When I asked Isaac Izen if he wanted to be an artist when he grew up, he looked a little confused. I wondered at first if he didn’t understand the question, but the response he gave me moments later made it clear that I was the one who was misinformed.
“I am,” is what the five-year-old told me. There wasn’t a trace of doubt in his little voice that suggested he wasn’t an artist already.
He’s right — he is an artist, in every sense of the word.
For the past four months, Crayola Pip-Squeaks markers have been his medium of choice. He’s used them to create interpretive pieces, like the ones his favourite artist Jackson Pollock makes, and even to capture the essence of the never-before-seen “mouse-butterfly-cheetah-rabbit.”
Now that he has 20-some pieces done and signed in his art book, he’s ready to share them with the world. On April 20, his collection will be displayed at Bertolo’s on Durham Street.
When asked why he was having an art show, Isaac kept with the theme of simple answers: “Because I wanted to.”
He said it makes him happy to know people are going to be able to see his work — a statement that was confirmed by his actions, which included jumping up and down and clapping his hands.
In the past, Isaac has helped his dad and fellow artist, Jon Izen, prepare pieces for art shows. When Jon created 1,200 miniature drawings on tiny canvases, Isaac was full of ideas and inspirations.
“Isaac really helped me a lot,” Jon said.
Jon said he was thrilled Isaac wanted to have his own. “I want Isaac to know every language is important, (whether it is) expressed through art or expressed through words.
“Whether they’re plunking on a piano, sketching out patterns in markers or building castles out of cardboard boxes, we should celebrate all kids’ creativity, and let them know that however they choose to express themselves, their voice is valid.”
While Jon is the first to admit Isaac’s work is “pure kid drawings” he wants to support his son’s creative endeavours.
“Many adults lose touch with their in-born creative energy, and I hope that never happens to Isaac,” Jon said.
Creativity is certainly something the young Izen has in abundance — throughout our conversation, “Sir Isaac” kept his sword nearby, in case the dragons got too close. He even gave me a wooden slice of watermelon, in case I got hungry on our journey to his castle.
So often I hear people talk about creative expression, but watching Isaac live it made it mean so much more.
Jenny Jelen is the lifestyle and entertainment reporter at Northern Life.
Posted by Laurel Myers