So, how does your son do?
I hear this question very often. When they get to know me, people always wonder how well my son must have taken to art. Answering this question is very hard. I know that just because I am an artist doesn’t mean that my son should be. But I tried my best to provide him the opportunities. He always had art supplies at his disposal and even though he didn’t turn to it as often as I wished, I was happy with what he created.
I refrained from instructions and by the time he was 4, he would amaze me with his imagination. He brought his free time drawing sheet from school one day. He’d drawn a dragon attacking a flying castle. But instead of burning, the castle’s strength made the fire reflect back to dragon, hurting the dragon itself. Of course all of this was his words, because I didn’t even recognise the dragon and the flying castle looked more like a rocket. But his concept was pretty amazing.
If he were drawing fish, he would make them race around the paper and insist that he draws a finish line, which, done in my class room, confuses the other kids making them want to copy him without even understanding what he does. He is not really an ideal student in a classroom.
While drawing a landscape, he would draw both sun and moon, because it is that time of the day when the moon rises just as the sun sets, and later he would fill it all up with grey blue paint because it was raining and all you could see in the scene was greyish blur. He is spontaneous. He is a creative thinker, who draws to convey meaning but he is not someone who would relish creating a “picture-perfect” image.
So instead of controlling his creative-thinking soul, we got him a Pictionary for Christmas. It’s a game for 8+ years with at least 4 players. But that doesn’t stop my little artist. We customised it between the 2 of us so he has a perfect place for all his creative energy.
Here’s a few of his sketches that he thought, drew and conveyed the meaning to me in under 55 seconds each.
- Nose (Note the arrow mark) and Pine apple (He was focussing on the crown and the spikes)
- Monkey: He drew the tree first, then scribbled the creature, but focused more on the tail
- Car Park: This one was really interesting. It is the way things are in our part of Singapore. A multi-storey carpark with lift near your apartment
- Postman: This is another interesting 55 second sketch especially because our postman (usually a woman) doesn’t wear a hat or bag like that and doesn’t give letters to people directly. But like my son has figured out during his limited time, he couldn’t have drawn any other way to convince me that it is indeed a postman
He has just learnt to read so that makes the game even more challenging when played with only your opponent. So far, there hasn’t been one word he couldn’t draw or I couldn’t guess!