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Art and kids

Week 46/2022

A few years ago I was a juror for the children's art contest in a department store, the typical thing where you end up without knowing too well how. There I could see the drawings of hundreds of children separated by age, each age was in a category and I noticed something that caught my attention.

In the early years they don't know what they are doing, they just paint and like it and that's it, they are wild, the results are interesting as punctual pieces of art, but there is no artist there because there is no intention.

As they grow up you begin to notice that there is a person behind, iconographies that look their own and an intuition about everything that is art, I do not know if because the eye is being educated or if the classes in schools and children's academies are bearing fruit, the line is being mastered and begins to have control, young artists begin to be aware of what they do.

Then comes the debacle, around the age of nine or ten, everything starts to go wrong.

As if it were a curse, the kids start to stop drawing like themselves and you see that they dedicate themselves to copy the drawings they like, they don't do their Santa Claus anymore, they do the Santa Claus they see around and they like more. I guess it has to do with some question of personality formation or something, I don't know, I'm not a psychologist, but suddenly, everything wonderful, magical and new that was in the drawings, disappears.

I seem to remember that the contest was for children up to eleven years old. Afterwards it was forbidden to draw. It is striking that people who do not dedicate to the craft or hobby of drawing do not learn anymore, in fact they return to a state prior to that fascinating moment, they make drawings of small children, of small children who have the motor skills of an adult, but purely infantile.

Why do we abandon the teaching of art in high school and replace it with "technical drawing"?

And then nothing, it disappears.

I meet many people who tell me that they used to draw very well when they were children and that they had a great time, but that they gave it up because they were no longer good at it.

I think it's the result of a self-deception, of being wrong about what is "drawing well" for real.

A good drawing does not need to have a correct anatomy or a correct composition or anything beyond a minimum technique, a good drawing expresses something that the person who does it wants to tell and also speaks of the person who does it, these are things that cannot be exchanged from one person to another and they are really wonderful. When you learn technique you achieve versatility and the possibility of controlling the whole process, you manage to dominate the whole creative technique and take it as far as you want, but always keeping your personal voice.

All this to tell you that I'm a proud father because my daughter made on Saturday these powerful Naruto fanarts.


This week in Streaming de Dibujantes we turned on the microphones and we started talking about our things, the result, a great video, I always look forward to talk more with David Lafuente.


I have released the second newsletter from my store in which I emphasize that there are still some Inktober originals for sale, check it out here if you want.


This cover serves me very well as an example of what I was talking about. Many things fail at a technical level, but it transmits a feeling difficult to convey with words and it is clear that I have drawn it and what things I like. One of the covers I like the most in my career.

By the way, it was the editor, Mark Paniccia who suggested that Jean had to be chewing gum. It's great when you work with people who are on the same wavelength as you.

Enjoy the week, don't forget to vitaminize and supermineralize!

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