A few years ago I was speaking to woman in her 60's about art. She shared with me "I would have loved to be creative without having to be perfect". This made me stop in my tracks.
We continued the conversation about art, and her experience of art classes at school, not being able to draw the perfect straight line, like the teachers or others kids, or the getting into trouble for not getting it right etc. This still affected her to this day.
We have all had experiences like this, it may be for colouring outside the line, but man, what happens if you just love yellow so much you can'y help but want to share how awesome it looks on a white page, you can't and don't want to contain it to the lines, you want to share you're love and joy of that colour. What happens if you want to colour in in every direction possible, up, down, left, right, front to back, back to front, only to be told you can't that's 'not right' - who says? Just because we may like something one way that doesn't mean it's true for all, art is about expression after all, not making clones. What happens if you feel like a horse it to be make multi coloured, white with dapples of pink, yellow, blue, green and orange with a pink take, who says horses have to be brown or black, or look better those colours?
What I have learnt from listening to and watching other people, adults and children alike, talking, and my own experience is that it is important to allow children to express and have fun, not try to control tor make things look perfect or good for the wall. Sometimes kids end up hating subjects because of this. We can still teach lessons - there can still be the experiences and outcomes we have to follow as part of the curriculum, but allow people freedom to express themselves and enjoy what they make.
I have seen kids come into first year at high school terrified of making a mistake, too scared to have fun. Or very young kids in primary school, anxious about messing up.
We need to be aware of the impact of our words and actions, how what we say and do, can affect people for years. Our words and actions are either healing or harming. There is no in between.
I have learnt so much from children over the years, they come up, within the lesson focus with some incredible things - that I often would never think of and say wow, I love that can I use that in another lesson. We can learn so much from each other, and it’s a blessing, to enjoy and appreciate how each child expresses the same thing in their own way.
For me teaching art is about building a relationship with the kids, having fun then the subject. This is what lasts with the kids, I know this from my own experience at school and the teachers and subject I loved and remember.