My youngest daughter knew from the age of 5 that art was her destiny. Her first commissioned work[unpaid, of course] was at age 5. As a kindergartener, she designed the cover photo for the program brochure used for her graduation ceremony. She wasn’t even in 1st grade yet!
After years of drawing while in school, after school, at home, all of her free time was concentrated heavily on art. As a 10th grader, she had already created her 1st based serial comic strip, ‘Café au Lait’ in 4 Panels. Upon my own recognition of her incredible talent and this original idea, I requested a U.S. Copyright protection, and it was granted.
All of this happened before she had begun college. A well-presented entrance portfolio earned her admittance into quite a few prestigious schools with excellent undergraduate visual arts programs. She eventually decided on NYC’s School of Visual Arts, and from this institution, founded by Rhodes, she earned a B.F.A. in Cartooning and Illustration.
Art can definitely pave the way for future success as much as Science, Engineering or Math. Our public schools, for a long time, had negated the importance of fostering the artistic and creative expression of students. All of a sudden, art programs were being eliminated from school curricula.
Thankfully, it is now recognized that any field or career area has challenges to enter or succeed, and art, music and other ‘non-essential’ subjects are returning so that STEM can become STEAM in 21st Century education.
Children who demonstrate interest, possess talent, sheer determination, and adequate encouragement, can discover that anything is possible for their future. We must stop limiting their innate need for individuality and creativity.
Nurture the whole child, and educate likewise. Give them opportunities to explore a range of areas to identify interest, aptitude and settle upon their the dreams that will enable them to realize their potential. Here’s another success story from ED.gov: