A child’s art sometimes evolves into something that looks like slop, as your child is deeply immersed in exploring art materials while working on an art creation. Fear not! It is this process of trying and then seeing results that greatly benefits kids. Process art is both an artistic movement and a creative belief. The idea behind process art is that a child’s finished product is not nearly as important as the self-satisfaction and discovery involved in creating it. Creativity is a cornerstone of process art, as kids work with a variety of art materials and learn from trying out their ideas.
Younger kids tend to get their first process art experiences as they play with paints. Instead of telling them how to make a color, let them discover what happens when they mix red and yellow paint (you get orange). Kids might mix orange and green resulting in a muddy shade that may or may not be what was intended. This active discovery is a wonderful, hands-on way to learn. While a heavy hand with the paint brush may overwhelm a design, children will become increasingly adept at applying technique that suits their vision.
Process art helps kids develop confidence, imagination, and an appreciation for the visual arts born of personal experience. Offer art experiences at home that enable your child to explore and to create freely. Remember not to focus on the end product but instead on the process: “How did you do that?” “What happened when you mixed those colors?” “Tell me about this creation?” “Did it turn out like you expected – why or why not?” That’s the essence of problem-solving and owning a personal creative experience!