My colleague app’ed me the other day to say that she loved her job. I love my job too. We both work in the art department. This admission came in the context of a particular assignment that we are working together at the moment.
The project is part of a street art related theme and is centered in particular on the Little People Project by the British street artist Slinkachu.
We were preparing the figures, similar to those used by Slinkachu to give our pupils the chance to work in a similar way when they visit The Hague for a day in a couple of weeks’ time. We were both doing the preparation work simultaneously on a Saturday afternoon apping photos of what we were doing to each other.
We’d sourced our own simple plastic figures and had them mailed from China. We wanted to deliver our fifteen year old pupils high quality painted figures with which to work and had decided to do the painting ourselves.
Why were we enjoying the preparation so much? Well, it was fun to do. Slinkachu’s art has a childish playfulness to it. Having presented the idea of the assignment to our pupils this week it is clear to see that they too recognize the element of childish play that is involved here. Even fifteen year olds love the chance to play…..sometimes there almost seems to be a nostalgic view back to their own childhood activities! If I ask them to bring in the LEGO from in the box under their bed for an animation project, they love to do just that, and the excuse to play.
Picasso once said:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
In this regard our assignment certainly seems to connect with Picasso’s thought. But I think that it also relates strongly to why my colleague and I enjoy our work. All creativity involves an element of play and experimentation. An open minded involvement to our activity as art teachers has a free wheeling playfulness to it. When, as a teacher you are able to awaken this sense of playfulness in your pupils, the rest generally takes care of itself.