Children are the best artists

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When I moved to France in July 2015, I volunteered to design a large interactive “tableaux” for the “Nocturn’ Art” festival in the village of Saint Chinian. Basic outlines of butterflies and flowers were painted on to four panels and the local kids were invited to colour them in. The result was a beautifully naive masterpiece and after the festival the four panels were displayed in the “Marie” in all their vibrant glory.

At what point, I wonder, do we lose our creative innocence and become restricted by what others think? Why isn’t it encouraged at schools? Isn’t being creative as important as literacy? Most of those young artists will go on to do jobs completely unrelated to their experience at La Nocturn’ Art, encouraged to pursue “legitimate careers”, perhaps never lifting a paintbrush again. But perhaps one of them will, one day, paint a tableaux for their town’s art festival and watch with a happy sense of déja vu as the local kids turn it into a messy masterpiece. I can but hope.

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