-Can you draw?
-No, I’m not talented! Asking can you draw is like asking if I have a million dollars in my back pocket.
Does that sound familiar? Most adults think that they have no artistic talent. They were raised to believe they will never be able to create anything beautiful. However, everyone has the capability to be an artist. We are all born with the desire and ability to be creative. Over the years, though, we have been conditioned that only those with talent can draw or paint or just make anything that is beautiful
What if I have no talent?
It is true that there are those born with amazing talent. Leonardo DaVinci could draw a perfect circle. A perfect circle by hand! That is astounding. He was incredibly gifted and had talents that go far beyond art and drawing. Does that mean that only the Davincis of our day should learn art? No!
When you learned to read, did only the talented children learn? No! If you learned how to play an instrument, were lessons only available to the talented children? No! Yes, some children will read better, and there are wildly talented musicians. However, talent has nothing to do with learning.
How should art be taught?
Art has been pushed further and further out of our educations. It’s seen as an extra. Maybe if you have talent, you will receive decent instruction. For the most part, true art instruction exists only at art school or in specialized programs. Even then, the students there have a natural aptitude, so the foundational principles are often skipped.
So how should one learn art? The same way you learned to read! Art instruction is based in skills. Everyone should receive instruction in basic skills. This is the missing link between those who are artists and those who think they have no talent. Those you did not learn how to draw, how to break objects into shapes, etc will never be able to draw realistically.
When you learned to read, you learned step by step. After you mastered a concept, you moved onto the next one. You practiced and practiced. There were plenty of times that you made mistakes. Little by little, though, you learned to read. Now, you can read without even thinking about it. That is how art should be taught, to every child! (And every adult if you never learned!)