As social distancing is in fashion this season, those who stay at home have an opportunity to focus on improving their drawing skills. Make it fun with lots of interactions between siblings, and generations. Play games like “draw me something from this random line”, or “draw this on countdown”, or the popular “pictionary” with home made drawings.
The time is also ripe for a discussion about commitment with the help of a funny character. Explanation… Challenge your child to come up with a cartoon character so fun and lovely, that the family will want to adopt it for good. Warn the child that this will be demanding and will require much work. Ask the child to create the character, AND be able to draw it several times exactly the same. Then, explore positions, emotions and colors of the character. Share verbal stories about the character’s personality and challenge your child with a “what if?” idea to start a comic strip with. Take the time to explore online help such as Instructable Craft and do not let the creative team drift away from this adoption process.
When we carefully study its content, a child’s drawing can prove to be a window to the child’s world, and to our own as well. Should this drawing be old enough, it may give us a view to a nearly forgotten past. The drawing below, from our collection, was made by a boy, in the mid 1960s. Here, the hint to the past is actually spelled out in the words added to the drawing. It gives the title of a storybook which the drawing refers to. The book, written by Paulette Blonay and illustrated by Pierre Nardin, certainly made an impact on this child, and now resurfaces on our blog. The book itself is a rare find at antique sellers. Paulette Blonay’s Lili character and book series reached world wide fame and are easy to find, but little Tony not so.
Cheers to The Queensland Pineapple. Certainly one of the most colorful magazines you can find online, that praises children’s creativity. It is well put together and shows much respect for the published works. Kudos to Vivienne Lang for this Australian initiative. Of course, we are curious to know whether the originals are preserved.
Three Hamilton (CANADA) institutions team up to present Artasia #ArtPark in a few days. Produced by Culture for Kids in the Arts (CKA), in partnership with a research team from McMaster University, the virtual reality #ArtPark will be presented at this year’s annual Supercrawl festival.
We will visit it because it is nearby and CKA says that this project “culminates in a 3D virtual park, housing the vision of more than 500 kids from around the region.”
The city of Port St. Lucie, Florida published a book to raise awareness on water conservation. They got students to illustrate it and they were happy to indulge. Children can and will contribute, if we let them to. Let’s hope that they will think of preserving the original drawings too.
One of our founding member, Liliane Masengo, is not only a respected teacher but also the author of a book on human rights for children: Il était une fois les droits de l’homme. The book is available online, for example from Barnes & Noble.
Liliane belongs to a little known group of teachers who have left their mark on literature about the place of children in society and children’s experiences. Another good example is the hundred-year-old book by Alice Descoeudres: L’enfant, le militaire et la guerre. This book can be viewed online, thanks to the Archives Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau, at Université de Genève.
In the United States, a network of public libraries and their sponsors reacted to cuts in arts education in the school, by creating after school programs: PROJECTART. Famous artists have donated their childhood art in support of their cause: My Kid Could Do That.
Books published for simply enjoying children drawings and words for their own sake, are rare. There is a need for more of them and Vote For Love proves it. First published in 1976 by the late British actor, film director producer and novelist Bryan Forbes, and compiled by his wife and actress Nanette Newman, the cherished book is still on the market (online anyway) some forty plus years later.
At CDIC-CIDE, we long to know… Were any of the originals saved? We will ask around and let everyone know if there is time to rejoice.
That you can read French or not will not matter much for appreciating the more than 200 children drawings from 11 parts of the world. Each presents local traditions and domestic life. Find more about this anthropological endeavor its authors from one of the publishers that made it possible : Institut de Recherche pour le Développement.
This is the first known published in depth study of children’s art. It was first written in Italian by Corrado Ricci (1858-1934) and has been published in various languages for over 120 years and counting.
A copy published in 1887 found a home at Toronto’s Robarts Library and can be viewed as an open library edition on Archive.org