UNDERSTANDING THE CHILD AS ARTIST
Artists, the real ones, are never governed by rules. They have their own. They live in their own chosen world and everything around them is simply their creations. Creativity is their very soul. They live apart from the human race since they are a different race coexisting with the ordinary. While they may project as commonplace and act in a regular manner, their perception of reality goes about above the average decibel and most often, along unusual lines. Only artists can determine a fellow artist.
As a child, I felt like I was having the same vein until it was suppressed by long years of routine scholarship. My parents never wanted me to be craftsman. I was cajoled, obliged, compelled to be just like anyone in the neighborhood Artists are easily moulded by superior force. And they succeeded to reinvent nature. I became a government functionary, more of a visionary because of my artistic inclination, but a regular worker just the same. I will retire from the service a few summers from now, reduced to a pensioner more than someone with creative impulse.
But not my son. He was nurtured under an air of independence. He virtually has to court the muses and seek solace personally under the guidance of autonomy. He was planted in an environment where artists are prone to bloom. It may be a little lonely. It may be strictly friendless and forlorn, but that exactly are elements where the arts manifest. Although he grew up in a regular family atmosphere, he would, most of the time, rather submit himself under the tutelage of books and the scent of the library. The school was merely a plaything, an exposed appendage for social gathering. It was for him never a zone to learn. Learning is a personal advocacy intended to develop philosophy, the basis of his interest, the foundation of his ideal, the central nervous system of his arts.
And I, as a parent, must pay the price, a costly one if you may, for allowing his son to be an artist. I must offer him to the altar of humanity, much like what Abraham did when compelled by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. I must sustain his artistic impulse, his creative requirements, his yen for non conformism, his rebellious streaks, even his extraordinary expenses. He must see the world. Capture it in his perceptions.
Artists have difficulties in ascertaining the proximate result since their intellects are profuse with distant calculations. They seldom care about their gender. They seldom give a damn to anything spiritual. They only pray because it is a habit not because they are religious. They know they have the same gift with that of their Creator. They are demigods whose works are perpetual and beyond the sphere of mortality.
I know that my son is having the same syndrome. He is constantly battling with his own demons. He knows that winning means creating a master piece.
He must experiment on life, traverse the impossible, blend history and current events; he even encourages himself to peek at the future. It is no small feat. It is a leap of faith. An artist must have to taste the bitter gourd of deprivation, the pain of insult if only to bring about a realistic production of genuine arts.
No parent would allow his child to encounter hardship but that is how arts, real and authentic ones, are made. The artist must produce something which the world must reckon. Heroes and artists grow from the same tree.
It has been said that to have an artist as one’s child is a cross between a blessing and a curse. But for me, it is more of a blessing disguised as a curse.
(Karlo Ernesto Tesoro would change his name to Kermit, a character from a TV Children’s Educational Program, to make himself anonymous among his boyhood peers. Subsequently, he was adjudged as one of the country’s top ten designers and whose works have been displayed in international galleries.)