Tuesday, January 12, 2016

creating with a kid


If you follow me on Instagram or frequent my blog you will know that we spend A LOT of time making art as a family and I get asked lots of questions about our process. Once in a while I like to share updates and my thoughts on "creating with a kid" here on the blog. (Please note that I am not a childhood development expert or a kids' art teacher- I am simply a mom who is an artist!)

My long time readers know I've been making art with Lucy from day one. From riding on my back while I filmed online classes to letting her create with me in the studio, it's been a priority to share the art making process with my daughter. As I have mentioned in the past it is important for both my husband and I to incorporate Lucy into as many creative projects as possible. And while it makes no difference to us if Lucy grows up to be an artist, we do want her to be a creative thinker. I believe creativity and the ability to think in a creative way is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children and while I am always evolving as an artist and mama, I am learning so much as I watch her develop her own creative voice. 


Lucy is now four and her little brain is developing and growing so fast. Gone are the days where she is dazzled by making a mess. This new stage has been challenging because I have to come up with a variety of different activities that keep her engaged, interested and inspired to get creative. 

Lately she is most interested in drawing and creating a narrative within those drawings. She will sit for long periods of time telling a story and will use drawing and painting to illustrate those stories. It is pretty darn inspiring to watch! 









We always sit and draw with each other, often working independently on our own projects at the same time. It is during this time that we talk a lot about the creative process, color, shapes and the meaning behind what we draw. 




It is during these moments that I have witnessed a big development in Lucy's creative process. She is now using reference photos for her drawings (often from books or magazines). She really enjoys drawing people and details like hair styles, unique features, eye color, eyelashes and clothing. It's really exciting especially since we've never shown or taught her how to draw specific things. 

Instead we've let her observe our own process and spent more time and energy encouraging her to observe and try to draw and interpret what she sees. It's not the easiest way to teach a kid to draw. Honestly it would have been WAY quicker to show her what do but I am of the STRONG belief that regardless of your age, some of the most profound creative discoveries happen when you are experimenting on your own without a teacher correcting or criticizing you. 


Our hands off approach, combined with lots of positive feedback has given her so much confidence to find her own voice and it is incredibly amazing to witness!

To read and see more of my experience creating with a kid check out the entire series of posts HERE

12 comments:

jabbott said...

Oh I love lucys people x

Alessandra Mezzanotti said...

Dear Alisa,
Hello from Brazil! I loved this post! I admire the way you encourages Lucy to do art.
Well done!!!

wanda miller said...

so very very....EXCITING, yes xo

cococita said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Alisa! This post strongly speaks to me: it's so great to observe and notice how your daughter is creating beauty and developing her own artistic voice. Kids do teach us so much, don't they? We are blessed to witness their art ...

inaS said...

very nice and creative :)

HayleySarah said...

As an artist and Mum to a 4 and 5 yer old, I can definitely relate to this post! I really love looking through their art and drawing with them. Think 'll get some canvases out this weekend :)
http://art-love-fashion.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/adele-inspired-makeup.html

Brig said...

You are absolutely amazing Alisa! I had planned to do exactly this with my four year old from day dot but somehow we've got too busy (or I've got too busy), we haven't got the space, etc, etc ... I could make all kinds of excuses ... But at the end of the day somehow it hasn't happened. I'm beginning to get more attention grabbing from her by just trying different approaches and the best approach at the moment is just doing my painting and then she'll come over out of curiosity and start into it as well. I WANT MY STUDIO BACK, so I can leave everything out for her to dabble. I've moved everything into our little two bedroom unit so every time we do something, it has to be put away but at least I've made it accessible in the main house rather than packed away in the studio. She is still more interested in art more than anything else so I just have to keep working with that.

PS. I would still love to see what your typical schedule is for a week. I have to find some way of fitting everything within each day ...

Thank you for being my inspiration.

Brig said...

Oh yes, and I LOVE her drawings! She's soooo clever! She has both of you to thank for that. I do agree with your approach – no criticising, not telling her how to do it. Just pure encouragement and watching you.

Stephanie said...

so awesome! My 4 yr old is the same way with drawing a person and their details.

Bekka Joy said...

Love this. Thanks for sharing... I think the hands off approach is a wonderful opportunity for them to develop their creativity on their own.

iHanna said...

Love the pictures of Lucy drawing and her own drawings, so thankful that you share her and her process a bit with your readers. I have a question though. How do you answer her when she asks you to "show her how to draw a person/flower" or something else? Kids often ask for guidance, but how do you respond to give her confidence that she can find the answer herself? *curious*

Katie said...

I agree with iHanna, I have trouble with teaching my daughter that its ok to just enjoy the process and it doesn't have to really 'look' like anything. I'm wondering how your daughter handles the comparison of her work with yours. I find that if I try to paint 'things' rather than just colors on the page, my daughter gets turned off from creating beside me because she feels as though her work is inferior. I don't use language like that at home, and always try to commend her use of color or the way she made marks on part of the page, or the way she is really concentrating... but I think her school and peers have taught her that "scribble scrabble" is wrong. So frustrating. I want us to be able to draw and create side by side without either of having to change.

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