Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Children need art. People need art.

As we finished some tie-dye this morning I am reminded again why I make time and space in our life for creating art.

There is such value in creating art that I don't even know where to start. Just brainstorming for a minute I got this start on a list:


What I've seen creating art do is nothing short of amazing. Children with perfectionist tendencies learn to appreciate the unplanned and unexpected. Kinetic children focus and settle. Quiet children find their "voice". Strong feelings find a socially acceptable expression.

Being able to create something intentional is a huge gift. There is both a confidence and a humility that comes with the creative process. Confidence, because you can do it. "Look what I've done!" Humility, because, quite honestly, it hardly ever turns out just as we've envisioned it.

Also, the person who knows how to make something original never lacks for the personal touch in gift giving. (I was dyeing baby shirts for a friend expecting twins. :-) )

So, maybe I've managed to convince you to try including a little art to your own life. But where to start? It's really up to you. Art can find expression anywhere.

You could start with making your own cards. It's always a good idea to have a few "Thank You" cards on hand, and being able to make birthday cards can save a trip to the store.

How about what you wear everyday? We've extended the life of many a stained shirt by painting or dyeing it. Try colorful hand prints w/ latex or acrylic paint on T-shirts. You can also make things out of old clothes. I've got a rag-rug knit from cut up T-shirts that feels nice to walk on, and slippers made from an old felted sweater.

Artist Trading Cards
were a bit hit here for a while. Just about anything goes with ATC, but it all has to fit on a card 64 x 98 mm.

Looking for inspiration? There's always the web. Etsy is a site where individuals sell home made items. While I've never bought anything there, I seen lots of great ideas. You can also just do a search on whatever materials you have on hand and see what pops up.

I admit to a preference to old fashioned books. If I had just one book on art/crafting I would have "Making Things the Handbook of Creative Discovery" by Ann Sayre Wiseman. We've also enjoyed "Drawing on the Right side of the Brain" and "Drawing with Children"

Art museums and galleries are great, but there's even more value in being able to create something for yourself. Give it a try!

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