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      Valuing Youth Creativity - 子どもが作ったアートの価値

      Valuing Youth Creativity - 子どもが作ったアートの価値

      image above - "Sunglasses" by Iva - courtesy of my personal collection

      I tell this story often. When I was a child, my parents let me draw directly on the walls of our apartment with crayons and markers. Not many would encourage something like that but I am grateful that they just let me be and express myself in a way that came naturally to me.


      Something that I’ve always thought strange or interesting is how we can value naïve style artwork made by adults but don’t put much value into similarly styled artwork of children. We can value the work of famous adult painters in millions of dollars but a scribbled drawing by a friend’s child might get a week being pinned up on the refrigerator and then thrown away.  


      I recently was gifted this simple drawing by a client’s daughter who drew this as I pulled my car into their driveway and visited their house. When the door opened, little Madison was there with her digital camera, looking at the display screen and taking pictures of my entrance. When she also showed me the drawing she had made, we talked about her already being a budding visual creator and that I was excited to see her upcoming work.


      It’s one thing for your family to tell you you’ve done good work but another when someone else values your creations. It becomes even more real when you are paid for it. I worked as an intern for a window display designer when I was 17 creating handmade props. After the internship ended, the man I worked for called my mother and told her that I did such a good job that he’d like to pay me for every hour that I had worked for him. At first my mother refused saying it was too much (I forgot the hourly wage but it was a proper adult wage) but he insisted that my work was worth it, and it was the first time someone had put monetary worth on my creative work. It felt amazing and encouraging.


      I recently found the work of a young Ukrainian girl named Iva being sold as NFTs. Her parents are artists as well and they take beautiful images of Iva’s work to upload.


      "Sunglasses" by Iva, in my collection

      I wondered what it feels like to be her, knowing that her work is being looked at around the world and being purchased. I wondered if knowing that her work has value outside of the fun of creating it, and outside of the eyes of her family would lead to a greater sense of freedom to be creative than a child who doesn’t experience something like that. Or does it matter at all in the development of a child?


      "Iva's Smartphone" in my personal collection

      image above "Iva's Smartphone" courtesy of my personal collection

      I am not a parent, but I know from experience that society doesn’t put a lot of monetary value into many forms of creativity. Creatives are asked to work for free for the chance for exposure regularly. Ideas are blatantly stolen regularly. If from an early age, we taught children that their art and creativity were worthy of importance, would this change things?


      What would happen if people with creative superpowers insisted on others valuing their individuality, creations, and expressions of thoughts and feelings. It’s already starting to happen, I think the tables are starting to turn, and I am excited to see where it will go.


      Related article 関連記事 - Rebeca Raney & Ray's Beret