What happens when you treat children as creative collaborators? Respecting and building on their perspectives? Honoring their imagination?
Illustrator and designer, Mica Angela Hendricks, recently wrote about an unexpected collaboration she with her four-year-old daughter. Upon receiving a brand new sketchbook, she unexpected had her creative real-estate encroached upon by her daughter. Reluctantly, she let her share the page. And from it bloomed an imaginative portraiture series––
"It was such a beautiful combination of my style and hers. And she LOVED being a part of it. She never hesitated in her intent. She wasn’t tentative. She was insistent and confident that she would of course improve any illustration I might have done. …And the thing is, she DID."
Guess what? Both parties increased their creative confidence. A mother learning to let go and follow whimsy and imagination. A child learning to share a page and artistic pursuit –– watching their work come to life.
More notes from Mica below:
"And from it all, here are the lessons I learned: to try not to be so rigid. Yes, some things (like my new sketchbook) are sacred, but if you let go of those chains, new and wonderful things can happen. Those things you hold so dear cannot change and grow and expand unless you loosen your grip on them a little. In sharing my artwork and allowing our daughter to be an equal in our collaborations, I helped solidify her confidence, which is way more precious than any doodle I could have done. In her mind, her contributions were as valid as mine (and in truth, they really were)."