I was shopping in the toy store looking for gifts when I overheard a parent telling her approximately three year old that it was time to put down the toy and go. The child put down the toy and picked up another.
The patient mother said, “It is time to put down all the toys and go”. The child began to complain, the ultra patient mother said, “Remember what we are going to do when we get home?” The child put down the toy and began walking toward the door where another toy caught his eye. He picked it up and the extremely ultra patient parent asked, ” would you like me to carry you or do you want to walk?” The child was now confronted with another choice and being the independent person he was, he put down the toy and walked out of the store with no further discussion.
It’s all about the discipline. I teach a class of three through 11year old children how to make art and it is my challenge to help them work as a group. It really isn’t that much different from one of my former jobs when I worked in a photography lab training interns. People of all ages need to find common ground in order to create a smooth running machine. Guiding that machine requires a choice on everyone’s part to give in to the greater good of the whole.
So what does art have to do with discipline? Consider it a composition, balanced by positive and negative space, bright and subdued colors, soft and hard lines. And of course, it involves making choices throughout the entire process.