Clara confidently announced yesterday, “When I get grown up, I think I will be an artist,” as she slowly and deliberately added a smiley face to the little girl in her crayon drawing. Smiley faces, rainbows, and sunflower dresses provide the content for about 70% of Clara’s current drawings.
Although the content of her drawings might sound frivolous, Clara takes her art seriously. I admit I have a tendency to call anything that is colorful on paper “a painting,” but Clara quickly corrects me if I mistakenly refer to one of her crayon drawings as a painting. “This is not a painting,” she explains in an exasperated tone, “I used crayons to make it."
As she finished the final sunflower flourish on the little girl's dress, Clara pronounced that her desire to be an artist wasn't just a destination for the future but was a place that she had already arrived. She said that she didn't need to wait until she grew up to be an artist "because I already am an artist... I really am."
It would be nice if we all had such confidence in our ability. It’s hard to know for sure at four years of age what she will be when she grows up, but I am charmed by the earnest certainty with which Clara announced her career as an artist. She has artist relatives on both sides of her family, so perhaps this yearning is already somewhere in her genetic makeup.
Most of all, I am inspired by Clara's pride in who she is right now as an artist. Whatever form her artistic ability takes in the future, I love my little artist of today. Her rainbows, smiley faces, and sunflower dresses brighten my day every day.