There are two distinct areas of study to focus upon when teaching kids art production: the technical, and the analytical. The far easier of the two is the technical aspects of whatever media is being explored in a given project. Demonstrating and familiarizing student s with the various processes and procedures associated with a specific medium is always fun and relatively straightforward. Typically the students are excited to get to work and dive into their projects eager to make a calculated mess with the newly discovered materials. It is only then that a majority of them realize they lack the second and more important ingredient of art making: the ever illusive idea. This particular component of the creative process has long plagued both veteran artists and beginning students seemingly for as long as we as a species have been making marks.
There is a fascinatingly complex relationship for students to discover between the physical act of making art, and the psychological reasoning behind it. Art, at its core, is a form of communication; a vehicle of expression. And whether it is sophisticated or shallow, there needs to be some degree of motivation behind an artwork if it is to stand any chance of resonating with an audience. In other words, the artist needs to know why they are creating a particular image and allow that reasoning to influence the direction of the work. Otherwise the work is in danger of becoming another trite image in an ever expanding ocean of kitsch. Even work created with exceptional technical skill, if lacking a clearly defined purpose, becomes a transparent window exposing the artist’s lack of intention.