Education Week - December 3, 2014 - (Page 32)

COMMENTARY Jeff Dekal for Education Week A Brief Portrait of a Young Artist Q. Can you describe what's happening in your illustration? Jeff Dekal: This illustration is an interpretation of my earliest memories of drawing as a child. Instead of doing what most of the other kids were doing after school or on the weekends, my friends and I would pick themes and draw them. That's how we got our kicks. Q. What was your motivation as a young artist? Dekal: I don't think I needed much motivation. Drawing was just what I loved to do. As a child, my life really was that simple. I think motivation becomes necessary when we start to experience the portions of life that can get us down, like having to do whatever it takes to pay the bills, or the experience of loss that can lead to depression. Then, it becomes necessary to seek out some kind of stimulus to bring us back to a place where we are mentally ready to create. Q. You've mentioned to us in an earlier conversation that you felt "different" as a young artist. What did you mean by that? Dekal: It's just more of a feeling. I would watch my peers and notice what they did with their time. I tried to do those things, but most of them just never clicked with me. I could still participate and enjoy the activities to an extent, like joining sports teams. But the feelings I experienced didn't seem the same as the feelings that most of the other kids experienced. They seemed to enjoy them a lot more than I did. Q. What helpful advice can you offer educators for working with young students who show artistic promise? Dekal: Find a balance of encouragement and push. You want to push them past their limits, but children can be sensitive. You want to make sure you give them enough praise so they can understand that you're only trying to make them better at what they're doing. n l JEFF DEKAL is a cover artist for books and comics, as well as an all-around illustrator. He lives in South Florida. He responded to questions from Commentary Editor Elizabeth Rich. INSPIRED Learning A special Commentary section on arts education | INSIDE | 22 STEM + ART: A FRUITFUL COMBINATION 22 A TEACHER, STUDENTS, AND POETRY IN MOTION 24 ART MATTERS: WE KNOW, WE MEASURED IT 25 WHY NOT ART FOR CHILDREN'S SAKE? 26 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 32 | EDUCATION WEEK | December 3, 2014 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - December 3, 2014

Education Week - December 3, 2014
Rules Aim to Heighten Ed. School Monitoring
Parents Get Schooled On New Math Standards
Principals’ Central Role Gets New Attention at Ed. Dept.
Districts Press Publishers On Digital-Content Access
Consortium Sets High Bars For Its Common-Core Tests
Table of Contents
News in Brief
Report Roundup
New Teacher-Licensing Exams In N.Y. Lead to Subpar Results
Obama Grants Deportation Relief To Immigrant Parents
Kindergartners Found to Benefit From ‘Tools of the Mind’
Blogs of the Week
Word Problems Should Be Given At the Start of Lesson, Studies Say
Tech. Vendors Cloudy On K-12 Buying Needs
New Guidance Offers States Roadmap to NCLB Waiver Renewal
Achievement, Dissension Marked Tennessee Chief’s Tenure
States Get Federal Running Room On Teacher-Equity Plans
Blogs of the Week
JOHN CESCHINI: STEM + Art: A Fruitful Combination
KIP ZEGERS: A Teacher, Students, and Poetry in Motion
JEAN HENDRICKSON: Why Not Art for Children’s Sake?
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JEFF DEKAL: A Brief Portrait of a Young Artist

Education Week - December 3, 2014