Oh, friends . . . We just finished up an awesome summer of our Creative Wings 2018 Summer Craft Camp for kids – six awesome sessions of creative projects from collaging, painting, basket making, journal making, and block painting. We had a great group of kids again this year, and are so grateful to have had them with us creating this summer. (Thanks to all who joined us!!)
Following the session, I received a message from one of the moms sharing how much her daughter enjoyed the classes, and how her daughter has started drawing more often at home. This mom asked if I had any tips on how to keep her daughters artistic momentum going . . . and that made me SO EXCITED!!! Always one to “art talk”, I thought I would share some of my ideas for encouraging our kids in ART here on our blog:
- One of the biggest things we can do in continuing their momentum in art – is to continue making their experiences SPECIAL.
- Exposing kids to art materials is another great way to encourage their interests. Giving them access to different supplies, and allowing them time to FREELY create (no matter what their final projects look like) is huge. They do not have to be a prodigy. Let them explore and create on their own. Michael’s Stores has a wonderful, relatively inexpensive line of art materials called “Artist Loft®”. From paints, brushes, sketchbooks and colored pencils, you can pick up a variety of things for your young artist to begin using – without breaking the bank.
- After a little bit of time, take them on a field trip to a “REAL” Art Store – like Blick (www.dickblick.com). Michael’s is awesome for nearby shopping. But to make it really ‘special’, tell them you want to take them somewhere “professional artists” or “real artists” shop. Pick up something for them there – maybe a higher quality sketchbook or pencils. Nothing too expensive, again. But exposing him/her to a new store with art materials is super exciting.
- Along the field trip lines – be sure to bring your young artist to The Art Institute of Chicago. (Oh, we are SO lucky to have this museum in our city!!) Take them on a little tour to see some classic works. Ask them questions along the visit – What do they think the artist was painting? What is the setting of the subject of work? What colors do they like in the particular piece? How does the painting or art piece make them feel? Letting them look, feel, and express what they see in art is a wonderful habit to start. It will teach them that art MOVES us. What a wonderful thing to learn!!
- YouTube it! I must start by saying – I am not a huge viewer of YouTube. However, there is a WEALTH of information at our fingertips – and it CAN be used to strengthen and keep that momentum going for our kids! There are SO MANY videos about ART online – from actual instructional videos to art eduction. I love to tell people that when I was a child (long before the YouTube age), I would sit and watch artist William Alexander every single Saturday on Channel 11, our local PBS station. With a lined notebook and a box of crayons, I followed along what he did with oil paints and tried to reproduce his work in my notebook. Set time every week for your child to practice their craft. Make it “ART TIME” in your home.
- That being said . . . make time for them to “ART”. When your child has that art bug (and you will know it when you see it), allow them time to nurture it. Our kids are often involved in SO much – that leaves them with little time to Create. It really doesn’t come naturally . . . although many people think that it does. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Van Gogh was said to produce more than 2,000 works of art in his 10 year career, and there are over 2,500 paintings and drawings attributed to Claude Monet. An artist friend shared this on Facebook a while ago, and I think it is a brilliant . . . (Thank you, artist Sarah Anderson, for pointing out that PRACTICE is really what it is all about.)
That is about it, dear friends. My “2 cents worth” about keeping the art momentum going for our kids. 🙂 We are so grateful at Creative Wings Art Shoppe for being able to do a small part in sharing art with so many great young artists (and ADULT artists, too)! If you have any questions or want to talk more about this subject, feel free to reach out via email or by calling the shoppe. Or . . . stop by and see us. SHARING ART is our joy, and enhancing lives through inspiration and creativity in our shoppe is our mission!
Thanks for being a part of our dreams!