3 Great Places for Young Artists

I bet you have an artist in your family.  Even if they are currently “undiscovered,” young children love to create and do art projects, often just for the tactile pleasure of the medium.  As children grow, they need more ideas and stimulation to progress as artists, so that they don’t become disillusioned (as many adults have,) and start making statements like “I can’t draw!”  One way to provide this stimulation is to visit places in the community which give them ideas and motivation to continue working on their projects.

  • Art Museum.  If you have young artists in your family, have you considered taking them to a local museum to copy works of art?  Lulu and I had a date at the art museum last month at her request, and it gave her some great ideas for art projects in the coming months.  She took time to sit and sketch one of her favorite sculptures, and she wrote down ideas such as, “Grass doesn’t have to show every spike.”  There was also a video playing which gave her an idea for adding texture to her paintings.  Our local museum even has a family night which allows kids to be taught by a local artist.
  • Nature walk.  Going on a nature walk specifically to collect objects of interest for collage is a good way to stimulate interest in a different form of art work.  This time of year, leaves, flowers and seed pods are interesting and abundant.  If your child tires of gluing these onto paper to make interesting shapes, why not try making a flower person or sketching a variety of grasses?
  • Visit an Artist’s Studio.  If you search the web for art classes in your area, you might be surprised how many artists you will find in your area.  We were privileged with a tour from a potter.  Watching him throw pots on his wheel was very exciting to the kids, and led to collecting clay from a river bank to try making clay pots of their own.

Above all, keep supplies handy so that kids can follow their imaginations.  I will never forget the kids who visited our house and were so delighted because they could use tape!  Paper is cheap.  I buy one roll of tape for me and put my name on it, and let the kids have the rest. (If I don’t put my name on it, then there is never tape in the house when I need it!)  Try to keep the craft supplies in a place that are accessible, and then let the kids have permission to create.  You’ll be happy you did.

Where do you take your budding artist to get ideas?  Please leave a comment below.

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  1. unschoolinggrrls

     /  August 29, 2012

    we love sketching at the art institute in chicago, especially the sculpture rooms. visiting the conservatory and botanical gardens are lovely for still-lifes as well!

  2. Picture books! We often pause while reading and say “I bet we could do something like that,” and head to the studio right after reading to give it a try. (“It” being collage, faces using letters from their names as features, simple drawings, whatever…)

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