I’ve written before about how I tried to be a ballet Mum and failed miserably. Not only was Heike not remotely interested (she would happily spend hours making up dance moves by herself but first, second, third position? Not so much), I am just not cut out for the costumes/hairstyles/rehearsals. As soon as I found out the four year olds would have to wear make up and I would have to give up three Saturday mornings for photo shoots and dress rehearsals I had one foot out the door. Thankfully Heiks was only too happy to follow.
Still I constantly lamented that she didn’t have an extra curricular activity that she was passionate about. I mean, I am completely lazy so running kids to activities isn’t exactly my favourite thing anyway, but I wanted her to have an interest and to make friends outside of school. That’s why it has been so amazing watching her love for art blossom.
She started getting into drawing late last year, which was actually due to her Mandarin teacher. He really focused on her pencil grip and showed her a few techniques for drawing simple things like flowers and trees. She became obsessed with drawing “roses” which were essentially just green lines with furious red circles on top but that was the beginning. When we moved to Stanley my first priority was to get her into some art classes, and we started not long after at The Studio which I have written about before.
Since then the art obsession has pretty much taken over our house. EVERY morning the pencils and paper are out, and more often than not we are stressing out trying to get out the door while Heike asks for “just one more piece of paper”. With the help of her art teacher and little bits of advice from her Dad and I (her Dad is actually much better at sitting down and getting properly involved) she has become quite a talented drawer, I think, for a four year old anyway!
The not-so-great side effect of this is the paper. Everywhere. On even the most unexpected of surfaces (bathroom cabinet, baby’s nursery, kitchen floor) I am constantly finding drawings – landscapes, butterflies, friends and family, robots, even (concerningly) guns. I never have the heart to throw them out, and so have just been putting them in an ever growing pile thinking I will stick them somewhere or use them as wrapping paper.
Last week I finally got fed up and decided to take action. I spent about an hour going through all the drawings and deciding what was actually worth remembering (do I need to keep a picture she drew of a banana? Probably not…) and then photographing everything.
I recently downloaded the Print Studio app on my shiny new iPhone, and ordered some prints from there that I was really happy with. They came printed on nice thick paper and for Instagram photos, were really good quality. While there are lots of apps for storing and printing childrens’ art photos, I thought this was just as good an option as the art books are affordable ($15US for a softcover with 38 photos), are delivered promptly and I knew the quality was good.
It also suited me as it could be done completely from my phone – I’m such a technophobe and hate effort so the easier the better.
Ultimately this is just one of those organisational things you NEVER feel like doing, but was actually quite enjoyable and I feel so good every time I look at the empty space where the pile of artworks used to be. I’ve moved the better drawings into the wrapping paper cupboard (don’t get me started on my obsession with wrapping paper) and have sworn there is a 3 month expiry period on these! Let’s see how I go.
How about you – kicked any organisational goals lately?!