My artist friend Rachel is seventeen years old. It’s difficult to assign a chronological age to this young woman because she is both wise beyond her years and as uninhibited in her creativity as a pre-schooler. That’s how I knew she was the perfect candidate to collaborate with me on this illustration for BIG KIDS Magazine.
Tah Dah! Our collaboration is above. The prompt for the illustration is “Treasure Maps”. We’re mapping our creative journeys. Rachel created the left side, I worked on the right. On my side the journey relates to Rachel, as her friend and mentor. It helps to have an older artist friend, for encouragement and suggestions; that would be me. I’m in my skinny yellow house complete with family and cats and plants and that’s where Rachel comes to make art. Rachel’s is more comprehensive… the journey so far. Rachel wrote the beautiful poem. The entire work is about being an artist; from play scribbles through adulthood. Rachel, moves from scribbles scanned from an actual construction paper masterpiece she created as a very little girl, through growing pains, to near independence.
Rachel and I decided to keep the tone or feel of the illustration light and full of kid inspiration. After all, the inspiration was and is BIG KIDS Magazine-truly a work of collective art.
*The image accompanying the first post is a collaboration of Rachel’s work and mine. The second post, all Rachel and this post is our published collaboration in BIG KIDS Magazine.
I found some old little plastic bottles with a fine nozzle tip, filled with acrylic paint soooo I played with them in my sketchbook. I added a little graphite and in a couple of minutes this figure danced into existence.
Tissue, Sharpie and white acrylic.
Were you the kid who got lost in your paint, glue, and other art materials? I mean it literally. Maybe you know a child who sees her own body as an extension of her paper or canvas or sculpture. While her peers are relatively neat and disciplined about their creative work, this child jumps right into the creative process in such an intuitive manner that she seems to lose the boundaries of her creation.
I’ve seen just about all methods of making art. One is not “better” than the other, though there seems to be a common characteristic among most of the miniature mess machines (and I mean that affectionately). Kids that “jump right into” the work, all seem to have a very strong sense of design. They also seem to be less interested in figurative representations, and more interested in intuitively dividing space with expressive color, line, pattern, and or texture. Most are pretty independent and let any adult in the room know that their particular process is necessary! This immersion method, if you will, has nothing to do with impulsivity or lack of attention span, rather it is more about spontaneity and self-satisfaction in building a few strong separate elements, not necessarily with the “finish” of the work in mind, though there is almost always a finished piece.
These assertions I have just made about this kind of artistic process are by no means scientific. They are just observations gleaned from watching children, create (my own included). There are many different styles of visual art and there are just as many ways to go about learning to make it. Therefore, if you know a child who needs a bath after an art project, celebrate her passion. This child is little by little, building a joyfully solid artistic foundation by taking the process in on her own terms and essentially teaching herself. A wonderful learning style.
I would like to thank Audrey. She is an intuitive creator, and the artist who made the beautiful paintings above;her hand as well as the painting directly under her hand. When she has finished the canvas painting, I hope that Audrey will allow me to publish a complete image of that piece as well:)
Looking for some artsy inspiration on a grey cold afternoon? Here is inspiration for literally EVERYONE.
Meet Taylor. An artist I’ve admired since she was a small individual. That’s the way of think of Taylor. Sure, she was a once a child, but always so much her own person, even as a small person. Today, Taylor is a brilliant, beautiful young individual, who will be forever, an artist.
You don’t have to take my word for it. The proof is in her sketchbooks. Taylor began housing her wonderings, ponderings, drawings, and writings in a kind of living journal as a very young teen. She works in her self created sketch books to plan larger works. She explores her experiences with and in the world, in her books. Each page is an elegant small work of Taylor art.
Unfortunately, my photos do not do justice to her books. Taylor employs pop outs, little kinetic pieces, three dimensional incorporations, and folded surprises. Some pages are simply artfully designed pencil drawings, tatoo designs or poems. But each page is created with materials you would find in most households. No fancy art supplies.
So how about you? Inspired yet? If you need a little bit more of a push to get a sketchbook of your own going, look for “Portrait of a Girl”, my new book, coming in a few months. It features Taylor and many other young female artists who just might give you the affectionate kick in the pants you need to bring a personally artful dimension to your life.