In the past few months, artistic endeavors by artists with their children have gone viral. All over the internet people are buzzing about the inspiring art created through these surprising collaborations.
Mica Hendricks is a dedicated illustrator, graphic designer, and mom to five-year-old Myla. When Myla was four, she asked her mother for permission to use Mica’s personal sketchbook. Mica, envisioning her “meticulously planned” sketches adorned with “blob-shaped bodies, scrawled-on limbs, and random ‘accessories’” told her daughter no. Much to her surprise, Myla responded with, “If you can’t share, we’ll have to take it away,” the warning Mica had always used to encourage thoughtfulness and respect in Myla’s behavior. Dismayed, Mica had to oblige.
Rather than looking at her sketches as ruined, Mica decided to use her daughter’s additions as inspiration to create unique works of art. She describes her change in perspective as letting go of her desire to be in control. Rather, she focused on finding joy and building a strong connection with her daughter through their teamwork.
This decision has paid off. Not only have Mica and Myla’s creations and story gone viral, but they have also fully funded their Kickstarter to publish a book of their collected works. The book can be purchased here.
Here’s what Mica has learned from this process:
“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). Most importantly, I learned that if you have a preconceived notion of how something should be, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE DISAPPOINTED. Instead, just go with it, just ACCEPT it, because usually something even more wonderful will come out of it.”
Another mommy-daughter artist duo went viral this fall. Ruth Oosterman and her two-year-old daughter, Eve, also work together to create wonderful works of art. Ruth takes Eve’s doodles and “adds color and other finishing touches to turn each drawing into a full painting.” Ruth tries “to work quickly and let imagination and play take root in the painting rather than taking it [too] seriously” which encourages “Eve’s contributions without making it [too] grownup.”
On her blog, Ruth writes about how her artistic collaborations have helped her create stronger bonds with her daughter and other members of her family. She writes that she and Eve “are [each other’s] teacher, partner, and inspiration and are discovering new worlds with every priceless moment shared creating.” Ruth has found that making art together is a way to rekindle connections and offer strength, healing, and immeasurable support to her loved ones.
She writes that she decided to start working with her grandmother, who is recovering from a heart attack and a stroke. She says of their artistic adventures: “Not only would it let us create together, but would help her strengthen her muscles and hopefully lift her spirits. I can’t even begin to explain how much it meant to me.” These works carry as much emotional candor as the pieces that she creates with her daughter.
This fostering of creativity is a rewarding experience for everyone: viewers love seeing the unique, artistic works, and the bonding between artists and their children is priceless. For more joint creations by family members, check out the following websites:
- Creative Dad Colors His Kids’ Drawings
- The Joy of Creative Collaboration Between Adults and Their Children
Posted by Meghan Dulsky