Sunday, March 10, 2013

Collaging Junk Mail

A quick and simple art activity to do with kids from age 3+ is to cut and paste collages using your junk mail. A great rainy day activity which you can easy theme scenes. Use safety scissors for younger ones, this will help get them use to the cutting action and how the hand needs to move helping the fine motor development and use coloured glue so they become aware of where the glue ends up.
In this example I have used a jewellery catalogue and cut out shapes for Missy. Look for love hearts pendents, tree pendents, snakes bracelets, dragonfly pendents, earrings, rings, and so on.
Get the local grocery catalogue and get the kids to create fruit and vege hampers. Or theme it to suit their interests. Make a toy shop from toy catalogues and so on.
Reuse old their old and abundent paintings as backgrounds.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Social networking for Artists & Creativity

I feel I have been up to date and progressing with technology as I am what they call a 'digital native/immigrant', however I was resistant to change. I started off as many did using MySpace, for me about 2003. Then Facebook came along and seemed to wipe-out the popularity of MySpace. So as less people were using MySpace to stay connected (at least in my circle of friends anyway) I joined the ban wagon of 'Facebookers'.

As I became more serious about promoting my Art (as I felt it was at a standard for selling and marketing), I created a website. Websites were the most popular form of sharing your content at that point and everyone asked "do you have a website" or as a marketing point you stated "check out my website". 

Then came other modes of marketing your art which were popular such as using free websites or blog and art sharing via product services such as FineArtAmerican.com, DeviantArt.com, RedBubble.com, etsy, and other folio gallery sites. 

I had a RedBubble for a few years and didn't sell a thing, however I don't believe it was really suitable to my style or 'market'. I also created a Zazzle account and have been making steady sales.

In recent years it seems as though the world wide web continues to widen as more people are creating social networking avenues. Now we are flooded with Twitter.comPinterest.com, Tumblr.com, Flickr.com, Utube.com, LinkedIn.com StumbleUpon.com and more, all of which I am now servery lagging behind in 'staying connected'. It has become so overwhelming that the judgement I am now facing as an Artist who wants to stay connected and market myself through various avenues is facing, should I jump on the networking band wagon?

I already have a blog, so why should I have a Tumblr? Pinterest is a bit different but again, spending your time on these social networkong sites whether for marketing your art or just for your own enjoyment takes a lot of time out of your 'spare time'. Now I am coming from a full time worker perspective who has a young child which means the evenings is generally the time I have to create. But as anyone with children would know, by the time the kids are in bed you are buggered yourself. And it is easier to just get on your mobile or the computer and surf the net.

It is all about prioritising just like anything else, and making a choice what is important. In this modern day it seems as though if your not connecting through social networking technology you will get left behind. Maybe the percentages have shifted; 20% creating to 80% marketing? Something has to give, what will it be?

What are your thoughts on social networking and how does it positively or negatively affect your creativity or art business? 

Which Social networking platforms do you use and are they for different purposes?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oil Pastels with littlies

They're not crayons but very similar, and that is why oil pastels are great for something different for kids to play and experiment with. Their smooth consistency makes for easy mark making and colouring in. The water soluble oil pastels are even better as all you need is a soft watercolour brush and some water and you can turn your drawing into a painting. 

I introduced oil pastels to Missy (aged 3) and she LOVED it. A bit messing so make sure you put a drop sheet down, have an apron on or smock or old clothes and wipes on hand.

Oil pastels are a great way to introduce blending and smudging. I tried this with my three year old and she had a ball






A great activity to do with older primary school age students is to introduce contour and tone through simple exercises using a circle shape or fruit shapes such as oranges and pears.