‘ I don’t care about Art!’
‘ Anyway, Art has no exams, so never mind.’
The above are remarks from people I meet. These are fixed mindsets that can be changed. Then there are those who have a growth mindset and are open to discover more about how Art can be beneficial for all. With a renewed mindset, we can empower ourselves and our children to have a meaningful encounter with Art. I have been meaning to touch on this topic on the power of PROCESS BASED Art starting from my family’s small example. I strongly believe when we focus on the Processes, the by-product will slowly but surely take care of itself with proper guidance in the latter stages.
How Art has empowered my children to have a voice and the ability to gift to others.
Somehow having received sprinkles of HeArtfelt creations from my children throughout the years, I am especially moved by last year’s showers of unending hand made surprises from the kids. It was especially significant when the kids hid their ‘gifts’ under the pillows, inside the quilt cover, inside the closet to spring a surprise for papa’s birthday for a good consecutive days, overwhelming the two of us with their sneaky moves! Comical it is, to suddenly see a slip of paper sliding under the door that shouts ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PAPA’.
There was this particular ‘gift’ that amused us to no end. J had prepared a looong scroll of paper by painstakingly joining many pieces of paper together to roll into a scroll. He was highly secretive about it and only worked on it when both of us were not looking. However, it took a few days and Papa was impatient with curiosity. He bid him to finish up his ‘work’ so that he can see it. At last, he presented the scroll to him. We had high expectations. Upon unrolling his scroll, Papa gave a loud chuckle and exclamation of ‘Huh? Didi, you wrote only this after so many days?’ Ok, not the most professional parent’s response but his reply made our belly ache – ‘Ah huh, you know, I write until my hand is so tired!!’ Papa scooped him and hugged him, thanking him for his efforts.
Writing doesn’t come easy, especially for young growing kids.
In their toddler days, we knew better than to expect any words from them, but art works? It’s a given in our family. You see, the only practical way for a young child to communicate and express their feelings and ideas would be through colours and their drawings/ handmade creations. It is a universal language that need no sophisticated expression except that of the child himself/herself. My logic? Since they don’t have the literacy ability, nor the cash to buy us a gift, they can send their love and regards through their art creations. Of course, there are other ways, they could hum a tune, sing or create their own song, but unless you record the music down, there’s little tangible touch to the gift. Drawing and creating a simple card is the simplest way to express our heartfelt gratitude. It dawned on me that
It is not so much for the adults that need to see their physical expressions of love.
It is more for the Young Child himself to know that he is able to make an effort and materialise it into a physical form via art to express his love for that special person in his life.
When we receive their heArtfelt handmade gifts, we are receiving their expressions of affections and desire to please. When we appreciate these gifts by displaying them and keeping them, their love tank is filled and satisfied to know they can play a part in giving to their loved ones as well. It may be abstract and maybe even ‘ugly’ aesthetically. Yet when we give value to the effort put in, and thank them for the energy and time spent to gift us, they become confident of their worth and grow because the PROCESS of their creation was appreciated. It is very much likened to how our Heavenly Father doesn’t need us to pray to Him more than the fact that He wishes us to experience the joy of drawing close to Him through our prayers. As we pray, we discover the power of God and how much He cares for us.
With such a culture of creating and giving, when the siblings make gifts for each other (this is E’s gift for J) it teaches them the value of giving from their effort and time, plus some creativity from them. In turn, they also learn how to value the gifts that are made from the heart.
The blue paper was one of the first few drawings that I treasure dearly from J – He handed this drawing pasted on a paper plate and said,” Mama, this is for you. When you are sad, you can look at this and remember I love you. Then you will be happy!” This was done at the age of 3+. Just looking at this drawing brings back the warm tingling sensation of a child’s simple love.
I adore the ‘Xi Yang Yang’ little happy lamb that was made by A in school. He eagerly returned and handed me his handiwork to give me as a birthday present.
My lil girl has been gifting me aplenty of her artworks. As I thank her for her hard heartworks, it gives her a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment knowing she has contributed to making mama expressions of her love entirely on her own.
Below is the accumulation of handicrafts from the kids. It is heartening to see how their art has also developed and it thrills me to no end discovering what ideas they have, what they cherish and enjoy. They have also been creating handmade gifts to family and friends which money cannot purchase. Thus encouraging self motivated givers.
How to empower your child’s HeArt?
- Renew your own mindset.
- Instead of focusing on Art Product, Think ART PROCESS. (See my Examples)
- Encourage your child to CREATE by setting up an area for easy access and a space to display their artworks. (See Art Station and Small Spaces)
- Affirm their Artworks by attributing value to the Process and Progress they are making. (Read article on Praise Effort instead of product)
Do your children make things for you?
Do you encourage this spirit of creating?
How do you respond to their handmade works?
How will you respond to them from henceforth?
May you empower them with the freedom and ability to express themselves through Art as well as take pleasure in receiving their heartworks no matter how it turns out aesthetically.
For more articles on the Art Process-based learning and Art Product-based learning, check out below
- Balancing between Process and Product based learning
- How Process Art experiences support Preschoolers
- Everyone was an artist
- 5 ways to foster creativity- process art
Do You have any questions or comments for me? Just leave them in my comments section or e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be most happy to respond!
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