Everywhere you look you see a child in front of a TV, a tablet, a computer, or a smart phone. It seems as years go by, the children get distracted by these devices at a younger age. With all the advances in digital technology and social media in the 21st century kids spend less time doing kid things. When I was younger I enjoyed to sew from the fabric scraps my mother had, or play in the snow. In the summer running through the parks discovering nature, or sitting back reading a paperback book were some of my favorite past times. There was no such things as YouTube tutorials, and how-to-do apps.
As much as these advancements serve a fantastic purpose, and can be a great tool for kids, all kids should "unplug" once in a while and learn to create fun from their OWN imagination through self-guided discovery.
Some of the best artists did things at their time that were considered "eccentric", or their art wasn't even considered art, or masterpieces because it was "different". Being different is OK. With TV, and Media constantly putting pressure on our children to look and be a certain way 24-7 whether to compete with other children in school, or to be a team player "popular" no lesson is more valuable for them to learn than to be their OWN person.
Art allows a child to be weird, different, eccentric, outgoing, introverted, sad, happy, mad, or glad in a productive way that not only helps them gain confidence and healing, but it also helps them develop their own identity. Kids who are confident in their individuality do better in school, and socially as well. In the attempt to make our kids more well rounded so that they can become productive adults we sometimes forget to let their hearts guide their path.
Art speaks what no words can, in a beautiful way. Some of the greatest pieces of art I ever made were composed of beautiful mistakes. Art teaches kids that they can make lemonade out of lemons, and it also teaches them to search for beauty in every facet of life.
Before entering the body artistry world I was very intimdated by the thought of becoming a body artist entertainer. I knew I could paint and draw from the time when I was 8 years old trying to sell homemade bookmarks and sketches in my elementary school library. I couldnt afford to go to fine arts school fresh out of high school so in my young brain I thought I was inferrior to the fine arts trained artists.
When i was in middle school I dreamed of eorking for Disney as an professional animation artist. I thought how cool is that? Being able to draw all those images by hand, and see the movie come to life.
By the time i was in high school I spent the majority of my time drawing tattoos and sketching faces at $8 per detailed portrait sketch. In my mid twenties I became a face and body painter as well as a Caricature Sketch Artist for various canadian entertainment agencies before starting my own. I then began body painting dancers and models for productions, company branding promotional events, and fashion shows.
What I found was that adults and children would always request unique and custom face painting designs that i had to finish very quickly, without room for errot. Sfter all with a line up, and a garaunteed pre-set amount of faces or bodies to be painted or tatooed in an hour per thr client, I naturally got faster.
I learned to think out of the box, and great customer service skills as I provided services for divetse age groups, ethnic backgrounds, and physical environments. it wasent my way or the highway as an artist, it was what the model/ customer wanted.
This in turn made me a better artist as it challenged me to learn to draw things I did not have an interest in before, and sharpened my drawing and painting capabilities. It also gave me inspiration from all the amazing chats I had with people I was #artifying.
I also learned that you would be surprised with your artistic ability if you challenge yourself to try something new. So do I think Body Artists or Tattoo Artists are just as good as Fine Arts trained Artists? Yes! They simply have a different skillset or have approached art differently. Personally, us Body Artists thrive off of human interaction, and love to engage our models/ customers in the process by explaining how its done, and getting a feel out of what you desire positivley from the experience. Basically, I think we are alot more fun ;)
Stephanie A.E Strugar
Certified Grumbacher Painting & Drawing Instructor.
She is a retired Certified Face/ Body & Temporary Tattoo Artist.
Caricaturist. She is currently an active
Public Speaker, Consultant, and Arts Educator in the Manitoba and greater Canada area.