For a long time I had the idea of collaborating with a young child to create concepts for a story. I figured that the best way to write a children’s story would be to include a child in the process. I’ll sit down with the child and we’ll come up with various characters and possibly the foundations of a story. From there I’ll interpret the drawings into fully developed characters and illustrate them into a book, while incorporating 3D modelling/printing.
Below is my proposal submitted for the project;
Project Title (working title)
“Emotively expressing the imagination of young children”
By using the imaginative ideas of young children, this project aims to utilise several disciplines to visualise a story. The disciplines being; Graphic design, Illustration, 3D and moving image. By collaborating with a young child it is hoped that a creative and imaginative story will be created which will be visualised through a book and short animation. This project also seeks to utilise 3D printing technology to visualise the stories characters from 3D models.
Imagination is the foundation of childhood play and during childhood is when creativity is at its height (Singer, D., and Singer, J. The House of Make-Believe 1992). You must think like a child in order to understand one, so why not collaborate with a child to create work?
By spending time collaborating ideas with a child it is hoped that the basis of a story will be created. To visualise the story, a series of illustrations, a book and a short animation will be created.
By the age of three, children gain an understanding of the emotion present in their drawings (Misailidi, P., and Bonoti, F., 2008). Happiness, sadness and fear are the easiest for them to recognise but they can often confuse closely related emotions e.g anxiety and depression (Bond 2009). Combining the artistic skills of adult and child can therefore create pieces of expressive and creative art.
Artists Dave DeVries and Mica Angela Hendricks both have created many artworks in collaboration with children. DeVries takes the drawings of children and by adding colour, texture and shading, he visualises the work realistically. This provides more clarity and understanding to the artwork of which the child could not accomplish on their own ability.
Hendricks’ approach is a collaboration with her four year old daughter. Her daughter would draw bodies on her detailed sketches of heads to create some fantastic illustrations. Often her daughter would complete the sketches in a way in which Hendricks never thought of, therefore highlighting that creatively collaborating with a young child can be beneficial learning experience for both involved.
This project seeks to combine a variety of disciplines to fully develop and visualise the creative ideas between adult and child. A printed book and short animation will bring the story to life but the project also seeks to visualise characters in 3D to utilise new 3D printing technologies. It is hoped that the completed project will have an appeal to young children and could potentially become an ongoing series, available for purchase.
A potential problem in this project is that the collaboration is not as creative as initially hoped, the success of the project lies in the creativity of both collaborators.
Over the course of this project I’m seeking to hone my skills in the various software that I’ve become competent with over the last 2 and a half years of study. Also within this project I’m seeking to develop my skill as an animator which I feel to date has been neglected and is an integral piece of the success of this project. 3D printing is now a more easily accessible technology and is something of which I very keen to experiment with, I hope to model some of the child’s characters to better visualise them.
- SINGER, D. and SINGER, J., 1992. The House of Make-Believe. United States of America: Harvard University Press.
- Bond, L., 2009, Investigating the Spectrum of Emotions in Young Children using Visual and Narrative Methodologies to gain an Insight into their Emotional Perceptions, Unpublished, MDes Design and Communication Thesis. (2009 Kaufman Fellowship)
- Misailidi, P., and Bonoti, F.,2008, emotion in children’s art: do young children understand the emotions expressed in other children’s drawings? Journal of Early Childhood Research Vol 6: pp189-200