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I am an art teacher, artist and parent. I am using this blog to share inspiring methods, images or questions all around art and creativity - inside and outside school. Click around, be inspired and have an artful day!

My Kid: A Guerilla Artist’s Best Coach!

My Kid: A Guerilla Artist’s Best Coach!

Part 1: Making Guerilla Art Signs

Foreword

And there I see it again: “Creativity”, written in large letters across one of the nation’s leading magazines. Isn’t it always like this: when really interested in something, the world seems to be full of it and everything appears to be connected to it. Likewise, when I ran past a book store yesterday, thinking about what kids can teach us about creativity, a whole range of magazines caught my eye - all dealing with the new need for creative minds. The magazine Spiegel Wissen published an entire edition on creativity: “Creativity - the key to success” (2/2016).

Hang on - isn’t this the problem? Creativity is called “the key”, it becomes compulsory, a part of a highly output-oriented, competitive discourse. But demanding anyone to “BE CREATIVE!” is often a real killer of creativity. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t WANT to be creative, but I know a lot of parents (and students) who are ASKED to be creative and feel a lot of pressure to comply with this demand. It feels rather intimidating to all those of us who work, have children and loads of other things on the agenda to be asked by teachers, employers, magazines to “BE CREATIVE!”. “Now!”

Yet… let’s be!

Even, or maybe because you have kids. Why? Because creativity begins with curiosity. And who are the masters of curiosity? Exactly!!!

Actually, my kids are THE BEST art teachers in the world.[1]

Here’s how I used my child’s imagination and curiosity to make guerilla art. 

Yes, creativity begins with curiosity. In this case, I sat with my 5-year-old son in the kitchen, the window was closed and he noticed how quiet everything was. I liked the way he focused on the absence of noise and we started guessing what we might hear once I’d open the window. When I opened it, he said with pleasure and astonishment, “Because you opened the window, the clouds are going by quicker now!!!”.

Brilliant!

Here’s the sign I designed afterwards.

The idea is to put the sign near a public window after having printed it on stickers, having an aluminium sign made by an online printing service or to write the sentence on paper tags (which can be removed more easily).

People who see the sign are reminded of the way children think and explore the world. Children continuously pick up and playfully scrutinize ways to explain the world. One of them is the cause-and-effect way of thinking - a logic that we all love to employ in order to have easy explanations of, in fact, complex realities. But in order to comply with this logic, we need to exclude a lot of other realities – and therefore we often misinterpret the world or understand it in a very limited way.

“Attention. Opening the window will accelerate cloud movement” emphasizes the limits of this way of thinking and at the same time it invites us to think of the world’s connections in a more mystical and fabulous, rather than straightforward logical, way.

So what is Guerilla Art?

“Guerilla art is a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun.” - Keri Smith [2]

This is how you can use your child’s imagination to make guerilla art:

It all begins with your curiosity and your child’s curiosity: Pay attention to your child’s imagination and see how your child pays attention to the world.

  1. When was the last time you marvelled over a child’s explanation of reality? Did it make you laugh?How did your child explain the world to itself? Did it, e.g., employ a cause-and-effect way of thinking?
  2. Do your child’s explanations make you aware of certain aspects of your society or about typical habits in your neighborhood?
  3. Can you turn this into a guerilla art sign? Can you invite others to perceive things with children’s eyes by putting up a sign?
  4. Were would be a good public place to put the sign up? Who is your target group?
  5. Design the sign.
  6. Put it up at a public place!

Afterthought:

What it takes is a shift in the way we perceive our children. To be honest, this is not always possible. We are all tired sometimes. And in the end we are still the parents who need to put our kids back on earth, when they are completely running nuts. But every time I allow myself to follow my children’s inquisitive look at reality, I feel very present and alive. I feel that they have a lot of potential to teach us about creativity. Art can happen when you allow yourself to follow your children’s absurd and crazy ideas and then make something out of it!

[1] more about what “kids can teach us about curiosity” Ted Talk Young-ha Kim

[2] http://www.kerismith.com/popular-posts/how-to-be-a-guerilla-artist-2/

Guerilla Art: arrows, notes and additions

Guerilla Art: arrows, notes and additions

Welcome!

Welcome!