Environmental Design and Art by Heather Novak-Peterson

Constructive Babble

Inheriting a Taste for Design?

Do we inherit a taste for design from our parents, or is it something we are born with? The argument of nurture versus nature is an intriguing balance of how influences in our lives create our personality, talent and perspective in so many ways.

Use me for example. I am a Gen Xer. I had an excellent public education and grew up in a very artistic household, drawing and painting under my Dad's drafting table at his office, and watching my mother create virtually anything with her hands with beauty and ease and an amazing sense of design. In hind sight, it seems very obvious that I would grow up to have an unconditional love for all things art and design.

Now, let's look a little further at my parents that had given me such an artistic start. They are both Boomers and both extremely creative, so they probably had the same kind of upbringing, right?  Not at all, actually. They each found their own creative spark and carved their careers without the amazing public art programs and unlimited supplies of crayons, markers and paint at home as children.

One generation can claim nature, while the next can totally claim nurture, and I think they would both be right in many ways.  Am I claiming that we don't need those influences early in our lives because we will find our way anyway? NOT at all! My parents were lucky. Think of how many people were not. How much amazing art and design didn't happen because people were told to stop dreaming and get a real job?

Now more than ever, programs need your hope and support to keep all of those little sparks out there going into blazing amounts of creativity.  Maybe it's just doing a little volunteering, or maybe its donating your week's worth of coffee to get markers for a class room, or maybe its spending some special time with the little people in our lives to show how fun art is. 

So go ahead, as winter starts to come in, don't forget to continue celebrating and keeping creativity access for the next generation, even if it means wearing a turkey hat in public to get a laugh and teach your daughter about performance art!

Heather Novak-PetersonComment