How to Talk to Kids about an artist as a profession.
Recently I had the opportunity to explain the profession of an artist to children. The class will be made by zoom and we will make a presentation for the 3th grade of elementary school among the children living in Myanmar.
This class is the second for me. I already finished my first class in November of last year. But at the time, the description of the artist was focused on my own growth as an artist. In this sense, I think children will come more friendly when they see how they become artists and how they work through the artworks in the studio and activities. But personally, I think my class was dry like a boring workshop.
Perhaps my master's degree in art education helped me find and develop new ideas from these thoughts. While studying for one semester, I had a lot of thoughts about art education and the role of an art educator. And looking at the previous presentation again, I found that a revision from a completely different angle was inevitable.
So this time, after taking a more general approach at the child's perspective level, I decided to explain the profession of an artist through a book I recently read with my child.
I recently enjoyed reading a book called Snowflake Mistake with my child.
This book is a fairy tale by Lou Treleaven & Maddie Frost explaining why it snows through a girl named Ellie who lives in a snow-making palace. Ellie lives with her mother, her queen, in a palace with snow-making machines above the clouds.
Ellie is in charge of the snow-making machine while the queen is out for a while, but the machine breaks down, so she makes her own snow by herself and blows it away. Eventually, she sees the queen return and have eyes of different shapes and sizes, all handmade.
But she doesn't blame or undervalue Ellie, she tells her that being different is unique, and she hugs her and the story ends. That's why the title is Snowflake Mistake. I think this book is very helpful for children who are afraid of making even small mistakes. Then, I came up with the idea that it would be nice to use it as a metaphor when explaining the profession of an artist to children.
Ellie thought that making snow of different shapes and sizes by hand was the same as an artist's work. The world is rather dazzlingly beautiful because of her erratic work that looks like her mistake. In this regard, I matched the profession of artist and the case of Ellie to fit the children as shown below.
1. Make Mistake
Lots of mistakes and trial and error always create something new. Challenges are essential for artists. Ellie made mistakes, but through them she made the world more beautiful.
2. Make Different
Artists always have to be creative and create something new. They are storytellers who bring fun to a boring, logical world. These kinds of fun change lives and bring people together to do great projects.
3. Spent A Lot Of Time a lone
Ellie made snowflakes by her hand while she was alone. Artists focus on their work alone like this in the studio.
4. Make Fun
Art brings joy to people. Imagine a winter without snow. At this point, I'm going to emphasize again the picture of the children waiting for snow on the green grass in the book above.
5. Make Relationship (Cultural)
Ellie's diverse snowflakes made the world more happy. Of course, warmth flows from Mom and Ellie
6. Advances in science
If Ellie's mother makes eyes with a machine is science, then Ellie's method is art. She was embarrassed, but she knew that the snowflakes made the world more beautiful. Maybe she will try to upgrade her snow machine.
7. Make Together
Ellie collaborated with her friends the birds to create her snowflakes. In this way, art is more of a collaborative work of several artists or a work of several people than an artist alone.
After explaining what Ellie and the artist have in common in the 7 aspects above, I will explain how to make a snowflake shape with paper at the end, and then I will make snow with the children. I think this method will help children understand the profession of an artist in an interesting way.
Personally, I want to let children enjoy painting and the life of painting with art close to their life with an understanding of a job as an artist. Because art is not just for artists, it's for everyone.
Myungja Anna Koh