There’s something magical about artwork made by children. Simple, unpretentious, natural. And usually pretty surreal. These are qualities that can be hard to achieve as an adult artist, because when we grow up we become all self-critical and fussy.
When I graduated from art school with a degree in Ceramics, I had a feeling I wouldn’t do much ceramics, but I had no idea I would gravitate to painting like I did. I painted for years and as my style evolved, it became increasingly simple, childlike and, well, weird.
I was drawn to these aspects of children’s art and when I was deep in the zone of making a painting I could tap into my inner 5 year old. I got wrapped up in pushing the paint around on the surface. I was delighted when I felt my subject matter effectively conveyed that mix of curiosity and unease that children can juggle around. Does that make sense? Maybe surreal is a better word than unease- kids are surreal. They say funny things and they are bizarre and those little imaginations are absolute perfection.
When my stepson was about 5 or 6, Christian and I would come up with things for him to draw, because we knew he would slay us with his awesome graphic little Sharpie drawings. We printed t-shirts and cards from some of his drawings, and we still have them tucked away. He’ll appreciate them when he’s a little older.
I can’t wait for Beckett to get to that stage- he’ll be my own little personal factory of cool drawings. I’m going to write a post soon on the stages of drawing that kids go through; it’s fascinating. I’m kind of babbling here, but I think you get the point that I like kids’ art.
Do you have a favorite kid drawing you just can’t part with? I wish we could have turned our kids’ artwork into books a few years ago- love these ideas for keeping your kids’ drawings around without having to keep all that bulky artwork.
Your kid’s artwork on a Doodle Tag from Mommytags.com
Kid artwork book made at Shutterfly. Image from Kayewinieckidesigns.com