The Artist Within – A Guide

Sick Day with My 8 Year Old
January 20, 2010, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Cre8tiv Kids, Creativity Workouts | Tags: , , ,

My daughter is home sick from school today.  After lunch she suggested we do a drawing together.  It was fun and relaxing for both of us!  We started with a quick scribble of my own…

Then she added her own scribble.  Of course, the adult in me asked, “Are we doing abstract or a real picture?” My first instinct was to draw something “real”.  But I went with it, and we added to eachother’s scribbles.  Then, we took another picture….

As we looked at the picture on the screen, we saw an indian chief praying!  Wow!  We liked him, so we added to his costume and headdress.  Do you see him? Why did we see an indian chief praying?  It must be a message from our “Artist Within”/right brain. 

Look at him now!  He is strong, proud, yet humble.  Hmmmmmm.  We had fun with his headdress and his animal skin cloak (?).  Riley added the fun, little adornment at the front of his headdress and I elaborated on the feathers towards the back.  Here he is all finished-in all of his glory!

I added light blue fingernails, Riley added war paint under his eyes, veins in the feathers and adornment to the back of his cloak brought him to life.  Now, I ask Riley (sitting next to me right now), “What does he make you think of?”  She says, “The indian times.”  Me, “What else? What do they make you think of? Like, what words come to mind when you think of an indian chief?” She answers, “A tee-pee and animals.”  Me, “What is it about the tee-pee and the animals that we need to think about today? If the indian chief was to say something to us, teach us something from the paper, what would he say?”  What I think is that he is reminding us to stay strong, pray, and connect to the earth and the animals around us.  “Riley, what do you think about that?”  Riley, “I think about when people had to get their own food and there was not a store that provided it.”

Well, there you go.  Deep thoughts provided by our scribbles.  Have fun scribbling with your kids!  ~Whitney & Riley

Creative Holiday Kids!
December 18, 2009, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Cre8tiv Kids | Tags: , , , , ,

I have a book coming out in March 2010 entitled, 33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids.  I have officially launched the @cre8tivekids on twitter and, so now, the blog element!

I have three kids, 10, 8 & 6.  They are very “creatively fit”.  My main motivation in writing the book was to explain to everyone that it is EASY to raise creatively fit kids–well, at least you don’t have to have an art degree and you can still want to keep your kitchen paint-free.  Kids ARE creatively fit already.  We just have to maintain.  All of my efforts to illustrate this to you will be characterized by the reality that projects don’t always look perfect & messes will be made & mom will “lose it” every once in awhile.  But it is STILL worth it!  I really don’t appreciate kids’ craft books that have finished projects that you KNOW a kid did not make.  It sets up unrealistic expectations for everyone and discourages creative efforts.  NOT a “good thing”.  So here is my contribution to helping you feel optimisitic about you efforts!  Welcome to my kitchen table….

So, I have been promising the kids for YEARS that we would make a Christmas tree topper. After all, I am creative AND an artist, so I should be able to handle this.  I think I originally pictured papier mache’, but this year the product that crossed my minid spontaneously was–Model Magic!

It lends itself to the “Michelin Man” style tree topper.  He’s a jolly sort of fellow, so it should work, right? 

So, the first night (after dinner and before bed) the first step was to create the stars and attach them to the cones.  Fortunately (I am lucky this way), everything came in packs of 4 so we could each make our own. I could tell right away that I would want the one going on our tree to be a certain way and with eight hands on it…you get the picture.  So we each made our own and the kids’ teachers are going to be the lucky recipients of their efforts!  Joy!

We got the stars to stay attached to the cones by covering the part top of the cone with the Model Magic and then sticking the tip of that part into the bottom of the star.  Making the star shape was different for everyone.  Riley flattened her clay into a circle and we cut out the star.  Mason and I pieced together five different triangles, and Jordan’s turned into a cross.  She exhibited very “creatively fit” attributes when her star wasn’t “working” and she dismantled it completely without even a fuss or a pout.  I was so proud!

The next night we painted the stars and the cones. And this morning we started adding the sparkle & shine!  Everything is better with gold leaf and glitter!  That does not mean that the kids don’t pout a bit from time to time.  Here, Riley was frustrated because she thought Mason was using up all the shiny, pearlescent stickers–they are very cool!

So, the kids applied the mixture of water and white glue to the star and I added the gold leaf.  This stuff is tricky, but it looks SO good!

Then, we aded glitter glue–another “must have” in the family creativity arsenal!  The stickers were last.  Aren’t those cool?  Here is my finished star.  That is purple glitter glue on the green cone.  I added that to attempt to camoflauge the bright green a bit.  I still don’t know if this is going to stay on the tree!  I am a “right-brainer” that way.  I let the project evolve. 

Here is Riley proudly displaying her masterpiece.  THIS is a huge reason to let your kids make a mess and get glitter glue all over their clothes.  They are SO proud! 

Well, here it is on the tree!  Hysterical!

So, now we have created this glittery, sticky, gold leaf memory AND my kids have had the opportunity to “work out” their right brain muscle!  THIS is the most important thing.  Let me know what you are creating at home this holiday with your kids.  Don’t worry, perfection is not even part of the picture!  Have fun!  ~Whitney