How to Tell if Your Kid is an Artist in Grade 2

Article & Photos by Melodie Yvonne

LAFAYETTE, IN (February 5, 2016) – I’ve had many conversations about art with many people in my past, but my favorite was my recent conversation with legendary rock star mom, Nel Hoon. Her infamous son, Shannon Hoon, apparently displayed traits of an artist at a very young age, and she was very sweet to share the tale.

Photo cred Nel Hoon

Shannon attended elementary school at Linwood School in the 1st and 2nd grade. He had always demonstrated special qualities that set him apart from the other students, but an assignment in 2nd grade would prove to be the first true sign of artistic greatness. The class was given an assignment to draw a picture of their family. They concentrated on drawing these portraits making sure to represent each family member with style, however, almost all were drawn in the ever popular children’s stick figure fashion. All of the families save one were drawn in that way except for the one portrait handed in by the already overly artistic, Shannon.

When Shannon’s teacher looked at the drawing it was definitely not a group of stick figures that she saw. What she saw was a VERY detailed portrait of a family. Not only were the people not stick figures, but they were drawn anatomically correct! Shannon was immediately punished with an old school spanking by the Principal, Mr. Otten, and the teacher immediately called Shannon’s mother into the school. The teacher then met Nel in the principal’s office, and began to relay the already destroyed drawing’s contents to her.

The drawing was anatomically correct as I had mentioned earlier. Nel had to pause to giggle before she continued with the details. “Shannon’s father was drawn as a dimensional figure, not just with a couple sticks, and had all the correct parts including the penis! I was drawn with boobs, a vagina, and even a hairy bush!” Mama Nel said, “Anna and Tim were even drawn that way too!” Nel continued, “That is when I KNEW Shannon was an artist! It really made me mad that they had punished him for such a beautiful thing, and I would give anything to have that drawing today.”

Photo cred Nel Hoon

Spending time with Nel has really given me a chance to hear some fascinating stories, and this has definitely been one of my favorites. Sometimes I see myself in some of these stories of Shannon. I look back at my years in school, and my own overly artistic and rambunctious nature and wonder what the heck my teachers thought of me. I remember how weird I was compared to others, and I think about my own parent’s conversations with the teachers and principals, and wonder if they knew the creative direction I was headed.

Growing up is definitely a little more challenging when you’re kinda strange. It’s hard to be the artist or the dork, but then I hear stories like these and I know it was all worth it. It’s commonly known that Shannon was a champion for the underdog. He cared for his friends and family fiercely, and protected them whether they were a millionaire or hobo in the gutter. Tales like this one remind me how special he was to us all, and how lucky we all are to have Shannon watching over us from the heavens, while Mama Nel cradles us all here together down on the ground.

Photo cred Melodie Yvonne

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Edit: Links and more photos added to “How to Tell if Your Kid is an Artist in Grade 2” on May 20, 2018. Photos of Shannon with this article are copyright Nel Hoon. No usage is permitted without written permission from Nel Hoon.

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Melodie Yvonne

Melodie Yvonne Ramey, owner, editor, & contributor at Photographic Melodie, grew up in the small southern Indiana town of North Vernon. She picked up her first camera at the young age of 5, and was immediately hooked. Every trip, even just to the local park, was turned into a fantasy scene of her own imagination that would later be turned into epic tales in word and photos.

Melodie spent her teen years learning from and mentoring under professionals such as Richard Young, John Sheckler, and The Grand Conundrum. She received an Associates of Applied Science in Visual Technologies majoring in Photography from Ivy Tech in 2002 after studying under acclaimed professors such as Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, Jonathan Wilson, and many other masters in the field.

Melodie’s main focus has always been music photography. Growing up with photography and listening to amazing musicians inspired her dream to create visual images that made people feel the way they do when they hear the music. She wanted to help people SEE the music by capturing every magical moment of concerts that she could only dream about as she gazed into music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin.

Melodie has done numerous jobs around the country ranging from working for bands to even being the official photographer on many southern Indiana Poker Runs. Her specialties are in nature, music, and candid event photography, as well as one of a kind photographic creations. Melodie published her first print book Photographic Memories: In the Beginning, a collection of poetry, in 2011, and has since published 2 more print works, Photographic Memories: Meet me in the Middle and Hoosier Heavens, her first photo book. Melodie currently acts as publisher, editor & lead contributor at Photographic Melodie and does freelance work with many other media outlets, venues, and artists.

Melodie says, “I started out with a Tweety bird camera and a dream and I never let go. I will always love photography and the vessel it has given me to share the images of my heart and mind with the world. I have found that every single person on this earth visualizes the world in very different ways. Some people are optimists, some are pessimists. Some people are daydreamers, and others keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Photography allows me to show some of these different visualizations. It allows the rationalist to see that it’s okay to dream, it can show the monsters hidden in the dark, and it can show even the saddest of people that there is still joy in the world.”

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