Since we had inherited our parents abilities, you would think we would naturally all turn out to be musicians today. Although several of my brothers are still active in music, I chose to take another path. I knew that I wanted to be an artist since early childhood. While my family used music stands to hold their music, I used mine as an easel for my canvas. I asked my parents for art lessons, and they signed me up for several local art classes that taught oils, charcoal drawing and pen and ink. When I first entered college I thought I would major in music, since that was what I grew up knowing, until, I sat in a music seminar and the speaker made this comment. "If you cannot eat, drink and sleep music, then you should not do this." After that seminar I discovered that the only thing I could "eat, drink and sleep" was art. The college didn't offer an art major, so I took the few art courses they had as electives while there. When I look back, I realize that I took the long way around to becoming an artist, but I never gave up in the pursuit of practicing my passion. Although I was unable to chase my passion of art through school, in a sense it chased me and I am where I am supposed to be today, because I didn't give up on my dream. It also created endurance in me.
As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to experience many things so that they discover their talents. However, I think the best way of helping your child discover their passion is to listen to them. What do they talk about most? What do they enjoy doing with their free time? As a parent I wanted to make sure that I gave my daughter, Vanessa the opportunity to discover what her God given abilities were. After trying her hand at painting, I could see that she had talent, but I noticed that it just wasn't "her thing." She informed me that she had a love/hate relationship with art when she was in grade school. She liked the creative process, but never cared to be forced to create the same thing that everyone else around her was making in art class.
Vanessa, First Grade
Entering 12th Grade
Her first design in 8th grade
A sampling of Vanessa's designs.
A few of her finished designs on art paper ready for printing.
I'm not sure how Vanessa will choose to use her designing ability, but I think the lesson here is to listen to your children and to give them many opportunities to explore and discover what they both like and dislike until they find what they are passionate about.