Disclaimer: This post features a PR Product.
Kids love getting messy – give them some paint and they will create. It might be awful, BUT it might be an amazing abstract piece to rival some of the most famous artists in the world. Of course all art is open to interpretation and opinion, so all that really matters is that you love it.
As a parent you love your child unconditionally and often experience moments of pride when they master a new skill or create something. Even though you love them, it’s still ok to think that their ‘art’ is awful/ burns your eyes. It’s one thing to put their latest ‘painting’ on the fridge, but to make it into a large scale print for display on a wall? It needs to be good, right? And every child is capable of creating something good when it comes to abstract art!
Practice makes perfect
As a Graphic Designer, I’ll admit that my standards are high when it comes to art (poor Dylan) but really what I need from an abstract is a good colour combo. Little Dylan has been an Artist-in-Residence since April 2020 so he’s had lots of time to work on technique and finding his style. I won’t pretend that Dylan is an artistic genius (I’m not that parent) – A LOT of the paintings have been awful (open to interpretation) but there have been some lovely gems too.
Mainly it’s a fun way to break up a boring day (because we’re all spending a lot of time inside at the moment, aren’t we?) but anything that encourages creativity is very welcome in this house!
We began with splodges of paint inside a plastic bag (below) when he was 9 months old…
… and now he’s a bit older (17 months) we have progressed onto holding a paintbrush and chunky wax crayons but he loves putting his fingers in the paint and everywhere else of course! His attention span isn’t great yet so a creative session doesn’t last very long, but we have tried potato stamping and I think he will like stickers/ cut and sticking shapes soon. We just let him try different things and gauge his reaction – sometimes he’s not enthused (or should that be ‘inspired’) by anything ha
Tools of the trade
I’m often asked about the paint I use via Instagram. When using the plastic bag method I just used acrylic paint but now that he’s touching (and eating) the paint I’m using some non-toxic Crayola Washable Project Paint and Crayola My First Easy Grip Crayons. I have to warn you that the project paint is very watery though, so you don’t need to use a lot to cover everything. I’ve also heard good things about Paint Sticks if you’re worried about mess, but let’s face it… it’s inevitable with kids!
And don’t forget about the canvas too – using coloured paper can really make the difference! Think about your colour pairings, here are a few which I think work well:
- Yellow paper with red & orange paint
- Pink paper with red & white paint
- Pink paper with blue & yellow paint
- Blue paper with blue paint
- Blue paper with green & yellow paint
- Green paper with pink & yellow paint
- Orange paper with blue & yellow paint
- Purple paper with red & pink paint
But I’m sure that your mini artist will want to try every colour – Dylan loved trying them all but was especially drawn to the brown crayon (much to my disappointment ha). For me, the hardest part of was knowing when to take the paper away & decide that the piece was ‘finished’. The struggles of abstract art, eh?
Dylan is still new to a paintbrush, so it doesn’t take long before he gets stuck in with his fingers but you can try lots of different ways to apply paint to paper:
- Bubble wrap
- Plastic Bottles
- Basically anything in your recycling bin
Once your masterpiece is complete, it’s time to display it; on the fridge, a memo board or if you love it enough, in a frame. Abstract art looks amazing at a large scale, so why not go bold and maximise your mini’s art?
Say hello to My Kid Made; a small family business that transforms children’s drawings, paintings & collages into large-scale fine art for your home. I think it’s a genius idea! ‘Why would I need to scale it up? I’ll just use a big piece of paper’ you might ask. Well, an A2 piece of paper is a big and quite overwhelming canvas for a little person.
My Kid Made
So when My Kid Made asked if we wanted to go big with some of Dylan’s art, the answer was obviously yes! It’s quite a simple process: pop your child’s art in the post to the My Kid Made team. They scan it at a really high definition to capture all of the details, print it on lovely acid free archival paper at a custom size and post it to you in a tube, along with your original masterpiece of course!
From A3 to A1, you can choose a size that fits your home – I opted for 50x70cm as we already had a frame that size and I love it!
It looks amazing in our living room and will work in future spaces too (when we eventually buy a house!) as I know we will keep it forever. It’s so bold with movement, great detail and obviously has great sentimental value too. Here’s the original A4 next to the My Kid Made piece:
Obviously I’m a bit biased, but I don’t think anyone would bat an eye lid if I said it was an abstract piece by an artist. Well done, Dylan! Although, not sure I want him to be an artist when he grows up… they’re only really famous after they’re dead, eh?
So, what are you waiting for? Get those paintbrushes out and go abstract! I’d 100% recommend My Kid Made for anyone looking to add amazing art with sentimental value to their lives.