Do you remember that first childhood moment when you felt creative? I remember the house I grew up in often had many projects in differing states of completion. It might have been an art project, or learning to bake something in the kitchen, or my mom was canning, or my sister was singing, you name it. At the time I did not know that the different creative projects I did as a kid with my mom or sister would be something I would want to continue doing as I grew into adulthood. Looking back, I am grateful that I grew up in a home that cultivated creativity, as that is now the thread that weaves itself throughout my life.
I distinctly remember doing batik at home with my mom. I do not know if I learned how to do it at school and then wanted to do it at home, or vice versa. After purchasing some Rit dye, in the range of navy and cobalt blue, some muslim fabric, and wax we were in business. I will not bore you with the step-by-step details, but after melting the wax, I painted it on in the pattern I wanted to stay the creme muslim color. Once that was complete we dyed the fabric and I had my batik artwork. I believe we stretched the final piece around cardboard. If I were doing it today, I would probably stretch it around a wood frame or pressed board for durability.
Maybe it was because we did not have a television growing up, but I found that my free hours would be spent with creative art projects (oh and of course reading). Eventually, in elementary school, I applied and submitted a portfolio to be apart of a Gifted and Talent art class. If I remember correctly, the class met after school. I was accepted and so thrilled. I loved the different projects I got to do as part of that class. I also remember really enjoying drawing. In one art class we learned to draw upside down. See link for the famous Pablo Picasso drawing that we used to learn this technique. Does this image look familiar? Did you learn a similar technique?
I am a strong proponent of exposing kids to all types of creative activities. Even if they do not become artists; the problem solving skills, willingness to try new things, and the potential confidence they learn, it is worth it. Maybe in the end they do become artists.
Were you a creative kid? If so, what were your earliest memories of being creative?