Tarot Queen Alice Grist.
A little scribble I painted of my family, hangs on the kitchen wall and makes me smile. I find that when I create I either do it alongside my kids or I do it about them. I especially love doing art with the children because we really enjoy that time together and it shows them that there is no end to creation. That you do it because you want to and you love it.
Art is something many of us do in school, on a schedule... And then it's forgotten and people feel that they aren't qualified to pick up a paintbrush or camera or charcoal unless they have a certificate. So I instill in my kids the freedom to art as they wish! Below are some of the things I do to encourage, love and have confidence in all things creative!
I don't set specifics. I give them the tools and let them decide what they are creating. If they need guidance or suggestion, I give it, but I am sure to let them know that whatever they produce is perfect.
In terms of providing tools, this need not be exhaustive or expensive. A stick and some mud goes a long way. A stone on the pavement is a great chalk substitute. Water and a brush on a wall makes a never ending canvas. Stones, wildflowers, leaves and sand all make free and easy tools of great design! Flour, water and salt mixed together make a cheap and easy clay. Cornflower and water is amazing whilst crossing the river form art to science.
I praise my girls for their originality, the colours they use, the stuff that goes outside the lines...
I tolerate a lot of mess in the makings of their crafty craziness. My husband struggles with the aspect, but as long as it's kept relatively in one place, and they aren't tagging the walls, it's no harm done!
Turn on some music and let them make shapes on the living room dance floor. From here they can find a love of movement, expression and performance. Dance is a powerful healer, and whilst a dance class is fabulous, the freedom to move in the way they want is so important. Get on the floor yourself and go wild.
Speaking of which, mix things up.When they aren't listening to your instructions to get dressed, put their shoes on, eat their dinner, take things sidewards. Dance, sing and boogie the instruction to them.Be willing to be ridiculous, to get their attention and to show them that creativity can be just about a purposeful shift in the mood - hey and they might well join in and get the job done.
I show kids art / creative projects and discuss it with them. We stumble through the art gallery and have chats about what we see - this is often quite quick, not a rigorous exercise. I find that going at their speed is perfect and prevents boredom! I recently stumbled upon a display of Picasso's pottery with my eldest. We laughed and giggled because some of it was pretty dire. I told her she could do better (because honestly she could). And that art was not about perfection or beauty, but about doing, making and experimenting. I let her know that if one of the world's most famous artist could turn his hand to something that people admire years later, even though some of it was pretty basic, then she, I or anyone could!
I do art with them. Not as a helping hand, but I create things of my own. I also paint pictures for them and hang them in their rooms. I make them 'get well cards' and scribble pretty notes in their lunch boxes. I make art, I share art, I example art.
I put our art on the walls, fridge, shelves etc. I make it matter.
We make cards for family and friends always. Even when we use a store bought card, my eldest will draw pictures in it to personalise it for the birthday girl or boy!
We have become art. This is usually done in the garden, with nontoxic paint and a hose to hand. Though my eldest has gone free range on this on occasion. Once after a long car journey, we got her out of the seat to discover she had tattooed nearly her entire body with her felt tip pens! We'd had no idea and had thought she was colouring on her paper. Some might feel frustrated about this, but we admired her work, advised her that maybe using face paints would be better for her skin, took some photos and got her in the bath!
Creativity of course is not just the stuff of paint and pens. We get creative with how we do all kinds of things. Reading a book in ridiculous voices, or stating the opposite to what it says on the page, making up new rules for games, cutting up old socks and making them into dresses for dolls, encouraging them in role play and suggesting new scenarios when they fight over who does what!
Use imagination and example it. Be pirates as you walk to the shop, find fairy citadels under big old trees, make the mundane an every day adventure. Ignite their minds by creating myth and legend in your every day!
Look for art and creation as you go about your day. Sometimes I just ask my girls to notice something man made and beautiful. When you open your eyes to this it is amazing what you see; the gargoyles on a church, the swirling design on a wrought iron gate that you pass a hundred times a week, the art on a pub sign, the carefully crafted coving on the houses, the flower design on the old lampposts. We are literally surrounded by art! Make spotting amazing art & design a game. (the same goes for nature, notice the patterns, colours, textures).
Share with me your everyday ideas to bring art into your life in the comments below...
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