How To Be An Artist*

My friend is an elementary school teacher. She invited me in to her 1st grade class to give a lesson about art. The entire school (except 4th grade.grr)  is doing a study block on Great Masters of Art.  I had nearly free reign (no nudity or gore, these people are 6).

It was pretty hard to decide what to do, but I settled on an activity where I gave directions and they followed the steps and we’d see how alike or different they turned out.

After that I gave a short talk about some important things you can do to be an artist. I drew up some pictures to go along with it.

Here they are:


Ask questions.

Look at stuff. Figure things out.

Take things apart. Put things together.

Don’t forget the other side, the back, the top, underneath.



Be brave.

You don’t have to be superhero brave, just regular brave.

Someone might tell you that they don’t like your artwork because “you did it wrong.” DSCN4619

Maybe they think that the sun in your drawing shouldn’t be red.

But, art is mostly about your ideas and your imagination,

so you get to make up your own rules about what you put in it.

So be a little brave and tell them,


“I appreciate your opinion, but I like my sun red and I’m going to keep it that way.”


Be passionate.

Play. Dance. Sing.


(So you can improve at doing the things you love doing.)

Try new things.


Fill up your toolbox.

Take lessons.

Go to school.


Try to fill up your brain’s toolbox

so that you have lots of things in your imagination

to use in your art

and in your life.


The most important thing you can do to be an artist is to be you.

Robots don’t make very good artists,

because they can’t make decisions

and show their feelings in new and exciting ways.

As one of my favorite artists, Dr. Seuss, says:

“Today you are you,

that is truer than true.

There is no one alive

who is youer than you”.



*These are also good tips on how to be a human.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Daily Prompt: The Artist’s Eye | to be dancing... a novelty yarn
  2. Trackback: Driving Under The Influence | to be dancing... a novelty yarn

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