Saturday, January 18, 2014

Working with Kids in the Arts

So below is from my Artsy Journeys blog and I wanted to share another avenue of creativity that I work: teaching art. 
I don't get too psychological about it because art for children is a fun world. But I have discovered over the years (lol-first with my own) that given "free rein" to create "anything" often leads to nothing at all. And kids are no different from adults in that!
The trick is to start with a plan-an objective-and an idea of how to get there.  With that big roadblock pushed aside, the way is paved for the artist (big and little) to explore the levels of creativity as they take that path. A new lesson, a new path. That's how it works :-)


Working with kids in the Arts

Everyone has ideas about how to work with children in the arts.  No other subject, like ART, has so many different opinions and ideas and confusion as to "what it is."How can something so fun be so confusing?

Artsy Journeys is more about art exploration than disciplined art yet they go hand in hand.The two work together. For instance, it takes discipline to sit down and create something in a journal or on paper. It takes discipline to go to the shop or read a "how to" book or article. It takes discipline to put away your tools, try something different or work till you feel you have completed your project.
Working with clay and armatures

Working with children is often about creativity coupled with "directional" discipline. Kids need and want direction. The ones that jump into a project without waiting for direction are usually the ones that soon start complaining about not being able to "do it." That can have a bit of a negative impact on those kids who are creatively following directions so when the kids start new projects, they get the best results by ...yep...paying attention to me before we start!

There's no secret to it-I keep it short and sweet. "Look into my eyes, let's go over the tools, now we'll look at the examples.......tell me what I just said."
3D sculpture with marshmallows and toothpicks
This works SO well-just as I did with my own children. I love the kids-love to work with them. They love to learn, But too much initial freedom  in the arts is confusing to them and actually gives them mind blank! In art we call it the "blank canvas" syndrom. Writers love to talk about "writer's block." It's all the same thing. We ALL need a direction to start!
When the child is given the required tools/materials for an Art project and pointed in a particular direction with a few guidelines, THAT is when the enthusiastic creativity begins to happen!
One of my "grown up" students with her Sculpey sculpture!

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