Over the many years of drawing with thousands of kids on playgrounds, I come to notice a certain kind of kid – the ones who draw out of the box.
Usually I create a large outline, give a demonstration, and invite the children to draw inside the area filling in the bigger drawing collaboratively. I subdivide the larger area giving kids their own smaller spaces of their choosing to do whatever they want. The really little kids work better if they can see a space that they can work in, negative space is an abstract concept and the space around a drawing unless defined is confusing, and it doesn’t get filled in, and thats a waste a space if we are trying to fill in something larger.
But when I finally lift up my head after “herding cats” and getting a student group of 30-60 kids at one time chalking…there they are, drawing away, over there, across that, from here to there… they are totally unique and doing their thing.
This young man saw me working at an event and just decided to make his own. Awesome!
This boy was outlining the entire playground.
I once noticed a line on a playground, as I looked closer I saw that it started at the top of the huge tree we were drawing and it ran down the entire length. And down on the end end of that line was the kid drawing. I went over to him, told em I noticed their line and appreciated their effort. We talked some more and decided he should continue the lines so that they became roots into the ground.
And then there was collaboration – love it!
In closing I want to acknowledge these kids, the dreamers, the artists, the ones who want and need more and just do it because it’s just natural. To the ones who are frustrated, disappointed, pushed down, kept down, taken down, who are judged, teased, punished, despised, marginalized, and misunderstood…. the ones who make others jealous, and envious.
And to the ones who persist in spite of it all, in the spirit of what they simply know as truth, who get noticed for marching to the beat of their own drum, who get noticed by teachers, by other artists, and good parents who see them for who they are; authentic, creative, interesting, amazing, fun, goofy, out there in a good way, and who get the cute girls and cute guys (and/or adorable nerdy) because they are who they are. To all the ones who draw out of the box. I salute you, I see you!
In the Creative Spirit,
Founder and Creative Director of Drawing on Earth