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.
What do the kids draw while schools are closed, during this global pandemic? Which telling images will remain as memories, to illustrate future tales to children and grand children?
Does anyone have children’s drawings of the time of the Spanish Flu, a century ago? We doubt it, but let’s do everything we can to prevent a similar catastrophe this time around. Stay safe and protect those vulnerable around you!
At CDIC-CIDE, we call “contributions” the images you give us to add to the Collection and to preserve for posterity. We reserve the term “donations” for charitable gifts, to which receipts for tax purposes apply.
When filling our online Contribution Form, a number between 1 and 10 must be inserted in the Contribution field. Then, more fields unfold to add details about the images. This information is precious to us because it becomes part of the object description in our database.
Below is one of the five first images sent to us using the online form in 2017, when we were still testing the website. The kindergarten boy who drew the robots (and his mom) are pioneers to us.
Art teachers, undergraduates art students, curious parents, you must explore Craig Roland‘s web site, artjunction.org , his writings and presentations. He is by far the flip side of scholars who burry their findings deep into expensive publications and mazes of so-called search aids. His short and well illustrated articleYoung in Art is just one of many examples, most of them available online. Scholars take notice, follow the lead.
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.
Imagine. Many of us know that this simple word is also the title of a memorable melody with wonderful lyrics. A message of hope and of imagining the best. However, we can also imagine the worst. It may be difficult, even painful, but it is actually a good thing if it helps us prevent it.
Here is an exercice in thinking a number that stretches the imagination. Think of the number of children in the world. Around 2.2 billions according to UNICEF. Let’s say that than 10% have access to paper and crayons, so say 200 millions. Then say that each of them makes an average of 50 drawings per year, but we are only to save 10 for posterity. Let’s do it for 10 years and we get 100 drawings per child, so 20 billions drawings that could be saved in a 10 year period. Multiply this by at least 10, because public education has been progressively implemented in the Western world and beyond for about 150 years now. We get without much difficulty 200 billions drawings. But of those, how many were salvaged? How many disappear into oblivion everyday? We dare anyone to know the answer. Too few is our answer and we are here to change this situation. At the same time, we hope that the 2 billions children, that were left out of the equation, will have more opportunities than their predecessors, so they remind future generations what it was like to be a child in the 21st Century.
We begin the new year with an appeal to all young and young at heart people. What are the oldest images you can contribute to our collection? Who will contribute the first and newest images of this new decade? Below and side by side, are images spanning more than seventy years. To the left is one of the oldest in our collection. It is a collage from the early 1940s, made by a young Canadian girl, in her first grade class. Next to it, is a drawing by a girl of the same age, in the early 2010s. We believe it is important to demonstrate the historical significance of these objects. We believe this can be done only by collecting and preserving as many as we can save. Too many have disappeared already.
As we get ready for a new decade, publications present their highlights of the 2010s. We look back at a most revealing and touching artistic perspective on the lives of children around the world. James Mollison‘s images from his book Where they sleep, remind us that there is still much to uncover and discuss about children’s place in our world. Do all children draw? Some authors seem to think so, but probably not all of them do. Do all children play? One can only hope so, but maybe not all of them do. One thing is sure, all children dream. Let’s hope we all do.
Give us one more reason to celebrate this season, by making both a donation and a contribution to the Collection. Snow or not, let’s keep the memories merry and safe. Like Mathieu did some 20 years ago already.