Define Art… Usually, the answer to this question lies in drawing and crafts that young children indulge in. Looking at the most creative forms of art produced by little hands always leaves us with astonishment. But as adults have we ever wondered what these creative arts can portray? Yes, you read it right!!! ART is a form of expression for young children.
Ryan was not very creative with art as he was with music. Hence he always loved to participate in art that was based on imitation. He would always listen carefully to the instructions given by her teacher and would follow each step carefully to ensure his piece of art resembles that of the teacher. This type of art, which is based on instruction, is close-ended and defined is called the product art. Such kind of art generally limits the children’s creativity.
Sophie, on other hand, always had been creative with colours. She wasn’t ever perfect with drawing figures but she has a gifted sense of using colours with brilliant combinations. She would always enjoy free art or painting on canvas. Sophie loved to experiment with different tools like thick and thin brushes, different types of sticks, rollers and of course her little fingers too. This form of art which is unique, not guided by anyone and non-instructional is called process art. Such art always allows children to express their creativity leaving the art open-ended for interpretation.
Refer to the example of a process art here.
Now looking at the stark difference between product and process art it is important to understand the process art is a medium that gives more options to children to express their emotions and experiences that they may not be able to express through any other medium. Hence process art becomes an important form of expression for young children.
The adult’s role would be motivating and scaffolding them in a right direction while they work with a product art. However while indulged in a process art, they can simply try and begin a conversation by appreciating them, saying for example, “the combination of two colours you used depicts a perfect sunset sky Sophie.. how did you make such a perfect one?” and so on. This is not just motivation but is also helps in developing one’s self-esteem and confidence. So let us come together and use art as a medium of expression for our young children.
Some brilliant process art activities you can do at home with your children are: