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What to do with a child who enjoys art...

Daisys and Diamonds

Apr 30, 2019
I love this Daisys. I agree. I was forced to take piano as a kid, and really did not like it although I love music. I am the most lax mom with my son and his piano and guitar playing. I let him learn whatever he wants, off youtube, with his piano teacher, etc. I hear him singing and yodeling away, and I wince and sometimes plug my ears, happily, and hope music in whatever format he desires gives him joy. He's no Beethoven but he's happy.

This sounds so cool
No pressure art !
When we were little mum and dad gave us all kinds of noise - i mean music makers
Tambourine, triangle, tin whistle, harmonica, recorders, casenets- dad made us these sticks covered in bottle tops (im sure they have a propper name)
I had quite a strict and conservative upbringing but we were allowed to make plenty of noise in the name of music
I feel sorry for kids who arnt allowed to do this, ive given kids recorders to the look of horror on the parents faces :(2


Sep 13, 2019
Dear @stracci2000 , @Daisys and Diamonds , @strawrose , @RunningwithScissors , @Polabowla , @LilAlex , @Polyhex , @molinePDG , @Cerulean , @Tartansparkles , @TheGarnetGirl

Thank you everyone for sharing your opinion and experience and suggestions. I really appreciate that each person's experience is unique and deeply personal, and runs the gamut of practicing artist to application in non-art fields.

I think my biggest concern is whether I am doing the right thing to develop her creative skills. It does not matter to me whether she pursues art in higher education or as a career. So far, she has not expressed a desire to be an "artist". She says she gets to relax when she takes her art classes so I want her to just continue to enjoy it. I greatly admire creative people. They have the courage to show the world who they are by what they create, develop the confidence to look at situations and come up with creative solutions that are not limited by conventional thinking, make decisions based on their own judgment and are brave enough to withstand the criticism that comes with it. It's a way of thinking. It's a state of mind. @Cerulean , thank you for sharing your journey in detail. Like you, I am hoping that my daughter can use her creativity in blazing her own path. It seems technology has provided people with the tools to create and problem solve in ways not available to previous generations. I am requiring her to take all the upper level math, science, and technology classes, so she can even develop the foundation to maybe create her own interdisciplinary major in college, and apply her creative background to traditionally "non-art" fields.

Ok, yes, thank you to you all. This is helping me wrap my head around art as a discipline, but really I think I am thinking about nurturing her creativity. I don't want to pressure her, and I want her to continue to love it and let it be her happy place.

Thank you again so much. And if anyone wants to share more, I am appreciative of all view points and experiences.

So happy to have been able to share!

I have coached quite a few young professionals on crafting their “stories” and translating artistic backgrounds into other professions - helping write resumes, cover letters, tell them about the kinds of jobs are’s happened organically as people are referred to me and I love doing it! As she gets older and closer to entering the workforce, I am quite happy to do the same in all earnestness!

I do think you are doing a lot of the right things. I was lucky and went to schools with strong art programs in high school. I will say, an excellent teacher at that age can be transformative. My mom sent me to a summer camp at the Corcoran Institute in DC, which was really great too. I’m sure there are some in the Bay Area if her school doesn’t have a really robust program.

Another idea...take her “shopping” (online for now) for supplies she may enjoy working with! @molinePDG is right - there are a lot of different mediums. Art supplies are terribly expensive, but buying quality makes all the difference. If you are fighting with materials it can put you off. Blick (an art supply store) has testers where you can sample materials and its fun to play with things. She can learn about how brands, textures, color and surfaces, etc impact what she makes...A LOT

She appears to be a strong painter...she can continue to build skills by challenging herself with those materials! Setting up still lifes at home, learning about color theory, working with prompts (draw what you dreamt last night, or draw a self portrait from a mirror, not a photo)...looking up projects for advanced art students in her age group and see what strikes her interest. I used to teach middle school drawing and painting, so am tempted to make more suggestions but I don’t know if I’d have a strong enough sense of her work to guide with much depth.

In high school...I was given a chance to go on a trip to Amsterdam and Berlin with other high school students and 2 teachers supervising to learn about art history. It left a deep impression on me. It was not my first time in Europe, or seeing museums.. but it was very special.If it’s not too cost prohibitive, I’d highly recommend seeking out a program like it. They have to be out was a 2 week trip, and left me with a deep appreciation for art and it was FUN to be galavanting around these cities with kids my age! I realize this is not possible right now but it could be in the future.

Anyways...don’t mean to overwhelm. She’s at a fun age to really push herself and explore!


Mar 6, 2006
Nope, never discussed with them. She is a sophomore, and the public schools would probably have generic responses. I can look up the decent art schools. And then covid happened. But it couldn't hurt. Maybe when people are back in school, I may schedule something. The teachers at school don't even know. She's only taken one art class in high school so far.

I would advise rather than go the advisor route, reach out to the art teachers for possible insight. If you have no luck at her school. I bet if you emailed other art teachers at schools within your district (or nearby), they would be happy to provide insight as well. My daughter is highly interested in music careers. She is a junior and my last child to go through her public school. I found the counselors and college center useless at her school. But her band teacher has been a treasure and really motivated her to be the best player she can be as well as given her ideas for and inspiration about possible ways to incorporate music into her future. I think typically when someone who has devoted their career to a specialty area finds that a student is also interested, they are happy to guide them. Beware though, my oldest son has also found that sometimes when you ask the advice of a teacher who feels they made a mistake in their career path, they can be quite bitter and express that to the student as well. But I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing, it gives multiple sides and views.

Good luck to your daughter! I think if she were the one reaching out, it would probably inspire the teachers to be more forthcoming.

Aerielle Max

Oct 12, 2017

Some of her pieces are posted here.

She did this in her art class by copying a picture on her iPhone.

She said she missed a shadow on the foot.

Here is a pic of the original.

205FC353-4BD1-477D-9332-0CE059578C9F.jpeg 387F97C7-04BF-4221-BF08-9C6430A19CEC.jpeg AF03B655-98AD-46C4-BC7D-A8A49335BD1B.jpeg CBE90323-75D9-49B6-83BB-73E9AA5F357E.jpeg

WOW!!!! She is indeed an artist! She got skills and really good creativity. Enhance the skill by letting her explore art school. Amazing!


Nov 23, 2020
Art, writing, and technology? I feel like this was written to my younger self. I was never super passionate about any of them but liked them well enough and managed to find myself a career path that combined all three.

I was very much into art in school. I had a talent for it and considered doing something with graphic design as a major and went so far as to look at graphic design schools but ultimately decided to go to a traditional university for a 4 year degree because graphic design was quickly becoming less and less lucrative as it started being outsourced overseas to people just as talented willing to work for less. That's the reason I wouldn't necessarily recommend the university route if she wanted to pursue art full time. Although a lot of people tend to major in biology/art because those textbook drawings don't draw themselves.

I started off thinking I would major in theater with a focus on set design and stage management but quickly realized I didn't like the theater people I'd be working with (all were prima donnas).

I ended up going for a B.A. in professional writing because I was also very skilled at writing and honestly wanted something easy. My courses involved a little bit of everything from academic writing to business writing to technical and creative writing and I also held the managing editor post at the student paper for a few years. There was also courses on layout and design and other art-type of courses that focused on composition theory. So I learned Photoshop, InDesign, and I think there was a literal oil painting class at one point.

My first job out of school was as a contractor for a technology company. I somehow passed their bare minimum Excel test and was hired to do reporting. At that point I learned how reliant they were on PowerPoint at the time. I spent almost a year doing PowerPoints for various teams. I learned the program inside out to the point where someone would call or text me and I'd be able to walk them through the menus from memory. I also had a mentor in Excel and in that company, knowing how to create a pivot table and do a Vlookup put you in the top 10% of users.

Most of my value add was using my artistic background combined with my writing skills to tell a story through technology/software (at that point in time PowerPoint/email/websites/etc). My presentations were always executive-ready, not too wordy, just enough white space, and I designed graphics and layouts to fit the message or main points I felt needed to be emphasized. I coached hundreds of people on what should go on the slide versus in the talk track, how their talk track should flow, what key messages to emphasize, etc.

I continued to hone my skills when I was eventually hired as a full time employee. I worked with literally every department in the building on various projects because it allowed me to learn new things. I created contest graphics or helped the marketing team with flyers or sent out a department newsletter.

I moved to various parts of the company and eventually into management but worked primarily in sales operations/strategy, product, and marketing. I've almost exclusively worked with executive leadership in my career and continue to be known for strong communication, creating slides/messaging, and learning all the latest software.

Most recently I've gotten into streamlining efficiency via Google Workspace, which our company transitioned to recently so I've learned a lot of new formulas/functions/queries and ways to interconnect various files and drives.

My company offers money towards tuition, so I've also earned/am in the process of earning some additional degrees.


Aug 23, 2020
My first career was in graphic design designing websites and software- I would do storyboard sketches, writing and eventually the digital art. I studied media studies in college with a focus on digital media. My dear friend and college room mate was a fine arts major and now does interior design, she mostly designs for luxury hotels and enjoys it a lot, she’s very organized and practical while also being creative! I taught myself a lot as I was interested.
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