Thursday, May 25, 2006


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.


Christine B said...

WOW that is awesome Elliot, great work and that you have stuck at it! Mel that is so great to see projects like that happening at home, what a wonderful supportive mum you are!

Janine said...

Wow Elliot has patience and what a great art wor he has created. I like how his mind think, he has an idea writes a plan and then implements it.

I agree with kids being able to create. As an ex Brownie leader I can relate to what you said.

On a personal note I found that so much harder when my nine year old nephew came to stay with us and wanted to create presents for his family. I really had to step back and let him go for it.

He came up with some great work, but I had to giggle at wanting to help him with it. I had to create something at the same time or I would have helped him with his projects lol.

Jane said...

Wow Elliot ! how fantastic is that ?! and well done Mum for being so supportive. I think its a huge confidence boost for kids when they make something themselves- my Cam is always mucking around with paper (like his mum ! lol!)

karen said...

Mel, you are such a great mum (and friend) to your kids. I think you know that already!!
Anyway, love Elliot's work and love that it's his own amazing creation. Isn't it fantastic when the artist tells the story of their creation ... gives you (the audience) an added perspective on their inspiration and interpretation. Beautiful.

Lara said...

have to show my girls that website tomorrow - they are into cutting out people & then dressing them with my patterned papers at the moment - all attached with staples & scissors - a whole scene would take them hours!

Love what Eli has done - soo cool!

Delys said...

Yep thats Jennifers fave too. (me too as I get ideas for cubs)
I totally agree with you on the kids doing their own..its very hard to step back I agree but it needs to be their creativity not yep Im on that bandwagon with ya Mel!
Awesome picture box by Elliot! Just amazing detail!
Just off to take a pic of jens latest LO..will post on my blog shortly.