Art Box Workshops collaborative work, first prize winner of the threatened species art competition.

Young children love to make art. When they are very young it is a totally natural aspect of their curiosity to want to create things. In pre-schools activities are set up for children to paint, make three-dimensional sculptures (Do you remember all those works they brought home, made from old cartons and then decorated with paint and glitter?) they absolutely love “being creative”

So what happens to not all, but a great number of children between those pre-school days and really, the rest of their lives. What happens so that they come to an art class and instead of coming from a place of just enjoying the process to looking at their work and seeing it through critical eyes and voicing those negative opinions about their creations.  Somewhere along the way, the pure pleasure factor has been diminished.

At Art Box Workshops we believe, and this is just our opinion based on observations, that children start to pick up on negative comments, criticisms and opinions of people looking at their work or making comments about their work. They may suggest what the child’s work is about, or they may feel they are entitled to voice their critical opinion, and unfortunately, this takes away from the simple delight of just spending time creating art.

Once children reach school, there are so many experiences that have to be accomplished to a specific recipe. However, art experiences, for their own pleasure should have space for “Just playing” allowing for experimentation, making “mistakes” along the path of discovery, not always being focused on the perfect outcome.

We are not talking here about children using the art experience to express anger or frustration through art, as can happen, and it can be interesting to note what is going on there. No, it is just simply about taking care, as adults, to encourage natural creative flow, without putting our suggestions and criticisms on how the art should happen. Encouraging that pure expression.

Learning skills is quite another aspect. Skills in observation, hand-eye coordination, colour mixing, experiencing a variety of tools to accomplish what children can use to make art can be experienced at home, in school and in art classes like the ones we offer here at Art Box Workshops.

Our focus here is to teach skills through a carefully considered curriculum, so that our students can find and feel comfortable with their own creative flow having the skills to then create what they feel inspired to do.

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