Miss M, aka, my 7 year old daughter, and I have been collaborating on artwork from the time she could hold a crayon. The above is a picture of us sketching together in Central Park on Mother's Day.
M has always been my sidekick. When I worked in our family office, she went with me in a carrier. When I worked on our ecommerce store from home and she was a baby, she often "worked" with me. She has locked up more keyboards pounding on them, stacked more boxes, charmed more patients, taken more trips to the post office, unpacked more inventory, and much, much more than many kids her age. It seemed only natural, and quite frankly necessary, to let her play in my studio with me as well.
It started with a play mat on the floor and she showed little interest in getting her hands dirty, probably because she couldn't move. However, as soon as she could grasp an object and scribble on a page she was off. I decided at that point if I had something out that she could access it was fair game. If she scribbled on something that I was working on, I simply responded to her marks on the page. I started giving her my Caran d'ache so the marks could be morphed and we started having a lot of fun.
Then she got excited about me tracing her body, she would scribble, I would paint, she would scribble... It was a fun process and created some paintings I will always cherish.
I picked up things I used to love as a child(frankly still do): little coloring pages with paints on them activated with water on a paintbrush, little looms for weaving pot holders, spiral art machines, finger paints, endless pots of watercolors, markers. FRESH BOXES OF CRAYONS(I can smell them now)...
We often connect through creativity and this is something I am endlessly grateful for.
As she has gotten older she continues to like to work not only along side me but at times also with me. In December we collaborated on some hand painted pillow dolls and Boojésoow was born(I'll share about the name next time...).
Boojésoow is what we decided to name our body of collaborative projects. Dolls, paintings, repainted dollhouses, lots of outdoor story circles. I work on them, she works on them, we work on them together.
I think as we move forward on this with a little focus and consistency some really fun things are happening. I even signed us up for an art show together this summer and M is thrilled. Selfishly, I love that she loves to spend time with me doing something I love, and I think she does too. As a mother I'm thrilled to be modeling for her the possibility of earning an income doing something she loves. As an artist I love that I can witness and encourage her creating without correcting or stifling her.
I'll continue to write about our projects as they evolve, always under hashtag #boojésoow...
Have you ever tried co-creating with your kiddos???