One way to cultivate your teen’s love of art is to help them establish a regular “artistic practice.” As they begin to see themselves as an artist, they must also honor themselves as an artist. And that means practicing their artistic techniques just like a skilled musician would practice his or her instrument.
It is essential that your teen begins to devote regular blocks of time and attention into developing their abilities and artistic process, as well as pushing themselves beyond their current limitations. Creating good habits early on is crucial.
Three great artistic practices to begin with are:
- Studio Time
- Morning Pages
- The Artist Date
Let’s look a little at each of these:
Encourage them to implement a devoted “studio time” (which can mean they close themselves up in their room) in which to practice their sketching or painting abilities. A daily practice is ideal, but if that’s not possible, then perhaps they could commit to at least two or three times a week.
Practice makes progress!
And obviously, this time isn’t only about working on skills, it’s also a time for your teen to explore new mediums, new techniques, or simply create whatever their artistic heart desires!
Along with a regular “studio time” your teen could practice journaling their inner thoughts and ideas. In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron encourages the practice of writing “morning pages” for artists. These are basically 2-3 pages of stream of consciousness written in the morning (ideally).
This practice is a fabulous way to get all the “clutter” out of one’s brain and free oneself to dream, imagine and create. Believe me, once your teen gets in the habit of writing morning pages, ideas will FLOOD his or her mind! (You should try it too!)
The Artist Date
The final practice I want to mention here also comes from The Artist’s Way book, and is the practice of the “artist date.” The artist date is simply a block of time that you schedule each week (preferably at least two hours) in which you nurture your creative consciousness, or your “inner artist.”
We will talk more tomorrow about helping your teen learn to nurture his or her inner artist, but if you’d like some ideas for an artist date, I give you lots of them here.
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Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.