Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

You may recall that a short while ago I made a post called “Think Outside the Box”; a title in which I amused myself because it’s main focus was on curating art away from the cliché white cube. It included my personal view that, although artwork within galleries can be mesmerising, creating artwork outside of gallery spaces is an excellent opportunity to introduce art to those who wouldn’t normally even consider going into a gallery in the first place.

Pablo Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Personally, I agree. I believe that this is absolutely true. As a society it seems that we have the creativity and passion knocked out of us, after constantly being told that we aren’t good enough. Despite “good enough” being an entirely subjective term, many take this view to heart and eventually give up. In fact, I’m a prime example of this! I missed out on achieving an art GCSE because my mums boyfriend told me that all the good artists are dead and there’s no point. It was only thanks to a chat with my dad that I am now taking a degree level education in fine art, with a promised tattoo art apprenticeship with one of the best tattoo artists in britain! Many people aren’t as lucky as I have been, and don’t have such support. 

I recently learned that one of my favourite surrealist artists- Salvador Dalí- had illustrated one of my favourite childhood stories, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland back in 1969. Those who know Dalí should also know that he rose to fame with his early piece “The Persistence of Memory” back in 1931 after befriending artists of the likes of Miro, Picasso and Magritte. So after making such a living from sophisticated, adult works, why begin illustrating a children’s book?

To begin, no one piece of art is more professional or important than another. You could be a gallery artists, a tattoo artist, a children’s book illustrator, each different but each as creative and important as each other. Of course, everyone has personal preference, but on an overall scale, all arts validity is equal.

I believe that putting art into a children’s book, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, introduces children to art at an early age and raises them with the creative love that many children lose as they get older. And it is not only Dalí who has illustrated books, another artist with her own take on Carroll’s Wonderland is Yayoi Kusama. In fact, only last year did she partake in the wonderful illustrations of The Little Mermaid.

Below are a couple of links with a series of artists, followed by the children’s books that they have illustrated, including the likes of Warhol, Hockney, and Manet!

https://www.artsy.net/artsyeditorial3145

https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/articles/11-books-illustrated-by-famous-artists/

It just goes to show that a good artist is versatile, and will paint the whole world in colour no matter what the age of their audience.

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