They’re Better at This…

Now and then, I have collage classes in my studio for as many as six adults at a time. When they sign up I tell them, “Don’t bring your children, they’re better at this than you are.”

I’ve given workshops at children’s museums, galleries, schools and in my studios. Clever little devils they are. Their innovative solutions to the tasks I give them are, across the board, better than those done by their parents, who sometimes participate.

The kids have no preconceived ideas or experience with content or visual results. They are not shy about using color or unusual concepts, and they entertain and startle their audience. During the Weaverville Art Safari studio tours I demonstrate paper sculpture principles for anyone curious about this unique medium. These children are the niece and nephew of my neighbors, Thom and Gaye Carmen.


They get right up close to watch me cut, fold, and bend flat paper into dimensional shapes. They ask a lot of pertinent questions and when I give them the paper object, they react as if I am a magician. I do something for each child who watches me.


Doctor Fisher and my son, Marco, say that she is either teaching me to dance the Charleston or that I should go to the restroom before I do a demonstration.

One of my former students, Pete Figliozzi, who took my course in basic design and color at CalArts in the ‘90s, moved to Asheville, NC, and found me in an article in the Asheville Citizen Times.

He sought me out, we renewed our friendship and now I give periodic classes for his nine-year-old daughter, Kathryn. She is the most sophisticated, innovative, charming child I have ever had the pleasure to teach. When Pete brings her to the studio she always has the most amazing collages, and a lot of them. These are the results from a nine-year-old.




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Life is fantastic when kids are around.


Thanks for visiting me …


P.S. Advice to adults: Make sure the kids have plenty of art materials, tell them to make a picture that they have in their mind. And leave them alone to make a mess — and art.

One thought on “They’re Better at This…

  1. Kids are free, their minds are clouds collecting data since eternity. I often wondered if all the prior knowledge we have experienced in our existence isn’t stored up there in our mental cloud. It comes out, more redly when we’re children. I guess because children have no boundaries. Unfortunately, that comes at a later time. Then we have to rediscover what we never remembered.

    Leo, that was wonderful story. Keep it up…Tchuess, Gary

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