I've always loved to draw, and in the early days of my life, a lot of my artistic development was self-led. I doodled constantly, trying to make my little dreams come true - having my own cool girl band, forging fantastic medieval weapons, creating languages, and designing vast underground castle complexes guarded by insurmountable booby traps...
However, I was completely daunted by drawing realism. I longed to give my dreams more convincing form. Unfortunately for me the art education that was provided in public school was more like an intro to arts and crafts. It wasn't specialized to any one kind of skill. This format is certainly fine for exposing art to a broad group of kids, but it isn't good for developing strong drawing skills.
My first drawing teacher
God provided for me, however. I was not left absolutely bereft of drawing education, because a lovely man in my church named Jerry volunteered to teach me how to draw realistic pencil drawings. I remember him patiently prompting me to loosen my grip on the pencil, to find the simple shapes within different objects, and to explore different textures with my pencil.
Jerry's teaching, along with several "how to draw" books provided by my mom, unlocked a whole new world for me. I was able to create a bridge between the invisible worlds that existed in my mind - worlds where I was a sword-forging princess, or where I had a crew of friends that, like, totally got me! ...or where I had two sets of twins in the span of two years (in the land of my imagination, this just seemed like a dream come true. I think I've moved past that dream, now! So, so many babies...) - and the visible world of reality.
Remembering little Kyla
Without the help of Jerry, and later my grade 12 art teacher, and later my artistic friend group in YWAM, my artistic expression would never have been able to develop the way it did. So, as I consider the art classes I'm about to do, I remember Little Kyla of the past and think "what would have benefitted her if she was joining my beginner's drawing class?"
Some things Little Kyla was hungry for:
Validation of her artistic proclivities
Friendship with people of similar interests
Mentorship from a fellow artist - someone who would push her to improve, praise her progress, and awaken a vision for what her art could be
There are tangible goals for art class: learning how to use your pencil, learning how to get proportions right, learning how to create the illusion of depth on a 2D page, and also there are the intangible goals: vision, camaraderie, connection. These are things I would like to include as I teach my art classes! I hope to see you there! :)