Social media users slammed the teacher for panning an incredible piece of art, and for trying to discourage her.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 27, 2021. It has since been updated.
A six-year-old girl was downcast after her teacher snubbed her piece of art and told her she had done it wrong. The girl was heartbroken as she really enjoyed creating art and it was heartbreaking to be told that it wasn't good. The girl's Mom took to Twitter to share the amazing picture the 6-year-old drew and asked for Twitter's opinion. The six-year-old was flooded with positive messages. The girl had drawn the artwork at an after-school art club, only to be panned by the teacher. Twitter user Gemma Leighton wrote, “My 6-year-old daughter painted this amazing scene. Her art teacher told her she had done it wrong?! You can’t do art wrong! She was so upset as art is her favourite thing to do.” The picture featured a tree-lined path leading to a sunset/sunrise on the horizon. Art is subjective but you can tell easily tell that the girl's art is incredibly good, especially for a 6-year-old. The girl's mother went on to ask, “Can you please show Edie some support and like her painting?”
My 6 year old daughter painted this amazing scene at an after school art club.— Gemma Leighton (@GemLeighton) April 21, 2021
Her art teacher told her she had done it wrong?!
You can't do art wrong!
She was so upset as art is her favourite thing to do.
Can you please show Edie some support and like her painting? pic.twitter.com/LV8rOgPwjc
The tweet gained popularity when people showered the girl with uplifting messages, praising the beauty of her work, and encouraging her to express herself. The tweet has more than 143,000 likes and 8,000 retweets. An incredible number of people on the platform voiced their support for the 6-year-old, including many verified profiles. Zoie Palmer wrote, "Edie your art is beautiful and engaging and provocative and makes me want to take a walk right inside of it. It’s a lot of things but it’s definitely not wrong." Another user praised the girl, and called on the teacher to "open her eyes." Kolecki tweeted, "This picture of trees and a roadway at dusk (or dawn) has a surprisingly contemporary look to it. I immediately thought of Picasso and wondered how he drew when he was 6 years old. There may be real genius in this young artist; her teacher needs to open her eyes & weigh her words!"
Edie, I will never forget coloring a horse blue when I was about your age and being told it was wrong. I believed it. I shouldn’t have. Why can’t you draw a blue horse? Don’t let anyone tell you how to do art. Math is right or wrong. Art never is.— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) April 21, 2021
Another Twitter user said it was extremely disheartening for students to be criticized this early, especially by their teachers. "This kind of thing is maddening, especially when it comes from an authority figure," wrote Corina. Criticism of such harsh nature can often douse the enthusiasm and spirit of a child. An art teacher weighed in on the conversation with comforting words for the child. "As someone who has taken about 20 art classes over the last 50 years, collects art, and has visited over 1,000 artist studios, this is a phenomenal work of art," wrote the account.
When I was in middle school my English teacher told me to stop writing rhyming poems because they were too juvenile. I never stopped though and making rhyming poems has been my career for over 20 years! Your painting is perfect! Keep it up! Don’t worry what anyone else thinks. ❤️— Kimya Dawson (@mrskimyadawson) April 22, 2021
Many others narrated how similar criticism had discouraged their children or themselves from artistic expression. One user wrote, "My 1st-grade teacher asked us to draw pix of a tree and my tree was a tall brown rectangle with a green circle on top. She held MY pic up and told the class this is NOT how it's done. I have remembered that to this day." Rachelle said she almost quit painting after being heavily criticized. "I had a professor tell me this in the second year of what I hoped would be my Bachelor of Fine Arts. That was 1991, I was 21, I quit, and I've seldom lifted a brush since. Don't let another's subjective opinion dissuade Edie. Perspective and expressionism at 6: she shows such promise!" tweeted Rachelle, before asking Gemma Leighton to show her daughter's teacher a poem by Mostafa Ibrahim, who's considered one of Egypt's most exciting young poets.
We think Edie is very talented! She's always welcome in our art club😊 xx pic.twitter.com/KUO8LN3rBv— Sylvanian Families (@SylvanianUK) April 22, 2021
The poem: "May you never be the reason why someone who loved to sing, doesn't anymore. Or why someone who dressed so differently now wears standard clothing. Or why someone who always spoke of their dreams so wildly is now silent about them. May you never be the reason for someone giving up on a part of them because you were demotivating, non-appreciative or, even worse, sarcastic about it." — Shorouk Mostafa Ibrahim
Edie... Your art is AWESOME!!! There is no such thing as doing art “wrong”. There are only teachers who are wrong”!!! Your art shows amazing freedom and spirit. How can that be “wrong”?!?! Keep doing EXACTLY what you are doing. I LOVE it!!! https://t.co/PRwkYfN3ru— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) April 22, 2021
The six-year-old's mother was stunned to hear so many dreams had been squashed by a throwaway comment like the one her daughter faced. "I am hearing from quite a lot of people with similar stories that a mean art teacher put out their creative fire. It's so sad. I am so thankful for everyone's comments because it has given my little girl such a boost in confidence with her art. Thank you," wrote Gemma Leighton. Here's hoping Edie continues to paint and express herself as long as it makes her happy.