Saturday, June 22, 2013

When God Gave Away Artistic Genes....

When God gave away artistic genes - I must have been asleep. I used to have a hard time with the elementary school artwork assigned to me. Eggshell art in the shape of an ice cream cone? Trust mine to come out looking like just scattered eggshells, forget the cone. I dreaded art class in grade school. I blame it on the fact that I was not really exposed to art or creating art when I was young. I was never one of those girls who could perfectly color in a picture - with perfect shading, even colors, and fantastic strokes. Left brain dominant - that's what I definitely am!

Now that I have two daughters - I'd like to try and unleash the creative/artistic side in them. I believe that if they are exposed to art and creativity at a young age - they will bring this with them to adulthood. They may not turn out to become experts in the creative field, but it will definitely balance out the ultra left brain genes they would have inherited from me. Hence, I find it wonderful that there are so many new developments in the world today that help kids become more creative people (even if born to left brained parents!)

Two weeks ago, K and I attended a SoMoms event sponsored by Amspec (Amalgamated Specialties Corporation), the makers of Crayola and T-Pencil, held at Gymboree. It's a perfect combination - Gymboree is a venue for kids to experiment on their own self expression - and Amspec provided the tools for the kids to explore. To my delight - Anne Tan of Gymboree confirmed that, indeed, creativity cannot be taught but should constantly be nurtured and triggered. It's not something that you can transfer to your child - it's something that has to be developed in him or her.

Newbie SoMoms

This was the first time for us to attend a "creativity" session at Gymboree. I liked that the session combined physical movement (dancing and actions), words (storytelling), and arts & crafts to stimulate the children. It was the right balance of "active" and "passive" creativity for me. K eagerly joined in the fun - she's now 4 years old and loves pretend play. I think her "imagination" skills are getting developed now - because she also loves listening to stories, and makes up stories from the pictures in her books.
Working on her roaring lion

The kids pretending to be frogs, hopping up and down.
The older kids were taught shading techniques (I sure wished I listened more closely to this! It's a good "talent" to have.) They used T-Pencils to shade shapes and simulate shadows. With just a pencil - any drawing can become a piece of art. Amspec endorses the use of their pencils for longer use - you literally can use your pencils until they are just a stub. So how do you know your pencils are good quality pencils? Smell them! Real T-Pencil pencils smell of cedar. Check the graphite points too (that's the black thing in the middle of the pen that we refer to as "lead") - they should be perfectly centered so that the wood around it does not break easily while being sharpened
Centered Graphite Points on Amspec T-Pencils

Three types of shading: Lines, Criss Cross and Dots

With a few strokes from a T-Pencil - this bigtop came alive!

Now here's the best part - Amspec also makes Crayola! This got me excited (someone hinted at a field trip to the Philippine Crayola plant - W-O-W!). The ubiquitous yellow and green Crayola box is a natural part of our childhood. I noticed other copycat crayon brands have used the same color scheme - I guess to confuse consumers when they are in a rush. I personally have been loyal to Crayola crayons only. I never really knew why (as I said, not an art expert here, so who was I to judge the better crayons?). It's just a psychological thing, I guess.

Thanks to Amspec though, I now know why I need to be loyal to Crayola. Amspec maintains the highest standards in the production of their products. This means that the crayons, the ink and even the paper wrapped around them are all non-toxic. The inks used are actually soya inks. So the huge non-toxic sign on each Crayola box is true - it is not poisonous at all. Remember that the next time you freak out at the sight of your kid putting his hand in his mouth after handling Crayola crayons!

The next time you are at your neighborhood bookstore, do check out Amspec products - I am sure you will find something that will appeal to your child (and even to you!)

Takes a load off your head - knowing they can easily be cleaned.
See? Washable!
I love that there are erasable versions of everything now.

This is magic. Any little girl would love these.

For the little hands of your little ones...

1 comment:

  1. Yay for washable markers! I use them to temporary mark my daughter's face towel in school. Hehe!