The first steps of a child are always the most joyful! Children think in images. Their consciousness is not socially conditioned yet. Their first drawings, the first signs on paper, make a lot of sense to them. They put all their emotions in the first paintings. They create. They are direct. They are artists. Each of us has a little child – an artist inside. In each and everyone of us is a direct perception of the world around us which speaks to us. We need to express ourselves, express our feelings and thoughts. This is not a desire to become an artist – we are already artists – we create – we draw – we paint- we write…
For children, it is not very important if the painting is an exact copy of the reality. What is important for them is how they perceive the reality and how they express themselves and their feelings on paper. If you have a chance to observe a kid painting, you will be amazed how much joy and happiness he/she can experience just by drawing some simple picture. When they draw or paint, they are the creators; there is no separate painting and painter. It is one whole process of creation.
You can do one simple experiment. Go to a kindergarten class or find a group of children about about 4-5 years old and ask them a question: “Who can paint? Raise your hand.” There will hardly be any child who will not raise his/her hand. Now go and find a group of adults and ask them the very same question. You will be surprised. There will be few if any of them who will raise their hands. You may wonder: where did those artists go from within us when we grow up.
Unfortunately, when we grow up we become more and more conditioned by the environment. We become more and more self-conscious about our skills. Now, we try to make our paintings and pictures to be an exact copy of the reality, and if it is not so, we get frustrated and give up. We start making excuses like: I am not good enough; I don’t have the necessary skills etc. But the trick is to hold on to that child-like state within us. That state gives us joy and the highest degree of happiness while we are creating something. It is that inner artist that will guide us through the challenges and adversities of learning the skills to become a great artist. One of the greatest painters in history of humankind, Pablo Picasso, once said, “For all my life I have been learning to paint like a child”. If we stay in touch with our inner child-like artist, then learning any skill will become only a matter of time and practice – nothing more.
What happens if we let the inner guide teach us? During the course of our lives we become more skilled in the ways of transferring our thoughts and feelings on paper. We learn to make a painting more alive and more expressive. We are now able to grasp some laws of expressing ourselves. We look at what others do, we become more and more experienced, we read books, we study. And one day, our skills become excellent. Even other people start calling us artists. We devote all our attention and all our time to the training of acquiring art skills; we continuously think “How to draw… ” And ” What to draw ”
Finally, I would like to give you a some practical advice. If you really want to learn to draw and paint, it is really necessary to paint something that is very interesting, very exciting for you. Something that really speaks to you. You may even feel the necessity to paint it. Only then will you be able to experience the highest degree of happiness in the process of creation. And only then will your work touch others. Probably it’s worth to look at your memories, look into your subconsciousness in your early sketches and etudes. It is very easy to miss something that lays very deep in you., but those things can really prompt the inner artist to find an important theme for the work. It can be absolutely habitual things, for example a picture of a yard filled by the wonderful light of a sunset or a painting of a hero from an interesting book you have just read. Look into yourself, into the artist living in you and define your work only by your feelings. Unleash the greatest artist that is already in you. I wish you much success in your creations!