Recently a mom posting in a Homeschooling Facebook group I'm in about how her kids are perfectionists and struggle with their art "not being good" or less then perfect in the child's eyes. As an artist myself and having 2 kids that at different times have both struggled with wanting it to “be just right” when they create something - I have found that by using examples, maybe pick an artist to study and look for versions of the same piece of art and how it evolved. Or, showing that nothing is perfect the first time around really helps. in my home, I remember when my oldest was younger she had a little buddy who has always been an AMAZING artist - from a young age he was rockin' it with his drawings... but my favorite thing was how his mom would put up ALL the different iterations of his artwork, I showed my daughter the photograph she posted - showing his progression... it really helped to open her eyes up to understanding that it takes TIME - you won't get it "Right" the first time (if there even is such a thing in art!)
Personally, I refrain most of the time showing step by step tutorials.. I 100% feel they have their place but for a kid who strives for perfection it might make it more stressful! When they "can’t do it correctly" from the get-go, even after emulating the artist steps that can be crushing and extremely frustrating... Yet, if your kids are those who can power through and continue to work at something and have a positive attitude about it - go for it! Because truly that’s part of the lesson that is important... how you have to work at something to be "good" at it. I know that art is not about perfection - but truly, as a creative you are ALWAYS striving to find your own version of more, of better, of "perfection" whatever that might be. I personally do not feel there is anything wrong with want to teach and show that growth and improvement at your skills is valuable.
If you find that your kids are stuck in the perfection rut maybe take a step back and find artists and art projects that showcase abstract art. Artists like Jackson pollock, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Picasso, get onto a website like the MET and look at artwork together .... something else to think about, get away from traditional forms of art like pen and paper or paint and have them study and practice photography, sculpture, or do collage work! Get a piece of cardboard and some old magazine and tell them to look for things that inspire them and cut and paste.... these are all types of art that can unlock their brain to see things as less then perfect. Also, rather then doing something with a screen as your guide - set up in-person subject matter— still life objects, be their model, or get a photograph to work from and ask them rather then emulate the photo - maybe collage on top of it. Art comes in all types of forms - not everyone is going to be good at or perfect at everything- that’s ok. Encourage them to get messy - I have specific art clothes they put those on and they know they can get messy - we paint with our finger, our feet even! Take a step back from the traditional aspects of art altogether and start over. Be Free.
Hi, I'm Stacey
A newly minted homeschooling mom to two little girls, two crazy pups, professional photog. by trade and a big dream to share the world and all it has to offer with my girls by traveling and experiencing it all together. Follow our journey and learn from our mistakes and triumphs along the way.