post

Are You Smarter Than A First Grader?

drawing of a tree

drawing of a tree- actual results may vary

Walk into any 1st grade classroom and ask the question, “Can anyone here draw?”  Chances are, almost every hand in the class will go up.  The one hand that doesn’t go up, by the way, is the kid who was lost in his coloring and didn’t hear you ask the question.  Now walk into any office building and ask the same question.  You might get a couple of hands raised – and one of those is someone asking for clarification.

If just about all of our skills get better as we become adults, why does artistic ability go the opposite direction?  The good news is, it is still there- it has just been covered up with all the clutter of being an adult.  Don’t believe me?   Just read on…

Now you know how we love challenges here at The Next Goal- so here is a 30 day challenge to resuscitate your dead artist!  Set aside 10 minutes every day for the next 30 days.  Morning time is usually best- to make sure it gets done- but it can be whenever you want.  Each day, grab a blank piece of paper and try to draw a picture of a tree.  If you have a tree in your backyard, great.  If not, just find one on the internet somewhere and print it out.  Don’t worry about how the tree looks – nobody will ever see the drawing.  The only rule is that you don’t spend more than 10 minutes on it.

Take the very first drawing and seal it up in an envelope and hide it in your desk somewhere.  The rest of the drawings can just be trashed when you are done.  Remember, 10 minutes – no more, no less.

So maybe you are the over-achiever type and want to take this to the next level.  No problem.  Just set aside an hour each weekend to browse the internet for articles on drawing.  Maybe check out a few YouTube tutorials or drop by the bookstore and pick up a basic book on drawing.  Just take a short one hour break from reading about politics, sports, or whatever else floats your boat.   Instead of 9 hours on Facebook next Saturday, you only spend 8.  But this is just extra credit.

The real key is to not miss a day of drawing.  Ten minutes a day for 30 days.  We are talking five hours of time over the next month – everyone can swing that.  I’m not asking you to get up and go to the gym or watch what you eat.  Heck, feel free to down a few donuts while you draw!

On Day 30, take your final drawing and compare it to Day 1.  You will be shocked at the progress you have made!  Heck, you might even be as good as your 1st grader by that point.  From there, it is up to you.  Maybe you have found that you like drawing and it becomes a hobby.  If not, no biggie.  You can at least go about your life knowing that a little bit of your childhood is alive and well inside you somewhere.

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About Larry Lourcey

Plano portrait artist, Larry Lourcey, holds the designation of Master Photographer awarded by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in 2007.  Several of Larry’s images have been selected for the prestigious PPA Loan Collection, including an image displayed at Imaging Asia in 2005. While Lourcey is most recognized for his black and white photography, the breadth of his work includes vibrant photo paintings, Polaroid transfers, and photographic collages.  He derives his inspiration from master painters like John Singer Sargent and Edgar Degas, while embracing the bold styles of more modern greats; such as Pino Daeni. In his free time, Larry enjoys trying to find free time. Follow him on Twitter as @larryphoto

About Larry Lourcey

Plano portrait artist, Larry Lourcey, holds the designation of Master Photographer awarded by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in 2007.  Several of Larry’s images have been selected for the prestigious PPA Loan Collection, including an image displayed at Imaging Asia in 2005. While Lourcey is most recognized for his black and white photography, the breadth of his work includes vibrant photo paintings, Polaroid transfers, and photographic collages.  He derives his inspiration from master painters like John Singer Sargent and Edgar Degas, while embracing the bold styles of more modern greats; such as Pino Daeni.

In his free time, Larry enjoys trying to find free time. Follow him on Twitter as @larryphoto

Comments

  1. You have just inspired me!!! i always has this fantasy about how gifted i am (whether its the truth or not, i dare not ask anyone)…. 🙂 i may just have to take your advice and see how much i can use art to express myself.

    I know i already do a little writing, though very rarely (for someone who is supposed to be a blogger), i love music but i havent played a single instrument in years, i love poetry but i havent written in years and here today, a challenge to awaken the artist in me!!!!! i love this 😀
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  2. That is so very amusing. Of course, everybody can draw. It’s just that as adults, we have learned to silo ourselves off. “I’m an engineer.” “I’m a plumber.” “I do multi-lateral trade negotiations research>” We get to thinking that if we can’t do something at a professional level, we can’t do it at all. But it is all poppycock. It’s time to start thinking like a first grader. We can do anything we set our mind to, and it does not have to always be at a professional level.
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  3. I think I need to give this a try, thanks for the insight!

  4. Christine Lee says:

    I always wondered about this! I think a lot of the time we just realize we’ve always been terrible at it 🙂

  5. I am really quite an artist in my imagination. The reality just isn’t … art.
    K

  6. Interesting approach on tapping back into our artistic side. I know I have some latent ability in that area – the challenge is shutting down the message that always pops into
    my head when I think about drawing. It’s the message from so many elementary school teachers who were always quick to tell me, “Poppy (well actually I wasn’t called Poppy in elementary school), that isn’t the way we draw a bird, tree, house, person, fill in the blank of whatever I was trying to draw…”. Well it WAS the way I drew those items, I was just convinced it wasn’t the acceptable way to draw them. I never heard that comment beyond the 6th grade – probably because that was the last year I was required to take art in school and so I didn’t take it anymore.

  7. The same idea of 10 minutes a day could also be used for learning to play a musical instrument. That is how I started with my mountain dulcimer. It is hard to sit down and practice when you know you don’t sound very good because you are just learning. Another tip I found from a fellow dulcimerist – don’t “practice” every day, “play” every day. Playing is lots more fun that practicing!

    • My son’s piano teacher takes this approach – I wish my music teachers had focused on playing, trying, and having FUN! He’s FLYING through the lessons and enjoying them. (He COULD stand to practice more, but he’s the one who wanted to learn, and letting him set his own pace certainly hasn’t held him back, any, either.)

    • Great idea with the music. I agree 100% about the play vs practice. When I was a kid, I spent HOURS playing music because I enjoyed it. I don’t think I ever “practiced” – at least in my mind. Funny how it all comes down to perspective.

  8. Rob Boirun
    Twitter:
    says:

    Good tip here. My oldest is taking a real art class as extra credit right now and she was told to do this, but she needs to do 30 minutes a day. It is really starting to pay off.
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  9. Great post! I find that drawing with my daughter is a great stress reliever. It always puts me back into that carefree child-like state.

  10. Great take on Adulthood! It rids us of our innocence and naivete. I don’t have an artistic vein in my body, but I really like looking at sketches. One day I decided that I want to sketch, and bought a few pencils and a pad. I scribbled in it once, I think I will take you up on your 30-day challenge. I would like to sketch beautifully, and this is the only way to improve!
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  11. Especially since I read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, I’ve come to believe anyone can learn how to draw. My son is learning how to draw, and we just discovered the Draw 50 series. The thing I like about it is how it breaks down the drawings in to the steps used to create them.

    As if I didn’t have enough else to do, I just might have to do this challenge! Thanks for sharing it, Larry!
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    • Thanks for stopping by Grady. The problem adults have is that their ability to evaluate art grows faster than their ability to create art. If you can get past the self-evaluation part, it makes art a whole lot more fun!

    • Hi, Grady! Enjoyed chatting with you last night – nice to “meet” you, and I’m really glad to see you here. I slept in this morning – haven’t had a chance to ask the rest of the team if any of them feel up to attempting NaNoWriMo along with this “Surviving the Blog” contest, but doesn’t that just dovetail perfectly with Larry’s post, here? NaNoWriMo is the writer’s 30-day challenge for unlocking their creative inner child, isn’t it? 🙂
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