I absolutely love this quote, and I really believe it’s true.
All forms of art or creative expression are wonderful, but intentional art is especially inspiring!
What is intentional art?
It’s nothing fancy, and anyone can use this approach. Studying art intentionally simply means we’re focusing on something for a reason. (As opposed to studying art for art’s sake, or creating crafts just for fun.)
I want to be really clear that there’s no judgment here. I’m not saying intentional art is better, or that there’s anything wrong with fun crafts or art for art’s sake. But I am proposing that intentional art gives us opportunities we don't have with other kinds of arts and crafts. Intentional art gives us a chance to slow down and connect with the art (and our kids), to have meaningful conversations, and to inspire creative thinking!
How does intentional art work?
When you study art intentionally, you choose a subject, and then you really take your time to look at it closely. I’m not talking about glancing at the art for 20 seconds and then moving on. I’m talking about slowly looking. Finding hidden little things in the art. Getting inside the image and really absorbing it.
After that, you can engage your kids in a thoughtful discussion! It’s really important that this discussion happens BEFORE you tell your kids all about the art. Once you start to tell them all of the amazing fun facts and backstories, they will be so intrigued that they may stop making their own observations. So first, we’ll hold the space for them to make their own discoveries. To think about what it means. To consider why the artist made this work.
Then you’ll reveal a few key things about the art/artists. (Notice how I said a few key things?) This is not your only chance to learn everything there is to know about the art and/or the artist. By offering a few pieces of relevant information, you’re ensuring that your kids will:
remember what they learned.
be excited to circle back to the artist later to learn even more!
You can wrap up your intentional art time by inviting your kids to create their own open-ended art. Open-ended art is the key to creativity! You’ll really want to let your kids take the lead here. Allow them the leeway to create art that’s meaningful for them. You can offer a starting point for the project, but if your kids have another idea, they should follow their interests. A simple test to know if your project prompt is open-ended is to think, “If I invited 10 kids to do this project, would they all look basically the same? Or would the end result be dramatically different from one piece of art to the next?”
And that’s it! Intentional art at its best!
It may sound like a lot, but you can keep it super simple, and I’m excited to show you how.
Next week I’m hosting Intentional Art Week. It’s free, and YOU are invited!
We’ll be going through this process, one step at a time, as we explore a magnificent work of art– Claude Monet’s Water Lilies.
By the end of the week you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert in what it means to explore art intentionally with your kids!
And more importantly, you’ll begin to see some of the amazing benefits of studying art this way with your kids. You may notice your kids…
Observing things more carefully than they did before (a useful skill in many subjects, not just art!)
Surprising you with fun bonus conversations (not just when you sit down to study the art, but spontaneous chats that pop up out of nowhere– in the car, at the dinner table, and when they see connections between the art and something else you’re studying!)
Thinking and solving problems more creatively… in math, science, writing, and more (because when you give that artsy side of your brain a chance to work, it works on more than just art!)
Engaging your kids in an intentional art study is more than just an hour of art each week… it actually creates a lifestyle shift that benefits everything else you’re doing in school and beyond!
Join us for Intentional art week, and let’s have some fun with art together! The activities begin on August 12, and you don’t need any special art supplies. There are three activities to explore with your kids (each around 20-30 minutes), and there are a few fun mini-trainings for you (so you’ll know how to confidently guide your kids in an intentional art activity)!
I’m excited to see you inside the workshop next week! Click the button below to sign up for free!
Hop into our private Facebook group and introduce yourself! Let's chat about art!