Creating A Place

by Angela Meijer.

Creating A Place:  When you've got kids like mine (very prolific artists), you either set up a place for them to keep their artwork , or your home turns into Calder's Famous Studio.  I've always been fond of the chalk board.  The kids know the drawing is temporary, and the drawings make for gorgeous photographs.

In preparation for a summer and house full of creative adventures, a plan has been evolving.  A good plan.  A plan to create a place... one that will showcase, document, and celebrate the kids creations with the worldOperation Fireflies Aglow.

Lots of parents have asked me how to go about teaching their kids art.  They've also asked me to give their kids lessons.  While I'm not an art teacher, I can share with you what has worked in sparking my kids creativity.  My kids don't take much prompting, mind you.  They also have taken classes at the Ankeny Art Center, and have great art programs in their schools.

Supplies Needed:  I've found that less is more when it comes to creativity.  Too many supplies can be quite overwhelming.  A Pencil, Pencil Sharpener, Large Eraser, Computer Paper, and Crayons, and a place to put the drawings away has been our go to for years.  Now, they're getting into digital art.

3 Ring Binders:  This summer, we will file all of the kids artwork in archival plastic sleeves in a 3 ring binder.  Anything larger will be photographed and printed small enough to store in the binder.  Because we value our creations, we think about what we will do with our creations before we make them.  We've learned this the hard way, having found treasured drawings stepped on, spilled on, even ruined.

Blogging:  If you want to set up a blog for your child's creations, a great free resource for this is blogger, powered by google.  When I set up my first blog, blogger walked me through the process without knowing any internet language.  You can create a private blog, that is only sent to the emails of your choosing, or make it public to share with the whole wide world.  (If you make it public, remember to think about what you want the whole wide world to see.) After a year of posting my oldest daughter's artwork into a blog, I was able to upload to have it printed into a beautiful hard covered keepsake book at blurb.  It's always nice to have the artwork in print, as you don't always have an internet connection.  This website:  Fireflies Aglow is hosted by Squarespace.  If you don't feel like you have enough art to share or things to write for a website, consider doing it with a few friends.  Creating something together is a great way to build community and glean from each other's strengths.