Thursday, May 25, 2006
SCRAPS BUT NOT SCRAPPING
Elliot is my wee artist. At 6 he loves cutting and sticking. His favourite web site is Art Attack where he's always looking for new projects. This is the partially completed project that has consumed him after school all week. I like his stickability - that he'll write a 'plan' then spend a few days executing it. I like how it's his own work. The cutting isn't very neat. The colouring is messy. The items are sometimes hard to distinguish- is that a bird or a butterfly? But he knows exactly what everything is. It's very detailed. The clothes on the people are individually made and cut out and stick on. And he's very proud of it.
I guess Elliot's work illustrates one of my bandwagons - kid's art. As a former scrapbook store owner who has taught hundreds of kids to scrap I am passionate about kid's art being their own work. Time after time I see stuff published in scrappping magazines by a four or five year old and I just know it's not their own work. Mom has had a lot of input. Not that there's anything wrong with a mother and child project but don't pass it off as the kid's work and set expectations so high. When we taught kids we always said to the parents "Do not expect them to turn out something that you would produce. They will make this project all by themselves." And the kids were so proud. Once or twice a parent would show up at the end of a class and (with a pained look) say "Oh... is that it?" - I wanted to bawl them out. Get real. Don't expect perfection. This is what they are capable of at this age. Praise them. Teach them to love the creating aspect. Show them they are clever. That is love.
That's my bandwagon.