This post is sponsored by The Brand Connection/Pentel. All ideas and opinions are my own.
Jacob has always been interested in playing sports but, over the past couple of years, he has really gotten into the arts as well. From music to the visual arts, he’s taken an interest in all things artistic. As parents we want to encourage our children as best we can so I wanted to share a few ways I’ve found to encourage him in his artistic pursuits.
The first way is to provide children with materials that let them be creative, from a microphone for singers to an instrument kids can learn to art supplies they can use to make fabulous creations. Since my boys were young we’ve always had a variety of open ended craft supplies (like craft sticks, tissue paper, and beads) available for them so that creating something could be done at anytime. If you don’t have a large budget there are plenty of everyday objects and recycled materials (like newspapers, cartons, and shampoo bottles) that children can craft with. I share 100 recycled craft ideas here to give you an idea of materials you will want to keep on hand.
I also provide my boys with a number of different types of writing utensils, paintbushes, and the like for painting, drawing, and coloring. Last school year Jacob was in art club and, this past spring, had a piece featured in the school district’s art showcase at a local gallery. He was so excited about this honor of having a creation on display and was proud of the piece he had created- a military themed, all black ink design on a white background.
He did such a nice job on his gallery piece but, while I loved the black and white design, I thought it would be fun to gift him a set of colorful pens from Pentel to add a little *pop* of color to his future art work. These pens were a flashback to my 90’s childhood and I was so excited to share the virbrant colored pens with him. From the “milky” pastel colors to the “solar” neon colors to the “sparkle” iridescent colors, I knew he would love these smooth gel ink pens as much as I did. He was especially drawn to the neon colors which didn’t suprise me!
He wanted to create a comic book with his new pens. A few years ago he had started a comic book collection with his dad and thought it would be cool to create one of his own. I agreed with him that these pens would be perfect for the job. This is where tip #2 for encouraging your little artist comes in- join in on their artistic hobby with them!
I’ll admit I’m not very talented when it comes to drawing, painting, and things like that (though I do really enjoy a good, therapuatic coloring session in an adult coloring book!) but one thing I am good at is organizing my creative thoughts (I am a writer, after all!) So I helped Jacob figure out a process for preparing his comic, much like he would do in school for an essay or I do for more in-depth, researched blog posts. He brainstormed ideas for the characters, came up with a storyline, figured out what images he would draw in each box, and then started sketching out the comic strip with his Pentel Mechanical Pencil. Once he’d drawn everything out he added pops of color with the Pentel Gel Pens. It was a fun project for a rainy afternoon!
Another way to encourage your child’s artistic abilities is to put them in lessons or activities to help them grow their skill. Jacob takes guitar lessons at a local music school and this year is joining his school band. Communities and schools often have art classes where children can learn how to draw or how to take beautiful photographs with their camera (my love of photography started in my high school’s dark room). Those on a budget may be able to barter for services, choose low-cost options like school clubs, or have their child take private or group lessons from college students who often charge less than professionals.
No matter what type of artistic endeavor your child is interested in, I think one of the most important things you can do as a parent is to support your child and their passions! How do you encourage your child’s artistic pursuits? I’d love to hear about it so chat with me on twitter, instagram, or facebook!