My kids are still young, but despite their age they are both quite prolific with their artistic output. For some time I relied on our fridge to be the proud displayer of art. And then… the art started to get good. Like, my-son-just-painted-a-Matisse good! (Ha, only kidding.) But seriously, better than scribbles, these art pieces were starting to merit some type of recognition. Not only that, but a cataloging system. So I got to work finding ways to display and celebrate my kids’ art.
If you’re staring at a large pile of art that you have no idea what to do with, take heart — I have a few ideas.
They range in price from $0.99 to $8, come in a range of fun colors, and are perfect for framing your child’s art. Create a gallery wall with 6-8 frames in varying sizes and rotate the art in as the masterpieces are produced. Your children will love the fact that their art is being framed, and you won’t have to tape it to the fridge anymore.
I started using the Artkive app awhile ago, and it’s pretty ingenious. It allows you to take photos of your child’s art, store it, and create books — complete with separate folders for different kids. If you’ve reached the point of no return and are drowning in art and don’t know where to start, Artkive offers a service where you can ship everything off and they’ll do all the work of cataloging and documenting for you. Pure genius.
Culling the art
This is a sensitive topic. I know many parents who can’t bear to part with even one piece of their child’s art. I am NOT one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t throw away all the art. Just a lot of it. Scribbles, finger paint designs, blobs, they all go in the trash. Or, if I deem it pretty good but not good enough to frame, I take a photo of it (Artkive!) and then I recycle it.
Purchase one a year and fill it with the best of the best. They’re easy to store, easy to page through, and inexpensive!
Paint one self-portrait a year
My son’s preschool did this last year, and I find it makes a really cool entry into the portfolio selection. Have your child sit in front of a mirror and ask them to paint themselves. It’s an interesting exercise and produces great results.
A few final points: I always write my child’s name, and the month and year the piece was produced — as well as the child’s age. As a bonus, an explanation of the art is nice to have. Also, as the art starts to get good, so should your art supplies. Thicker paper, better quality pastels, water colors, and pencils will yield better results for your young artist. Perhaps one day, when your child hosts his first gallery show in NYC, he’ll showcase some of his “earlier art” — thoughtfully and responsibly organized by his loving parents.