ONEHOUSEARTS is an experimental art school and museum whose mission is to appreciate and promote the artistic spirit of children, to pay attention to the importance of “intuition” in the growth of life, and to give each child a unique artistic vision.
Nature, truth, originality.
Basics, simplicity, innovation.
Respecting the uniqueness of each child.
Listening to what the child is really saying.
Returning to nature and absorbing simplicity.
Helping every child create their own Xanadu of art.
Instead of ‘technique’ I am using the word ‘method’ here. How do we express our thoughts in the best way possible? While learning to draw we are also learning how to solve problems. Using the most effective method to exhibit our ideas. First we must learn the method to express our own ideas instead of expressing the ideas of others through the methods designed by others. Of course, drawing requires a certain amount of knowledge of the techniques. Anyone can master the techniques with enough time and effort. But to be able to solve problems one must begin within oneself.
Thinking, questioning, dreaming, conceptualizing, and imagining. The humans are animals with ideas. That’s what makes us different from other animals and machines. Other animals and even machines may have the ability to choose, but they do not have the gift of imagination. Participating in the arts such as learning to draw helps us form ideas, and from ideas we go on to create new things.
Some parents say to me, “My kid has no imagination.” That is simply not possible. I never teach my students tracing at the very beginning, therefore the moment they put down their first stroke on the previously plain paper they are exercising their imagination.
Be an open individual. Be open in how you touch, hear, taste and see. Keep your heart open. From drawing to music, the arts are diverse. It is the most direct medium in which we can express ourselves. These are things we won’t learn in textbooks. When it comes to the arts, including drawing and painting, we must experience it with wide open senses and emotions. Only doing so will bring us true happiness and contentment. Such contentment is beyond what wealth and power can ever afford us. Only when we open ourselves up to life and to the universe will we encounter genuine acceptance and inclusion. There are hundreds even thousands of ways in which people like to draw. Sometimes we come across kids more strong-headed than others, who tend to reject styles too different from their own. For these kids, learning to draw is a great way to expanding their horizons, leading them to learn to be more receptive to differences and have more courage when facing challenges.
Drawing requires hand-eye coordination under the orchestration of the brain. The purpose of our leaning art, learning how to draw, is to make things. We work to make actual physical things, express ideas or convey emotions (music, acting). I admire every drawing done by every one of my students. Us adults like to complain that there is not enough time in the day. In the meantime, the kids are giving up their playtime and spending hours on creating worlds of their own imaginings. Isn’t that a worthwhile endeavor? To the parents—I want all of you to have no regrets in the future when you look back. Don’t be the parent who demands that their kids make drawings which are neat and perfect to the eye of an adult, especially when the kids are at an age where they are beginning to build their own worlds with their hands and in their hearts. Just picture—in the future, you suddenly realize that your children, who are now grown up, have turned out to be exactly like everybody else—will you harbor regrets? You must make sure to tell yourself and your children, “You are unique. You are special. I love you.” The children are working very hard on being themselves. As parents—give them the love they need to achieve that.
I believe that drawing, or any art forms, can change the world. We can see that anything which can be categorized as art will be appreciated across the world. Van Gogh’s painting is art, Mars landing is art, the invention of the toilet paper is art, Alibaba is art, even the dental brace, in my opinion, is art. Because they have all changed the world. Some parents have strong objections to their children’s dream of becoming a painter because “You make no money at all and get famous only after you die.” I don’t think that most children are aiming to become a professional painter when they pick up drawing. Then why not learn something besides the techniques at the same time? It takes time to master the techniques, but our ultimate aim should be the realization that we are all citizens of this world and that we must do our part to help the world become better. To most of my students (aged 3 to 12), techniques will not be useful to their future. A clear world view, a broad horizon and a strong inner life, these are the healthy characteristics we are after. Of course, when they are well on their way to obtaining these it will be time to study the techniques.