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Akiane: Child Prodigy

  1. Aug 3, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    She tells quite a story as well.
    http://www.artakiane.com/akiane_art.htm

    I am pushing my luck by posting this so please remember the rules: Any and all religious debates, and all attacks on religion, will be deleted. Penalty points will be assigned if appropriate; esp given this warning.

    Do we have any idea how such talent is expressed at such a young age, and with no training? Or, perhaps the real question is, why can't everyone do this? What makes her different?

    I esp like these two - both painted at age ten.
    http://www.artakiane.com/paintings/age_10/paint_pyramids.jpg
    http://www.artakiane.com/paintings/age_10/paint_power_prayer.jpg
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2007 #2
    my guess is that her parents gave her lots of access to drawing materials, gave her lots of inspiration, and gave her 0 access to TV. Add that to a little natural talent in art and boom, you have a child prodigy. I think the main factors are inspiration and no TV.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2007 #3
    From the progress of her work and the fact her parents wanted to homeschool her I figure they got her started on sketches and drawings at a young age.
    I'd imagine you could do this to almost any kid that is moderately intelligent.
    The key is to start young, and to practice practice practice.
    I imagine:
    Age 3 : Her parents notice her playing with crayons and give her something to draw. They realize that she likes doing it and encourage it.
    All throughout age 3 they have her do, lets say, one simple drawing a day. Takes about 20 minutes. Each day she draws something new. At the end of the year, I would imagine she is already quite capable, after having drawn 300+ drawings. She could probably draw objects with simple strokes, no shading, etc.
    At age 4 all you do is step it up. Show her the few simple techniques it looks like she uses and have her draw more complicated things including faces. I'm sure the sketches on the website are the "best looking" ones from her 4-years-old phase. I'm positive there were others that they just did not want to show. Regardless, she gets better and better.
    And so forth.

    Its one thing to say ooh, a child prodigy at age 10/11 some girl is just great at art! But then you look and what yo uactually have is someone drawing
    http://www.artakiane.com/paintings/age_11/age11_19.htm#
    after SEVEN YEARS of practice. Thats a long time. I'm sure any of us could do that after SEVEN YEARS of drawing all the time and reading art books. It seems like they encouraged her and taught her techniques because they never say she did it alone, they just say "mostly alone" or "almost completely by herself".

    Thems my thoughts.

    I will say though at age 3 I'm not even sure what I was doing. I could probably have been considered a genius playwright with the complex stories I used to have playing with my legos and GIJoes.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2007 #4

    siddharth

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    I'm reminded of autistic savants who also have extraordinary talents at a young age. I wonder if there's an accepted biological reason for this? Has anyone found, for example, a different structure in the brain, or a genetic contribution like alleles for the exceptional traits?
     
  6. Aug 3, 2007 #5

    LURCH

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    I was drawing almost constantly from age 4, and I couldn't come close to this @ 11. Most children I know under the age of 5 draw almost every day; and I've naver seen work like this from a child this young.
     
  7. Aug 3, 2007 #6

    ranger

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    This shouldn't matter. All normal kids start drawing with lines, tadpole figures, and no sense of depth at those ages (3-4). Giving your child a piece of paper and crayon and tell then to practice wont' spawn any rapid developments in about 1-2 yrs time. Drawing is akin to cognitive development, which at age 4 is nothing extraordinary to give rise to such beautiful art.

    Akiane is definitely messed up when it comes to cognitive development and she obviously isn't normal.
    Thats good. It should be this way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  8. Aug 3, 2007 #7
    I've been thinking about this. I MAY remember stuff from age 3, but probably no younger.
    I started preschool at age 3 and 9 months. (Birthday is late november)
    I remember the first day of preschool sort of. I remember having to go to some tester guy a few days before preschool, in some gym, where they tested my walking ability goign up and down a ramp or stairs or something, while my mom talked to them. I remember her telling me it had to do with them testing things like whether i would have trouble climbing stairs at school.
    I definately remember at least a dozen seperate events at preschool.

    Whats funny is I think my first memory of actually being IN preschool (I was anywhere from 3y9m to 4y5m old) is being amazed by a prism and how it made the colors :) I was born to be a physicist.

    I remember one day I was told to draw a few people on a sheet of paper. I chose to draw stick people cause they were the easiest, and I gave one a hat. I remember this distinctly. I was at the table closest to the window on the front side of the room facing the back (by the prism and bookshelf and puppets). I found out years later that they tried to use the fact that "Kristopher is not showing some signs of development, such as drawing people with clothes on and bodies that aren't stick." They told my parents they wanted to hold me back another year because of it.
    Of course they refused saying I was really bright. They found out the next year that I guess the schol had too many kids entering Kg and they told the teachers to find the youngest ones and try to get a reason to hold them back.

    Sorry to throw this wayyy off topic. Its just fun to think about these things.
     
  9. Aug 3, 2007 #8

    ranger

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    Its very uncommon to to remember stuff prior to age 3. Even if you can recall stuff when you're 3.5 yrs old, its no problem. You will usually recall traumatic experiences, or events that made a big impression on you. Like yourself, I also recall my first school days. I have to ask my mom, but I believe I was your age when I started. I must have started early because I started college at 16 :yuck:

    With that said, it is hard for us to recall events from childhood becuase of the way we store memories at that age. There is no order; we cannot categories things as yet, hence everything is chaotic. So the world as you would see it at that time, would be stored in memory as images. You will however have trouble recalling them [at a later age] becuase of the nature in which they were stored.
     
  10. Aug 3, 2007 #9
    According to fox news, normal children are not special, they must make themselves special, and they blame the decline of america on Mr Rogers for telling kids that they are special... See the video:
    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/07/06/fox-news-‘blame-mr-rogers’/
     
  11. Aug 3, 2007 #10

    ranger

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    Thats why no one watches Fox News. I only watch Fox for The Simpsons :biggrin:

    But in all serious, those people are jackasses to the fullest extent. I fully agree with Mr. Rogers. Every child is special. Hey, if God doesn't share this point of view, so what? The next one we'd start asking; is Akiane special in the eyes of God becuase she is White (blond/blue eyes)? This is rubbish! Unfortunately, I'm sure her parents have this point of view. Get this - Akiane isn't special, shes gifted. The ones that are to be blamed for children not getting good grades are the parents and the teachers, not something Mr. Rogers said. These idiots are so desperate for an answer to Americas decaying public school system, that the will blame the most non obvious person. Pathetic.

    I wonder how Lou Dobbs would respond to the accusations against Mr.Rogers :rolleyes:
     
  12. Aug 3, 2007 #11

    russ_watters

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    I agree that this is more than just a little talent. A true prodigy has an absurd amount of talent. There was no tv in the 1700s either, and plenty of pushy parents, but there was only one Beethoven.
     
  13. Aug 3, 2007 #12
    Also, a true prodigy has a great amount of talent compared to a small need for practice. Take those autistic piano prodigies for example, they don't sit there at the piano for 8 hours a day practicing constantly. They just seem to have a natural ability to repeat things like music on the piano. I wouldn't say they are a musical genius though, you don't usually see them composing a masterpiece like beethoven.

    Also, think about that "the real rainman" that they keep showing on the discovery channel, saying how he is a genius because he can give you the answer to any common fact. It's ridiculous to call him a genius, that's like saying that your computer is a genius because it has wikipedia downloaded to its hard drive. Try asking the guy something that will require him to actually think and use some kind of reasoning ability. You aren't a genius if you can't reason.
     
  14. Aug 3, 2007 #13

    ranger

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    Have you ever heard of Daniel Tammet? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Tammet

    He seems to be a savant that applies reasoning and isn't simply just a human dictionary.
     
  15. Aug 3, 2007 #14

    ranger

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    I have found a wiki article that briefly hints a few points. Whether they are accurate is questionable:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Autistic_savant&oldid=148648226
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  16. Aug 3, 2007 #15
    I was watching some Discovery show on the "Rain Man" and his abilities had to do with the fact that he wouldn't encode any information. When we input information we attach many "Wrappers" and attributes to that information. The rain man did not thus allowing for better memory. However, the draw back was the rain man couldn't understand concepts like metaphors.
     
  17. Aug 3, 2007 #16
    This is so true. When I was three years old, I had an appendicitis operation. To this date I have memories of many different things of that time. I remember the hospital room I was in for about a month, the view outside through the window, my dad's students coming and saying hi, (one of them, a girl, drew me some comics) even a bowl with cold water they used to bathe me with. I truly don't care if you don't believe me. After that, I don't seem to remember anything else until maybe age 5 or something.
     
  18. Aug 4, 2007 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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  19. Aug 11, 2007 #18
    I don't know if her works are presented in temporal order but she makes a huge leap at age five. Notice the sudden maturity in the picture of her brother as compared to the one of a black boy that just preceeds it. ("Black Boy" is the third one from the left. Something happened in there that gave her a huge insight about facial structure or about seeing what she's looking at.
    -----
    Her sensibilities are pretty cheesey: the emotional elements that ring her bell, but her rendering skills are pretty much unbelievable. Even among adult artists the ability to render realistically is an uncommon skill (the majority of "artists" learn and rely on a kind of formula art, especially anime and maga, and tattoo style stuff) and this little girl is remarkable for having accomplished what a lot of older people just can't bring themselves to do: sit down, practise, and constantly improve. I really don't understand how she was able to focus at so young an age.

    The autistic artists I know about tend to be much more repetitive with their subject matter: one only draws cityscapes, one only sculpts animals, one only paints houses, and one only makes models of cars. This girl is completely versatile.
     
  20. Sep 16, 2007 #19
    I say the explanation is simple:

    She simply has a very great talent for art. She is simply very good at it. No supernaturality involved.
     
  21. Sep 16, 2007 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    That wasn't the original question:

     
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