I love the rawness of little kids art. The circles with long sticks coming down – a child’s perspective of an adult as they look up at Mum or Dad’s face. Or the little ‘m’ shapes that represent a bird or a wobbly square for a house. Some things never change and as a teacher of visual arts for many years, I cannot understate the importance of valuing and showcasing your child’s art work to make it part of your home decor.
It was always rewarding, when at the end of term, the children skipped off home with their portfolio containing the terms art work. Pastels, watercolours, acrylics, collages, photography……Sadly, only a tiny percentage of that work ever made it to a wall with most of it going either under the bed or in the bin. (Kids are honest when they are talking about that stuff – straight from the heart).
We need to give kids valuable messages about their art work because it tells their story. When art is a true creative process, it becomes a visual document and a window looking into a child’s wellbeing. Feelings such as happiness or sadness, can be reflected in art work. Personalities shine through as young children may only paint with one colour time and time again, scribble passionately with abundant energy, paint rainbow after rainbow or only ever use black. Some love to mix all the colours, (the little risk takers), to see what happens. When a child starts with ten bright colours and ends up with a soggy page full of brown, consider it a successful creative experience!
Here’s a few tips to show your child that you value their art and their creativity.
Take time to share the story of a piece of art. Discover the story.
Select one favourite piece of art work each term and frame that. Make it a masterpiece in the family room, kitchen or wherever it is in full view. Blue tak some of the other pieces to the wall in the loo to make a fabulous collage. The colours stay good for years, as there is usually little light in this room.
We have several customers that alternate between a custom frame and an off the shelf, less expensive option. These ready -made frames come in standard photographic sizes, but its OK to loose some art work or crop it down. Some of the kids art work is huge and a smaller composition, within a large work, can look fabulous and be more practical.
If you are wanting to preserve the art work for many years, opt for a custom frame. This is a really professional look and genuinely allows the art work to shine.
Here the art work is placed behind an archival mat board to give space and protection. Select a quality moulding, or frame, that will match your home and compliment the art work. Conservation glass is required to protect the art against light which will ‘yellow’ the paper over time and make it brittle. The back of the frame is sealed with framer’s tape so there will be no air, no light and no acid found in paper products. This prevents mould, moisture, spotting and yellowing over the years.
Hang the art work a little lower than usual so that your child can see it and enjoy it.
Gallery Hanging is the centre of the art being 1.7m up from the floor where the eye can rest in order to view the art work. You may consider a tracking system such as ARTiTEC for hanging art work. This prevents lots of holes in your wall.
And don’t forget, we are all artists. Be interested and sit down next to your creative little cherub and get them to teach you how to draw and create wild and wonderful things. It’s just a matter of having a go. Use your imagination. Love what you do. And share your story.
Coastal Framing and Design.