They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. In fact, many believe that your ability to learn is best at a young age.
Imagination is created best through art, as well as helping to open up other aspects of learning, according to Jeanie Pak, owner of MAD (Make a Difference) Art School in Temecula.
“As we get older, we tend to lose that type of inherent drive,” she said.
The opportunity for children to achieve their creative thoughts in public school is sometimes missed.
“I decided to start the art program to give that opportunity back,” she said, she also has two of her own children and feels that children need a creative outlet.
Pak explained the method to teaching at the art school is very similar to the way an individual coach would teach for a specific sport. As opposed to a public school education in art, they teach past the typical 1-2 hour public program.
Art helps to express one’s ideas, emotions and feelings that will also create a “lifetime of healthy habits.”
“We learn better when we are young because we are creative and responsive to the experience …” Pak said. “Art lets children focus on innocence and spontaneity that will carry through as we get older.”
She also said, “Finding that spark that will carry them to inspiration and innovation is what we are after.”
Being creative is the first step to finding what you want to do with your art, said Brian Manning, creator of Cartoon Kaboom, an after school program in Murrieta,
At the MAD Art School they try to find ways to open up the children’s creativity. Pak said encouragement is the best way to open up the children.
“Children are more responsive this way and will start executing art that excites them and brings forth their true creative aspects,” she said.
Younger children like to draw recognizable aspects, such as nature, floral, space and cartoon characters, Pak said.
Children respond well to cartoons because there are no rules, Manning said.
Cartoon drawing gives children a lot of freedom to do what they want, he also said. Children also like to copy what they see on Disney movies or Nickelodeon.
Art style depends mostly on age; Pak said the younger ones like to fit everything they know onto one project.
Teenagers often draw subjects that interest them or have a connection to, she said. For example, many of them desire vacations; therefore they see a lot of tropical representations in their artwork.
The MAD Art School focuses on each student and gives each individual exercises to get their creative juices flowing.
“They love to be creative,” Pak said.
When the children complete an artwork they’ve been working on, they are proud and want to show it off. And most importantly, the children are having fun.
“Taking full ownership and pride in their work is what brings a smile to our face,” Pak said.