Scrawling on walls with ink and crayon and reading shapes and characters in the clouds scudding across the sky are a large part of growing up, and this unfettered imagination is probably why children make for natural artists, expressing themselves without any of the hesitations or anxieties of adults. Until, that is, a serious adult laughs at their drawing of a misshapen hat, which, to a six-year-old who could grow up to be the narrator of The Little Prince, could be an elephant swallowed by a boa constrictor.
Children possess a particular fascination for the everyday, something most adults have forgotten. Their curiosity and sense of awe is, therefore, often amusing or irritating to adults who have little time. They may not have the well-honed talent and critical thought of adult artists, but, left to themselves, their playfulness and imagination shine through on paper and in sketchbooks.
A new generation of art educators has realised this and is encouraging young artists to draw elephants shaped like hats, pink skies with yellow clouds, cricket fields filled with flowers, and express themselves in varied ways without worrying about making faithful likenesses of what they see around them. The writer of our cover story met child artists and art educators who are giving free rein to their imagination and creating as well as responding to art in ways that are conceptual, emotional and multidimensional (if I could, I would send a copy of this story to my class IV teacher, who failed me in art because “flowers cannot be blue”).
The last three months of the year are always packed at Lounge, with a series of special issues that are part of our annual calendar, from the gifting guide to our best-of-the-year lists. This is the weekend of our annual Children’s Special, and, apart from the story on children’s art, we have reports on the wild world of children’s parties, a meditative piece on what shapes our tastes and preferences as children, a ground report on the dreams of child refugees, a selection of the best child-friendly and fun gadgets, and more.
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