Overcoming Fear through a Small Point
Today, I would like to introduce a children's book called the dot. This book is written by Peter Reynolds. A girl who struggles with drawing follows her journey from a small dot to becoming an artist. As the fear of seeing the white paper comes back to life when we first start painting, it tells an interesting story of how to overcome that fear and become an artist through the artist's eyes.
Art is a powerful medium that allows individuals to express themselves and explore their creativity. However, for some children, the idea of painting can be daunting and overwhelming. That's where a remarkable book comes into play - one that provides an invaluable resource for helping children overcome their fear of painting by starting from a small point. As I delve into the contents and graphics of this book, I find inspiration for designing my upcoming summer art class. Its magic lies in transforming grandiose challenges into manageable tasks, all through the humble dot.
Every corner of this book is simple, but illustrators hiding interesting ideas are hidden here and there.
The use of the word dot and the transformation of the word "O" into a picture is a really clever idea.
Within the pages of this remarkable book, there lies a treasure trove of keywords that serve as guideposts for children venturing into the world of painting. These words hold profound meaning, offering insights into approaching art in an empowering way. Concepts such as patience, experimentation, imagination, and courage form the foundation upon which children can build their artistic skills. Each keyword serves as a stepping stone towards conquering fear and embracing the joy of painting.
The main character, Vashti can't draw any pictures until the art class is over. When I ask students for a free theme during my first drawing class, they are very perplexed.
Below is a passage that shows how important teachers and mentors play in art education. The art teacher takes a closer look at her blank sheet of paper.
Instead of scolding Vashti, the teacher tells her that there is a polar bear in the painting, and understands her fears, worries, and difficulties about her painting.
After hearing the teacher's words, she suddenly stamped the paper with a pencil, either angry or excited. Then a small dot appeared.
The act of having the student sign under her dot painting and then hanging it in a nice golden frame demonstrates a thoughtful and intentional approach to motivating, inspiring, and helping students understand the arts. By highlighting the student's work in such a way, the teacher is providing validation and recognition for the effort and creativity the student put into her artwork.
So cognitive Vashti starts to get stimulated. She gradually becomes immersed in art to understand the world. It's like seeing all the artists for the first time. Artists also compare themselves to others and are more likely to fail if they do their own work. The act of starting from a small point of oneself and gradually growing that point is what makes a great artist.
The book's illustrations are a visual feast, capturing the essence of overcoming obstacles through the power of a single dot. As children flip through the pages, they witness the transformation of a daunting challenge into a simple, approachable dot. The progression from small to big, from simple to complex, empowers young artists to believe in their ability to create and explore.
Eventually, Vashti becomes an artist and even exhibits. This is the moment when she sees how great art can be from a small piece she takes. Maybe that's why the author's intention is also shown in this book. It is neither flashy nor cool like other children's books, but this author's book creates a beautiful and meaningful story with crooked handwriting and simple pictures, and eventually makes us seriously think about what art is.
In the end, Vashti looks just like the teacher who inspired her to the student who wants to follow her as a mentor.
Using this extraordinary book as my guide, I am excited to embark on a journey of creativity with my students in the upcoming summer art class. By emulating the book's approach, we will break down seemingly complex projects into smaller, manageable tasks. Each session will focus on a specific element, nurturing the students' artistic abilities while instilling confidence in their own unique stories.
Art possesses the power to inspire, motivate, and transform. With the guidance of this exceptional book, we can empower children to overcome their fear of painting, starting from a small point and reaching incredible heights of creativity. Through the upcoming summer art class, we will embark on an adventure where each stroke of the brush carries a story waiting to be told. Together, we will cultivate a lifelong love for art and provide a nurturing space for young artists to flourish.
Myungja Anna Koh