Let me set the stage on this one. Daughter #4--1st grade--03/04 school year. I always knew she had a gift. She's loved drawing since she was very little. Scribbles at first that progressed into beautiful advanced work for a six year old. Near the end of her first grade year, her very special teacher calls me into the class. At that time, I was voluteering a lot at the elementary school. Daughter #5 was in kindergarten and I put in as much time as I possibly could.
Her teacher tells me that she would like to have d#4 tested for Talented Art. I'm thrilled at this point cause now I know it's not just me that notices her work. You all know as moms, we say how great our kiddies are but when you hear it from someone else... wow! The teacher calls in and has the "art specialist" visit the school for testing---Round 1. We are asked to bring in a portfolio of her work to be looked over. No problem! I have been saving her work for a while so we put together a portfolio. She passes round 1 and we are asked to go to the local headquarters where Round 2 will be held. The date was set and of course, we were there. She goes in alone while proud mama sits and waits.
After an hour and a half she's done. On the way home I asked her what did they have her do. She tells me they made her draw a man in a boat fishing. I asked her how she thought she did... she says great. I'm happy. After 4 weeks they send you a notification in the mail to let you know if she has been accepted. (Long process, I know!) We get the letter and BAM--she misses getting into the program by one point. One point!! The letter says you can call to inquire why she wasn't accepted, which I did on her request.
I ask the lady on the other side of the phone, "What did she do wrong?" Her answer, "She did not show any shadowing in her picture." Hmmm.... I think to myself... 1st grade and they want Picaso! I now have to explain to her what she did wrong. Her response, "Mom, it was noon time. You don't see your shadow at noon time!" HA!! Now I'm wondering if I should call back and tell them what she just told me. I decide not to for two reasons. 1) They would never believe that it was her that said it... 2) They obviously want art done according to their standards. The question was did I want my child to be creative on her own, doing her own thing? Or--do I want someone standing over her telling her to do it this way (according to them)?
We sat down and talked about it and decided I would let her do her thing! "In time," I told her, "you will be recognized for your own work." And she was! In 6th grade she entered a school art contest called Reflections. Her work took her to State Finals! In your face talented art!! D#4 is now an eighth grader. Over the years, she was approached to be tested again but together we decided for her to continue doing her own thing! Now... her 8th grade art teacher has asked she do it again.
This time, D#4 wants to be tested. Not wanting to hold her back, I agreed. She was again asked to bring in her portfolio. One major No No is nothing animated! So we pull out all of her drawings, sketches etc., of the Anime's she loves to draw and her more recent Steampunk art. Uggghh---this stuff is really good, but she wants to get in, so we comply. She passes Round 1... naturally, and now has a testing set up at the facility in May.
My dilema.... I couldn't be more proud of her when it comes to her artwork! She really is good! (Not just mom saying that!) Point---she really has come into her own with her creativity and draws things she really loves. If she is accepted in May, she will be forced to draw what is acceptable according to the Talent Art Program. So now---as much as I want to support her in what she wants, I don't want her to be disappointed when they dictate what she can and can't draw, how she can or can't use pastels etc.
She has made the decision to go in May so now I must take a back seat and hope for the best. She wants this to be her future and I won't take that away. She actually wants to be an illustrator!! Book covers, PB stories etc. for my stories!! ROFL I can hardly refuse that! She understands what she is in for, so with that in mind, I will let her grow. Will let everyone know what happens in May!!! Wish us luck---See ya soon!!