Sharp turn

Sometimes, inspiration just keeps quiet. You are in front of a blank sheet of paper and have no idea what to draw. You can always scribble and see what comes out. Or you can leave it alone and make a sharp turn. Take a pencil sharpener and just sharpen your pencils to the very last. Let a pencil sharpener save the day.

Of all the groovy collections out there, pencil sharpener collections will not fail to make you smile, even if all the muses of inspiration have abandoned you. We picked two of special interest for you to enjoy.

Sharpenking is a collectible commercial venture based in Wassenaar, Netherlands. They hold hundreds of items, buy and resell, as well as maintain a network of fellow collectors. Their Spanish Knights series display some mighty blades. The other collection does not have its own website that we know of. It shows up online as a road-side attraction by the regional tourism office, and also in many videos made by its visitors (like this one by Hoosier Boo). The Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum is a tiny cabin at the foot of the Appalachians in Logan, Ohio. Family and friends of the late Rev. Johnson maintain this display of nearly 3,500 items that he collected over twenty years.

Pencil sharpener and pencil, 2010, by Alexander Klink. Source: commons.wikimedia.org, 16 August 2021.

Pumkin, I “live” you

Among our recent entries from a young mom and her children, were a few Halloween related images. They just arrived and we did not have time to process them all yet. Admittedly, the pandemic is also slowing us down a bit these days and months.

It is however impossible not to share right away, this one by Sahana, with an irresistibly poetic title. Just in time for the big scare, with resilience.

Pumkin I live you, by Sahana, 2020. Source: CDIC-CIDE.

Thank you to our fantastic volunteers

This week, we join Volunteer Canada in cheering and applauding all involved in volunteer activities accross the country. We launched our website almost a year ago now. Thank you Halton Community Services who helped us with our recruiting.

Two big thumbs up to our own crew of social media dynamos. Starting with Joshua who was the first to take on the challenge like a champion and keeps our Instagram profile at around 1 000 subscribers. Go see the images, all so uplifting!

Mary makes our LinkedIn profile well connected and a mine of interesting, news and articles, with insights from experts. As she puts it herself: « I tend to the LinkedIn profile for CDIC-CIDE. I really enjoy managing the account because I love being connected to the world and understanding how preserving children’s works can be done through social media outlets. It also helps me keep up to date on the ever changing trends in the art world and the local and global businesses that bring us together. »

Sangeetha jumped right into the action when she was handed over the Twitter for CDIC-CIDE. She is at it one tweet at a time, consistently even as she began a new position that keeps her tremendous digital skills as busy as ever. What a trooper!

Anubin works steadily behind the scene on our Facebook page. The Likes keep coming everyday. He has some good words for us: « In the times that we are going through, I would like to express my pride and unconditional support to all the frontline workers serving our community day in and day out including the pharmacy and convenience store staff who are ensuring that we all have the necessary supplies and supporting our well being. I would also like to extend warmth to the international students and new immigrants who have moved to Canada in the hope of a better future and pray that they don’t lose their spirit in this time of isolation. We are all in this together and each and everyone of us is willing to support and guide you through this until we get back on our feet stronger and more resilient than ever. »

Andrea joined us just this past month. Mother of a toddler, she is finding time to help us with building a Youtube channel. Watch for it later in 2020, because she has ambitions as you can hear her say: « I would love for my life long interest in video and film grow into a fulfilling and successful career. » Stay tuned!

Tip on our online Contribution Form

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.

Robots, by Taneek, 2017. Source: CDIC-CIDE.

Makes one wonder

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.

How far back can we go?

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.

Left: Tulipe, collage by first grade girl, 1940s. Right: Maman Menga, drawing by first grade girl, 2010s. Source: CDIC-CIDE

Just like Santa

Did you know that Santa likes to receive letters all year round? Canada Post handles all his mail. At CDIC-CIDE, we have that in common with the Old Man. We like to receive mail and Canada Post handles it for us too. The differences are that we do not travel as fast, and stay up all night. The one thing we do for real, is to preserve your drawings and your letters forever: Use our Contribution Form, email and or mail us.

Write a letter to Santa. Source: Canada Post, 24 November 2019.

Inspiring Reading

There are numerous personal and professional experiences over the past 50 years that have motivated the creation of our Collection. Some may ask why we called it “Children’s Design” instead of “Children’s Art”? One of the reasons has to do with the notion of intention. This most interesting article by Dr. Heather Malin is an excellent read for understanding what motivated us in the first place: Making Meaningful: Intention in Children’s Art Making