Do you have one of those kids that gets so tense about their art being “just right” that creating isn’t fun at all, but stressful? Maybe that’s you and it’s just hard to let go and make. Being a perfectionist can wreak havoc on the creative process. Here are three easy ways to move your kiddo (or you) beyond perfectionism and make making art fun again!
What is process art….
Kid’s art can tend to focus on a sequence of steps that result in a specific end product. Miss a step- your project looks different/wrong. Follow your own artistic vision- your project looks different/wrong. This type of “follow the direction” activity is less of a true art experience and more of a craft. I’m not a craft snob. Crafts have their place and are great for giving kids a place to work on fine motor skills, sequencing, patterning, and following directions.
But… crafts don’t give kids an opportunity to make without worrying about the end product. Process art is art that emphasizes the process of making the art rather than focusing on the end result. Process is all about the action of making art. What the art looks like at the end of the amazing process is secondary.
Why process art is perfect for your perfectionist…
The joy of process art isn’t in producing a copy of someone else’s artwork. The joy is in the pushing of paint, the mixing of colors, the moving of the brush. Process art is action oriented.
Every person that uses a given art process will have a different end product. There’s nothing to “mess up” because the goal isn’t in the end product which can take the pressure off of your little perfectionist!
Examples of process art….
Process art is something that’s often saved for the youngest artists. It’s common to see little ones pushing paint, mixing colors, and just creating with pure joy. As kids get older the focus begins to shift to developing skills and techniques and creating an amount of realism. Often times that shift occurs about the same time your perfectionist begins to shy away from making art because “it’s hard” or they’re “not good at it.”
Providing older kids with the same process art experiences we find valuable for little people can open doors for those kids that try so hard to get it “right.” These process art experiences can be enjoyed by ALL ages and are the perfect low pressure way to get the creative juices flowing.
Make your own recycled paint scrapers and then enjoy pushing and pulling paint around!
Drizzle glue onto black paper and add chalk colors when dry with this glue and chalk drawing.
Create radial designs with Sharpie markers with this mesmerizing easy tie dye method!
This leaf printmaking project is so much fun to watch the results change as the paint moves and then dries!
Try a standard art activity on a new surface with this foil painting process!
Add water to a chalk drawing for a new, super vibrant drawing experience!
Encourage creative activities that focus on a growth mindset…
A growth mindset says that a human brain can learn and grow throughout your life. What you can do today isn’t what you’ll be able to do for the rest of your life. Encouraging, right?
Journaling can be an amazing way to explore those big ideas that kids want to work towards. This printable growth mindset book and these printable growth mindset drawing/writing prompts ask questions and provide prompts that leas kids to consider the growth mindset.
Blank bullet journal templates provide kids an excellent skeleton for more in depth journaling about their own growth mindset journey.
Drawing doesn’t have to be intimidating…
Kids can get caught up in erasing a drawing again and again, trying to get it, you guessed it….perfect. There is no joy in this kind of mark making.
While building drawing skills is a totally worthwhile endeavor it can also be useful to loosen up and have a little fun drawing. Have you ever heard of contour drawing? Contour drawing focuses on drawing the edges or outline of an object in order to define it. The emphasis is on looking at what you’re drawing and really seeing the details- not on the drawing itself.
Blind contour drawing can add some laughs to your drawing routine…
Blind contour drawing take this process a step further and asks the artist to ONLY look at their subject. By not looking at the drawing your attention is only on soaking up all the details of your subject.
No drawing done in the blind contour style will ever look perfect. Sometimes they look mildly recognizable, sometimes they’re totally wacky. The point is they’re fun, they’re silly, and you will definitely laugh. And you’re building drawing/ perception skills at the same time.
Read more about the contour/ blind contour drawing process here.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this contour drawing process is that there is NO erasing. None.
This is a hard rule to follow for kids that are used to focusing on “perfect” results. Put the pencils away and grab some Sharpies. There’s no erasing a Sharpie and everyone knows it. Make your marks and keep on making!
If you loved learning how to coax your perfectionist into a creative I’d be so excited if you’d share this post!
Every single share helps me to grow- which means I can bring more ideas to you!