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Process over Product

9:00:00 AM

We hear this phrase a lot in the world of children's art, especially young children. We recognize the value of the work in and of itself. We realize that young children are not typically making masterpieces and we know that  is OK. They are getting so much more out of the process of creating!

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"Creativity is not about doing something better than others, it is about thinking, exploring, discovering, and imagining." "Fostering Creativity," by Mary Ann Kohl

Process focused art is experimenting, it is freedom from constraints, it is self expression, it is permission to not be tied to an outcome. You are free to relax and to enjoy the sensation of what you are doing. Process art transforms the experience into a sensorial exploration where the artist is free to experience the medium to see how it moves or flows. 

Children love this type of art. They love to watch paint flow and how the colors swirl together. They love to watch glitter fall and see how the light hits it on the way down. They love to feel the textures of their materials and to experiment with possible uses for them.

Why as adults do we no longer give ourselves permission to create in this way?

So many adults feel that they are not creative, that they are not able to make art. Somewhere we have lost sight of the value of process over product. We tell ourselves that if we are not "good enough" to create a masterpiece or the latest Pinterest craze then we are not creative. That is too bad really. We are missing out on the many wonderful benefits of creating art which extend well beyond the finished product. We are missing the chance to let loose and explore, to relax and lower our stress levels, to let go. We could learn a lot from the children in our lives! 

I challenge you to let go of your expectations and play, create, and experiment with art!

Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Scribble Art
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    Take a blank paper or canvas and use a sharpie to scribble all over it. Color or paint in the various shapes you made. Experiment with various mediums or techniques. Turn on some music an let your mind wander!
  • Alcohol inks 
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    Grab one or two colors of these fun inks from your local art supply store or online. If you are local you can come in for our Open Studio Sessions and give ours a try! You need some sort of non porous surface like tile or glass. You can use photo paper or my favorite Yupo. You also need some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Experiment with dropping the ink on the surface watch it move and change. Spray it with the alcohol  and notice how it reacts!
  • Play an art game  
    Art Games
    Games are a fun way to relax and play. Many of these art games among others can be enjoyed either alone or in groups. If you are local join us in the studio for Grownup Game Night each month and get creative! 
Check out our weekly Art Prompts blog posts for other fun ideas or just grab whatever art supplies you can get your hands on and let go of all expectations, experiment, and let yourself get creative! Leave a comment I would love to see your creative experiments!

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