Friday, April 22, 2011

Creative Compulsive: The Next Generation

The master at work during her no body phase.
     Several years ago I worked with young children with autism as an in home Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapist.  One of the many things we worked on were making simple drawings, including human figures.  This spurred my interest in the typical development of the human figure in early childhood drawings.  I did a little research, and learned about the typical steps beginning scribbles, moving to objects with radial symmetry, on to a head with often random numbers of arms and legs, finally arriving at a head with a body and arms and legs.

The last no body human

     Both of my children have spent countless hours with paintbrushes, pencils, and crayons in hand creating masterpiece after masterpiece.  About 2 months before her 4th birthday, my daughter made that mighty developmental leap between bodiless humans and bodied humans.  Literally overnight she replaced her typical head with arms and legs with the a dressed body.  It was like a switch had been flipped.  I suppose it was so amazing in part because I happened to be paying attention, perfectly typical, but no less amazing.  
The first human with body
     It leaves me wondering, why no bodies.  Do the drawings give is an insight in to the child's perception  of the world, or are they simply the reflection of the degree of their mastery of spatial relationships.  Perhaps an even greater question, what drives humans to create images in the first place.  


  1. So cute! :)

    It is amazing how quickly children can make those leaps. The brain is changing so fast in those days.

    I have a neice approaching 2 yeas and its fascinating how much she changes every time I see her.

  2. I loved seeing the drawings. Are they all Rosa's? She's talented already! The bottom one looks like an illustration for a children's book.

  3. Development during the younger years is mind boggling. Children go through so many changes at such a high rate of speed, it is fun to be a part of and fun to sometimes just sit back and watch!

  4. Yes, Kerri they are all Rosa's. I think she is a genius, but then again I am her mother :o)

  5. She is a genius and a little doll. Great post.

  6. Hi Daisey. Just popped in to see how you are doing. I know you're busy busy these days but wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you today.


  7. Thanks Ivy. I have just finished up a class I was taking. I think I am ready to hit the creative projects again! I have some people lined up to do some interviews on my Blog. I am very excited. John and I were just discussing it tonight over Pizza!