Jenn Drake, a UCDS 3/4s teacher, talks about the magic in art and children’s abilities to create uninhibited masterpieces. -Ed.
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Watching kids play around with art is an amazing thing. They scribble, they dump paint on paper, they glop glue, and they color outside the lines. You might wonder why I say this is so incredible. You might think anyone could do these things. As an aspiring artist myself, this uninhibited behavior by children serves as inspiration. When I learn a new art technique, I try to do it right. Then I try applying it in my own work. I realize after several paintings, that I’m only doing what I’ve been asked to do. I’m not truly creating something that’s my own. Kids create. They pick up a tool, like a pencil, and they just let it go. Often, they have an idea in mind: I’m making a tornado! Wind! A lion in a forest! But there isn’t the need to make it look a certain way, and they don’t worry about doing it “right.” Kids experiment. They use so much paint and glue, and then they wipe it off and they use too much of something else, and in the end, they have created so much layered and textured beauty that I’m jealous! Kids color. On everything. What makes it so hard for us to make uninhibited art as we grow? Is it that we know more about what things should look like because we’ve experienced more? Or because we are deeply concerned about what other people think? I’m asking because I don’t want the kids I know to grow up that way! I want them to continue to create and experiment and color their world as they see it and feel it. Perhaps just giving them supplies and getting out of their way is the best way to let it flow. I encourage all the grown-ups out there to try it with their own kids.
What an experience! Thank you, Andres, for sharing this idea with the world. Giving kids the tools they need to explore art in fun environment is essential! When we grown-ups provide the space for kids to just play and we leave our judgements behind, they make the most beautiful art through play. I leave this post with a quote from Henri Mattise: “Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” Like Andres says, the Art Crawl will help us play our way to a better world!
Jenn Drake, UCDS Teacher