Art is the medium between what we know and what we feel. It’s not only an effective tool to teach creativity and express ourselves, the process can also foster emotional development.
From beginning to end, creating art is full of emotion; from the exhilaration of inspiration and the frustration of challenges, to a mix of apprehension and excitement when sharing your finished work.
So, when your child is working on a piece of art, instead of diving right into creation, consider this process.
Follow these 10 steps to strengthen emotional skills through art:
- Observe it in great detail. Somethings there are things that are only noticeable when you really examine it. Maybe it’s a canvas made up of lots of little fibers, or something looks like a solid color until you spend the time truly looking at it.
- Feel its texture(s). Perhaps it’s a hard, smooth surface but when you are focused you can feel tiny grooves. Or maybe it’s cold to the touch but if in the sun its temperature would change drastically.
- Manipulate or arrange it. Are you able to bend it? Spin it? Turn it upside down? Does it look the same or different in various positions, how?
- Listen to any sound(s) that can be made with it. Can you do anything to create noise? Wave it in the air or tap on it? Bend or crumble it?
- When you look at it and touch it, how does it make you feel? Does it evoke any emotions, happiness, anger, excitement, nervousness? Why? Dig deeper. For example, what does anxiety feel like? What colors or textures could be associated with anxiety? What situations have made you anxious?
- Does it remind you of anything? If so, what kind of thoughts / memories do you have about that? Does it bring you back to a time when you were younger? A special memory? An experience you had? How did you feel at that time? For example, you might find it overwhelming and connect that to how you feel about homework.
- How do you want it to make you feel? If you do feel something when you look at it, do you want to maintain or change that feeling after you work on it? When you are finished, what do you want to feel when you look at it? What do you want others to feel?
- Can you envision what it will look like when you are finished? Are you able to see it clearly in your mind? Is it precise? Clean? Messy?
- Do you foresee any challenges in the process of creating what you want? If so, can you come up with a way to overcome them?
- Upon completion, ask: What have you learned from the process? How can you apply these learnings in your life?
Being aware of emotions will help your child identify problems, and nurturing their creativity will teach them how to find effective solutions.
Want more reasons to nurture your child’s creativity? The connection between creativity, emotional intelligence, happiness and entrepreneurship is strong. “Innovators are masters of using emotions to identify problems worth solving,” says Zorana Ivcevic Pringle Ph.D. in her article, Creativity: The Art and Science. “Aproova Mehta disliked everything about grocery shopping; he used these feelings as an impetus to create Instacart and solve the grocery shopping problem for himself and thousands of others. Tristan Walker was frustrated by the lack of shaving products for coarse or curly hair. The frustration of waking up with razor bumps was an inspiration to create a line of beauty products that creatively solved the problem neglected by the industry of the day.”
Want to get your child to engage in some art projects, but don’t know where to start, you’re in luck. Click here to see the dozens of simple art kits and color your own art products for sale. The prices are super low – $1 to $3 per item – a fraction of the price you can buy them for. The money is going toward paying off the GAALS operating expenses that have been accruing since we shut down programs in mid March. I have so much more than what is here – including art supplies, sports equipment, rhinestone girls tanks, white tees for tie dying and more. Email me if you are interested in more information.
Enjoy these 2 ways to express creativity using regular household items.
Use aluminum foil to create animals. Make a plan of how you can create your animal. Do you need to tear into multiple pieces? Or do you need to make some slits? Fold it or scrunch it? Remember once you scrunch the foil into a ball, it may not be easy to undo. When finished, show and discuss the process.
Paper Bag Skits
Grab random items from around the house, such as a fork, toy, jewelry, a sock, a ribbon, a pen, etc and throw them in a paper bag. Fish out a few and then use your creativity and to come up with a story connecting the items.