Have you heard of the Art of Positive Reinforcement? Rewarding the behaviour you want in children with your attention, in order to encourage more of the good behaviour. According to aish.com, ‘Warm fuzzies, also known in the 1960s as “positive strokes,” is something that parents who want to raise emotionally healthy children cannot do without.’
I’m here to report: warm fuzzies make adults feel good and ‘emotionally healthy’ too.
We can give warm fuzzies to others by being generous with supporting others, and we can give them to ourselves through practising self-appreciation.
‘Kim Zarins shared a post on Facebook of a well-known illustrator’s art as a child versus a piece he did recently, contrasting the improvements in his craft. I thought that was a fun thing to do.’
Me, too. I like the whole concept behind this post idea and it seems to me that this could be a good way of giving ourselves as artists, warm fuzzy material. First, we get the positive reinforcement from other people, our friends and peers who see the post.
Through the images on her blog, Teresa demonstrated how her artwork had evolved over the years. We all said, wow, your artwork is awesome.
Then, Teresa also got to bear witness to her own growth.
So, second, there is the fuzzy warmth inside of saying to ourselves, ‘Wow, your art has changed and improved.’
A visual retrospective is a nice way to chart our progress. It creates positive reinforcement of ourselves. Warm Self Fuzzies.
This morning, I went back through the archives and scanned my artwork, which I’ve faithfully kept from the age of five. This is about taking stock.
So with this is mind, here are a few examples to show the evolution of my art…
Family portrait, Age 5
Character portrait, Age 8
I loved drawing pictures at school. As a lot of writers do when they’re little, I made my own books. The above drawing of Roma is from my book, The Spring Fairies.
Character Study, colour pencil, late teens.
This picture is from ‘The Colour Secret.’ ‘The WaTEOW,” or Woman-at-the-end-of-the-world. It marked my first attempt at an early chapter book series, The Great Adventures of Splat the Wonder Dog.
Teddy bear portrait, pencil sketch, age 20
I enjoyed art and I continued to sketch in pencil as a hobby after I left school.
Self-portrait, pencil, age 25
In my spare time, side-by-side with writing, and raising boys, I always did some sort of drawing and art.
Character Portrait, ‘Free Wally!” age 29
When I was in my twenties, I started writing and illustrating picture books, experimenting with painting using gouache on simple watercolour washes. I took one of my picture book manuscripts, ‘Free Wally!’ to show a friend, Liz Sutherland, an artist and art teacher. Liz said, “They’re good. But you should learn oil portraiture, because you need to learn how to be bold.”
Oil portrait, of my youngest son, Nathaniel, age 40
I studied oil painting with Liz for the next three or four years, through two pregnancies, when I could hardly reach the easel for my enormous stomach. By the time I finished my last oil portrait class, I had learned how to be BOLD!
Nice one. Retrospective done. Warm fuzzies abound!
How do you give yourself and others warm fuzzies? How have you kept a record of your creative evolution?
Yvette K. Carol
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ~ Henry Miller
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