AMAZING ART WITH PAPER

SwallowMaudeWhiteThe more I explore the online space, the more I  find artists who have found their niche and dedicated themselves to excelling in it. One of my observations with reference to art is that there are very few takers for art forms that are tedious and time consuming. These art forms also take a while to perfect, often years of practise.

But those few artists who choose to commit themselves to these forms, find themselves in the spotlight in due course of time. My heartfelt appreciation to the amazing men and women who find the courage within themselves to chase a dream and stick with it for years.

Here I would like to share the works of one such patient artist: Maude White. Even a quick look at just a couple of her pieces reveals her talent, her perseverance and her passion. I invite you to check out her blog : http://bravebirdpaperart.com/home1/. Visit her website as an inspiration for what each one of us can achieve if we put our heart to it. Great work, Maude, I really enjoyed exploring your website. Wish you great success with your exhibition.

~ Donut Art Kits

 

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WHAT IS MAKING YOUR CHILD CRY

200214418-001It happened yesterday morning at my six year old’s bus stop. He is the fourth kid to be picked up, so he is warmly welcomed into the bus by three pretty young girls, a little older to him. On this particular morning as he got on to the bus, the littlest girl sat at the very edge of the door of the bus, as if she wanted to escape.

She is usually very cheerful and my little fellow looks forward to spending time with her during the ride. But this morning, there was no ‘Good morning, A,’ no smiles, just a quiet space that accepted my boy in. As I looked closer at the child near the door, I noticed she was sobbing, her eyes were all red and she was visibly upset. It was disturbing, but I assumed the child simply did not want to go to school for some reason and her parents had insisted.

As the bus drove away, the little girl’s teary face just stuck with me and I called up her mum to check. Her mum said she had been crying almost for last two weeks every morning while going to school. She had never been one to say no to school, and now suddenly she was howling away. When asked, she just kept quiet and said nothing. “I don’t know what to make of it, I have checked with the driver, but even he has nothing to say…,” said the worried mum. It was obvious that something or someone was troubling the child and she was not talking.

As a parent, I find these situations to be worrying, and I can’t help but wonder how this must be impacting the young child. What is it that is stopping her from telling her parents what’s happening with her? Having been a mother twice over, I have learnt that little children can be sometimes very mean and cruel without realizing it. They tease, they isolate, they bully.

As a parent, I try to work closely with my boys when I know they are heading into a stressful situation. I also speak to them about bullying and being bullied. One of the most important things I try hard to inculcate into their psyche as they grow up is that no matter what happens, and what complaints come home, I will listen to their side of the story and take a call on the situation only after that.

With our busy schedules and crowded heads, we often tend to do away with the niceties of spending chat time with our children during their growing up years. Sometimes, this may cost us dearly. As a mother, as a parent, I strongly recommend we make time to just listen to our children talk about their days at school, their friends, what’s worrying them, and even listen to their not so funny jokes (okay, maybe I am just getting old!) Just because it enables us to keep the communication lines open with these children who are experiencing and learning something new every single day.

And, what happened to that little girl? Well, apparently the two elder girls in the bus were bullying her and she did not know how to stand up to them. Her mum had a talk with her, and the other girls and the matter seems to have sorted itself out. I do hope the little one comes through this experience stronger and tougher. And I look forward to her smiles soon!

~ Donut Art Kits

Image source: bradwhitt.com

HELPING OUR CHILDREN DREAM

8870736224_e08b3b701d_zI have always been a strong believer of encouraging our young children to dream. During my growing up years, we were constantly advised to think logically and be practical. In  the process, many of us gave up on the dreams we started out with as they sounded too far-fetched to our parents.

But with globalisation and technology as the great levellor today, parents every where are realising that nothing is impossible for their children. And we must encourage them to study, to dream, explore and experience things that fascinate and challenge them.

I came across this interesting post by Richard Branson where he talks of encouraging children to shoot for the moon. He shares a story of a young intern at Virgin Galactic and how she was inspired in childhood to a career in space.

Read the complete article here:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140626164650-204068115-the-importance-of-encouraging-children-to-shoot-for-the-moon?trk=prof-post

 

~ Donut Art Kits

Why drawing needs to be a curriculum essential

8043569431_c546bce918_zDrawing has creative, expressive and educational value; it remains fundamental to translating and analysing the world.

Drawing remains a central and pivotal activity to the work of many artists and designers – a touchstone and tool of creative exploration that informs visual discovery. It fundamentally enables the visualisation and development of perceptions and ideas. With a history as long and intensive as the history of our culture, the act of drawing remains a fundamental means to translate, document, record and analyse the worlds we inhabit. The role of drawing in education remains critical, and not just to the creative disciplines in art and design for which it is foundational.

As a primary visual language, essential for communication and expression, drawing is as important as the development of written and verbal skills. The need to understand the world through visual means would seem more acute than ever; images transcend the barriers of language, and enhance communications in an increasingly globalised world.

Excerpt from an article shared on http://www.scoop.it/t/creativity-by-primary-english 
Article title: Why drawing needs to be a curriculum essential

Image source: www.flickr.com; happyfamousartists’ photostream

~ Donut Art Kits

The making of our Merry Go Round, Step 1

The structural prototype

Hey, people, yes, I know I haven’t posted in years. And I am sorry for that! Let’s just say, I was tied up in mundane work and had loads to get off my table. But, in the meanwhile, my art partner, Anil has been busy putting his creative and very logical head to work and here’s a quick first look at our latest product development efforts.

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Yes, we are looking to create the quaint merry-go-round, that does actually go round when turned. This as you can see, is the very first prototype and we wanted to share it with you as we are really excited about how this pretty piece is turning out. It stands a foot tall and about 8 inches wide and the jumping horses are adorable.

This prototype is completely handcrafted and put together over a period of 6 days of trial and error, and finally getting all the measurements right. Those of you who are into model making, you will know how challenging that can be without pre-defined measurements. Getting the unit to rotate on its axis was quite a challenge as we did not want to bring in any mechanicals and wanted to keep the costs down. We have also managed to experiment with a simple, cost effective method of making this complete unit rotate on its axis. So all in all, right now, we are pretty happy with the way the proto’s turned out.

The next step on this product would be to work on bringing in colour and character. Anil and his team of artists is working on that, so hope to share that with you soon! Till then, any feedback, comments on the first prototype are most welcome!

To get a better look at the prototype, click here.

~ Donut Art & Craft Kits

Does model making count as craft?

As I watched my 12-year old intently work on his dinosaur model, I could see the same level of focus and concentration that I have seen in him during his younger days of crafting and working on projects we did together.

As he completes the different parts of the model, he likes to show the pieces around, share the difficulty he has had while working on that particular section. Overcoming the challenge of putting a tiny, almost inaccessible screw in place is his achievement for the day.

Crafting as experiential learning
Compare this to the crafting we do where you get two plastic pieces to stick together. For a young child, who is not very familiar with the various materials, this is a challenge: typically for the young ones, the standard gluestick is answer to all their sticking needs. Discovering that you can’t stick non-paper materials with glue is a learning for them, they enjoy figuring out that standard glue does not stick plastic, metals and fabric.

In my opinion, such experiential learning is a significant role that crafting plays in the mental growth of a child. As compared to art projects, where we encourage a child’s imagination without necessarily aiming for specific outcome; crafting projects help a child work on logic, analysis and encourage 3D visualizations among the young.

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From vision to a complete model

Starting off with something on paper, hoping to make a house, or a toy or a model plane with materials available to them around the house is a great training for the young ones in thinking things through. Creating a vision as you start, and achieving that vision – creates a sense of fulfillment for the child. During the crafting projects, invite the child to figure out how the project should be crafted, what she thinks she should start with and how to get to the shapes you are aiming for. Often you will be surprised to see the young mind at work, trying, failing and trying again.

Don’t let your child walk away from an unfinished project
At the initial phases, some kids may find it frustrating to fail when things do not turn out the way they want them too. Do not let your child walk away from the project at this stage. Stay with her, guide her, give her suggestions and ideas that she can explore and eliminate; but find ways to help her stick with the project. As a parent and care-taker, remember starting a project is one thing, completing it is quite another.

When you start, you may want to give the child an idea of the process and how long the project will take to complete. This creates a ground work for the child to stay committed to the project and enjoy it along the way.

Explain the timelines to your young ones
If the project is a long one, you may consider doing it over a few days and accordingly plan out a fixed time of day to work on the project. This planning from your side helps the child understand how to break down any project: crafting or academic, and tackle it in pieces.

Model Making: Crafting for the older children
I find it is the same learnings that we have used in our crafting projects in his younger days that my 12 year old brings to his model making. As I watch him work with the tiny pieces, I realized how much of a role crafting plays in helping train the young mind in logical thinking backed by creative leaps. Solving the roadblocks he hits as he works on his models, approaching the same issue from another angle, creating a beautiful model from little pieces of metal… to me, this was crafting for the grown-ups.

As he works on the model, I look forward to sharing his progress in this space. If you feel model making is completely different from the crafting process, or you agree with this post, and would like to share your own insights, kindly leave your comments below.

~ Donut Art & Craft Kits

Is art an addiction?

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A bird in a forest far away

I can’t help but wonder if some of us are addicted to the process of creation. I get home after a long day at work and completely look forward to writing my blog articles, spending time creating picture stories with my boys. We draw, make up stories, we colour – it is one of the best stress busters I know.

A 30 minute session with colouring and imaging stories gets me ready to get back to any work I may have brought home. Probably it has something to do with colours, crayons, endless pages to draw on without having to worry whether we are doing it right.

This aspect of art and creativity in my opinion is one of its most powerful aspects. In art, real art, you can never be wrong. You may not be the perfect portrait artist but you may have all the power you need to translate your vision of the world in a whole new painting or a story.

Encourage young children and adults to find time for art. Encourage them to find ways of expressing themselves without any expectations. This is a great way for adults to relax and for children to live in their own worlds of imagination, even if it is for a rather short while. So that brings me back to the question I started with: is art an addiction? My opinion is yes, art is a serious addiction and should be indulged extensively to live a happy fulfilled life!

~ Donut Art & Craft Kits

Be a kid, create something today!