"I am always trying to access my inner child when I create simply for the freedom and non-judgmental energy of a child."
Artist David Bender on drawing an ocean liner as a child and attending the 1970s Aspen Design conference.
Click to expand media gallery.
CMA's end-of-year artwork sale raises essential funds for free arts education in NYC schools whose arts programs have been decimated by recent budget cuts.
These works – starting at $100 – have been generously donated by celebrated artists who uphold our belief that all children are artists deserving of the materials, access, and encouragement to allow their creativity to soar.
Below, meet contributing artist David Bender.
Artwork by David's daughter, Lily
Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child?
As a small boy I used to watch John Gnagy on our black-and-white TV. I still remember him teaching how to draw a bird in flight using ovals.
What advice would you give to young artists who wish to pursue an art practice?
A good mentor or teacher can be a great help. Go see everything – galleries, museums, studios, art fairs, etc. And read! Books are wonderful sources of inspiration.
How does working with children inspire you?
As an artist I am always trying to access my inner child when I create simply for the freedom and non-judgmental energy of a child.
When did you first know you were going to be an artist?
I drew an ocean liner on a large piece of kraft paper for a drawing contest in first grade. My teacher, Mrs. Petersen, showed it to the high school principal and they decided to display it in the high school. That experience made me wonder about being an artist.
Can you describe a formative experience visiting a museum or gallery?
I went to the Aspen Design conference in the mid 1970s and listened to Milton Glaser speak about the creative process. I also workshopped with Robert Rauschenberg and participated in a food parade with Antoni Miralda. It was a magical time for me, as I was attending the Burnley School of Art, and to be in the company of your idols was a dream.
Edge of the Meadow
wood, clay, paint