. “Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up.”
Using the example of the Mercedes ad by Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv, Israel, the text for the right brain reads: “I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.”
I remember when I was younger, I would paint everything, the taps outside, the birdbath, my big white cupboard doors did not stay white for very long. I’m thankful for understanding parents who gave me the space I needed to be colourful and free. I hung coloured bottles from my trees in my garden, yes my parents had one of ‘those’ hippie houses at the hands of their daughter. I can only chuckle when I see the same characteristics reflected in my child. And I look up at my grandmother who was and still is a painter. She has painted all her life and still has her easel next to her bed in her room as she chases 90.
I am very proud of my art brain kid, she has already taught me so much more about parenting than any best selling book or Google could ever do.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-left brain at all, after all I married one, I am just so deeply in love with my right brain, it’s everything I ever wanted to be.
If you have an art brain child we’d love to hear from you. Please share your child’s most recent creation in the comments below so we can celebrate them with you!