learning

Every kid is the next Picasso

At the age of 30 something (that’s all you need to know), I have retaken drawing classes determined to learn how to “draw.” And I don’t mean the cookie-cutter classes where you drink wine and paint the same exact thing as the other ten people in the room and your biggest drawing accomplishment is a jejune painting of a dolphin swimming into the sunrise. NO! Real, step-by-step drawing: learning composition, style, foreshortening etc.

Everyone has a story on when they gave up drawing. For most, it’s when you see that one talented kid in class (in my case, Tanya from Russia) who draws anime and nature stills like it is nothing. She was “talented” is what my teacher used to say. Tanya this, Tanya that. Perfect Tanya drawing an elephant 3D. Everyone look at what Tanya drew! TANYA, TANYA!

Needless to say, I am still bitter because of Tanya because she killed drawing for me even though I loved it. I enjoyed it. It was my favorite thing to do. I drew flowers and butterflies and I got lost in the world of colors. But then, the comparison started. Other kids maybe drew a more refined flower. A better looking cow. A more gentle looking ballerina. And then… I started to doubt myself. My sketches did not compare and could not compare to sketched of others, people like Tanya. I stopped drawing and proclaimed myself as talent-less for drawing. I turned it into a joke throughout the years- “I really shouldn’t be drawing, if I draw a cow it looks more like an elephant” stupid type of jokes, belittling my own ability to draw.

Throughout the years I’ve learned how to use computer software to get a desired picture/image etc. But I was never able to draw out my stories. I had the text on the paper, and images in my head. I finally said to myself: enough is enough!

Drawing is all about practice, it’s not about talent. It’s about being tenacious and relentless. Your kid can be the next Picasso. Just don’t let them give up. Because, my dear readers, art is highly subjective (I mean, have you seen any of the weird “modern art?”) Art is being able to express oneself, the form and style we choose is solely our own.

Your child should never give up drawing, because all he/she has to do is to learn proper techniques. In the words of Mark Kistler- like we learn how to write, we can learn how to draw. And that’s absolutely true! Drawing teaches children not only to be creative and imaginative, but that they have to practice to get better and be persistent and passionate about something. And lastly, it can boost their confidence- they are able to create something. How great is that?? So don’t you ever, ever, ever let your child give up drawing! And maybe, you should take a few classes yourself!

Leave comment below, I would like to read about your drawing stories!

If you want to follow my drawing progress, you can follow me on Instagram 🙂 My goal is to be able to illustrate my next children’s book!

P.S: My other books are available on Amazon– find the Rainbow Starfish with Sammie Snorkles or go on a stud abroad to France 🙂 🙂

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Best advice for people scared of dogs: DON’T make a SCENE!

I have to speak up about this topic because as a former dog owner, and watching my sister having to deal with people who are scared of her little hyperactive mutt, I get beyond irritated with the way people behave around a dog when scared of it.

Here’s the thing. We get it. You are scared. Maybe you got bit by one in the past. So what? A dog bit my hand when I was ten years old- it was my fault- the dog was pretty much blind, I wanted to pet him, I surprised him, and poor thing got scared because he did not know I was coming and defended himself. I ended up with a bleeding hand, and poor thing was scared more than me. It didn’t stop me or my family of having another dog.

So here are key steps what to do/not do when you are scared of a dog:

1- You are NOT at the center of that dog’s attention:

People who are scared of dogs always somehow assume that the only thing the dog pays attention to is to them. Not true! The dog is busy exploring the surroundings, smells, other dogs, other people. You don’t stand out, to a dog you are just another person passing by!

2- Do not suddenly stop and stare at and/or talk to or yell at the owners (or dog)

So far everyone who is scared of a dog ALWAYS stops moving. If you had JUST WALKED BY the dog would have NEVER noticed you. By suddenly stopping you are making YOURSELF the center and you are making YOURSELF stand out. The dog probably would not care at all, HAD YOU NOT MAKE YOURSELF SOMETHING TO PAY ATTENTION TO.

You suddenly stop moving, that gets the dog attention- it is not normal behavior to a dog. Most people pass by, right? Asking the owner to “take care of the dog/put it on a leash/ grab it closer” is a reasonable request in human’s mind- to a dog, an UNKNOWN person in a hostile voice is talking to their owner: of course they will growl at you, they are sensing negative vibe and they will always protect their owner.

3- Don’t make the dog suspicious by making a scene

For some reason, people scared of dogs have a need to explain for ten minutes how they are scared of dog and how to “Get that thing away from you.” There is NO NEED to explain for such a long time that you are scared. Everyone gets it. The dog smells your fear, the owner can hear what you are saying. Walk on by and this scene making can be over. No need for the story and background details on your fear of dogs. KEEP WALKING!

4- Most dogs (despite of what you think) won’t bite you

Most of the dogs you are scared of are nice dogs. Even if it is a Pit Bull, doesn’t mean it is a killing biting machine.

I mean, it is so simple. If you are scared of the dog, just keep walking by and the dog won’t even care. Don’t stop and make a scene about how you are scared of dogs!!

Think about it- let’s say you are scared of snakes (I am definitely scared of them). So, let’s say I was walking down the street (maybe at some exotic location so it is more plausible), and there was a guy with a few snakes around his neck and maybe one or two following him around. Would I intentionally stop and started yelling at him to move his snakes away? NO!!! I would pass him and the snakes by to get the hell away from them all.

What do you think? What have your experiences been so far? Leave a comment below! Thanks for visiting my blog, and don’t forget to check out my books on Amazon!

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Don’t give up- your child can become bilingual!

One of the few memories I have of my Grandma, ma belle Grandma, were her attempts of trying to teach me French as a young child. Our family has some decades-ago French roots and she knew “intermediate French” from conversing with her Grandparents. There are many cognitive advantages for a child who is bilingual and by God, my Grandma was going to pass these advantages onto me.

As a child, I resisted. Fought against. Cried. Even just learning how to count in French was a crazy nightmare! Unknown sounds that were impossible to say, nose bleeds from all the nasal sounds (haha, just kidding). You get the drift though. She tried her best but I was just too stubborn to learn. I gave her the satisfaction of learning “un, deux, trois” and “je m’appelle” but anything more than that was a hopeless cause.

She tried, my poor old Grandma, but she just didn’t have the tools to teach me. No books, no entertaining visuals. Nothing. Just her and her tiny jazz hands. But now, in this beautiful world of internet, anyone can learn a language. Book market is flooded with language experts or language lovers as I call them. The main thing for any parent is not to give up. Particularly when you don’t have family members who speak another language. Why don’t you learn a language with your child? Start with new words… the grammar takes a while to learn anyhow, but if you give them the foundation/the vocabulary… it makes it so much easier!

P.S: In case anyone is interested, I wrote a children’s book in English for beginners and little ones who are just mastering their first English words available on Amazon. It is currently in process of being translated to French, German and Croatian. Give it a look and let me know what you think! Thank you for reading my blog, and leave some comments on teaching a second language to a child below 🙂

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Shinning bright on a Sunday!

It’s a great feeling when you have the writing fever. You stay up late, forget about eating, perhaps drinking coffee to stay up when your body is telling you to shut down.

I’ve been up since 5am and I can’t stop writing. I would like to share the cover of my new “Ginger’s missing glasses” children’s book. I am presenting the cover today, but it should be available on Amazon tomorrow. For FREE pre-orders, e-mail: leahrennes@gmail.com. DO IT! I want to hear your feedback!

I hope your Sunday is productive as well.

Love,

Leah

P.S: I also want to state that I have decided to do a so-called “LULU” pledge- meaning 50% of my profits will go to those in need. As you have seen in my log posts, I consider myself fortunate to have good opportunities in my life and I want to help those who do not.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Winston S. Churchill

Picture Credit-LeahRennesOnPinterest