Denise McDonald Dorman

Nature v. Nurture: The Apple That Didn’t Drop Far From the Tree

In Entertainment, Life Observations, WriteBrain Media on November 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Gentle Readers,

Most of you following me know that I’m married to a famed artist and illustrator, Dave Dorman. However, unless you grew up with me, you likely aren’t aware that I, too, was a gifted artist in my youth. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a mentor like Dave to explain to me that there was “gold in them thar mines…” or real career opportunities for artists and illustrators.  Today Dave goes to grade schools, high schools and colleges and lectures students on career opportunities for the arts. I just wasn’t that savvy.  I knew no one who did art, outside of my art teachers, and there was  no way in hell I was going to suffer that level of abuse.  (Well, I did do a 3-year stint as a Sunday School teacher and was pretty good at it, but I digress).  With the residue from too much ’70s Woodward & Bernstein influence, I ventured forth into a “safer” creative field–writing.

So jump ahead a few decades, and here Dave and I are with a six-year-old son who is clearly showing artistic ability – freakishly so – and we are occasionally flabbergasted by his burgeoning talent. Yesterday was just such an example. Our son turned six this week, and we watched him draw this image below freehand, with no reference to copy. It was simply drawn from his memory. The character he drew, Cosmo from Nickelodeon’s The Fairly OddParents, was perfect in detail, according to Dave, who is well familiar with the character.  I cannot bear to watch that painful show, so I’m no expert. So here it is. Judge for yourself if this looks like the art of a six-year-old:

Dave Dorman's Son Shows Artistic Talent at Age Six

Left to his own devices, our son will choose to sit down and draw rather than watch TV or play videogames. While we praise his efforts, we haven’t given him any formal art training. Dave has insisted we give him the freedom to find his own “voice” in his art. Dave was in his early 20s when he found his voice, and that has worked out well so far, so I’m thinking this is the best approach.  But what do I know? What do you think?

As always, thanks for reading.

Denise

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  1. my opinion…i also showed talent at a very young age like you and also had no one and so stopped as so many other things took over. if i had a dad like Dave and mom like you i would have loved to have been shown colors and how the body works and animals (horses being a favorate at the time). my advice is buy the boy a bamboo for christmas and show him how it works. if your family business were as cobblers would you wait till he guessed how to make a shoe or would you gently show him how to handle a hammmer. loving guidence and encouragement letting him lead and with his art not being wrong ever is of course the way as you know well. where would we be if Dave had been our dad? what a lucky boy is he…..and you for a momma…tops on the grand karma chart…he grabbed the ring and won the big prize..let him have it!

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