How to Raise a Kid Who Loves Art

Something you might not know about me is that I got into the art world later than most artists.

I started making art at five years old with my parents’ constant encouragement. I dreamed of being an artist…but somehow, I ended up spending almost two decades in finance instead. And I was miserable.

One day (over 10 years ago now), I was watching my oldest son, Christian, doodling. He held up his finished drawing to show me. It was a clown.

I felt so many things looking at that drawing: Joyful. Resentful. Hopeless.

Mostly, I felt inspired. That was the day I decided to return to my dream of being an artist.

I also felt proud that I was raising my child to love and appreciate art. Christian’s drawing reminded me that giving our children creative outlets–and helping them appreciate the process, effort, and thought that goes into making art–is one of the most crucial things we can do as parents.

Even if you’re not artistically inclined, you can help your child develop an appreciation for art, and all of the critical thinking skills that go along with that love.

How to Raise a Kid Who Loves Art

    • Give them plenty of materials. Keep a cabinet-full of scrap paper, markers, pencils, pens, clay, glue, glitter…the list goes on. Don’t forget that kids see the potential in things we sometimes think of as trash, either (old watch parts, beads from a broken necklace).


    • Make time for creating. Obviously, if your kid is parked in front of the TV all day Saturday, he won’t be getting the same kind of creative time. Try sitting down with your kids for an hour of crafting time. It might stretch into two…or three.


    • Expose them to different kinds of art. Take kids to art museums, galleries, and pop-up exhibits. If they’re younger, find places to take them where they can touch things (like the Children’s Museum).


    • Avoid criticizing. Instead, ask questions.


    • Show them how art is connected to everything. Humans are visual creatures. This will never change. We prize beauty and visual interest–whether we find it on a gallery wall, in the sleek design of a modern armchair, or in the red-gold glow of the New Orleans sun setting behind the levee.


    • Let them know that handmade presents are precious. It’s more than likely that your kids’ allowances (and their capacity to earn their own money) will grow as they get older. But their ability and desire to create one-of-a-kind gifts for those they hold dear will only grow if you help them learn to treasure it.


Above all,

Let them know that art is a real career choice. I wake up every morning thrilled to go to “work,” because the work I do has always felt like play to me.

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Back to Blogging!

Steve Martin here. I’m the artist behind Steve Martin Fine Art and ART+DESIGN magazine.

(In case you hadn’t noticed, you’re on my gallery website. I’m the guy who paints those giant, colorful faces. I also have a lot of fun with wire).

I want to welcome you back to the blog and give you a sneak peek of what you’ll find here:

  • Resources for art lovers
  • Art events and reviews
  • Interviews with New Orleans artists
  • and some of my thoughts on art creation, inspiration, and appreciation.

Did you know you can subscribe to our monthly email in the right sidebar, and get advance notice of New Orleans arts events, openings, and new artwork?

If email isn’t your thing, stop by the gallery sometime and say hello.


QuidamSteve Martin Fine Art is excited to announce that Quidam by Cirque du Soleil performs a limited engagement at the New Orleans Arena March 13-17. Tickets are on sale now. Visit for more details.


To celebrate the arrival of this lively, imaginative show, Steve Martin Fine Art is offering a pair of free tickets to Cirque du Soleil – Quidam at the New Orleans Arena on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 pm to the first local person to buy a piece from Steve Martin Fine Art. Additionally, anyone who can provide proof of purchase for Cirque du Soleil – Quidam – New Orleans tickets will be eligible for a 30% discount on any and all works at Steve Martin Fine Art.


Let us hook you up with a pair of tickets and come to the show with us! For those of you who have already purchased tickets, the 30% discount is good through March 13th.  More info about tickets, the Quidam show, reviews, etc., can be found here.


Picture 5The latest issue of ART New Orleans features Steve Martin’s work on the cover. Titled “A Man of Many Colors”, the story includes an interview conducted by Libby Allen spanning everything from Steve’s sculpting process to his inspirations to the birth of the ART New Orleans magazine itself. The many pictures in the six-page spread showcase the versatility and creativity of his work. The article highlights paintings, linocuts, metal and wire sculptures, as well as offering a glimpse into the gallery.


The article can be read online here at the ART New Orleans Magazine website. For those who are in the area, you can always pick up a copy of the current ART New Orleans by stopping in at Steve Martin Fine Art on Julia Street.