Go into any office supply store and you will see a flurry of activity in the back to school section. Sale prices are all around and there will be many items to choose from. The tendency for most parents is to just get as many pencils and highlighters as possible to last the year. If you are the parent to a budding artist then you may want to take a moment to actually plan out the supplies you need for the year as this could be a great way to improve your child’s creativity.
We all learn in different ways, some need more visual clues and others take lots of notes. In fact it’s been reported that doodling improves retention of material. Don’t believe me check out this article on the a study done on the topic. http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1882127,00.html. Teaming the way people learn to how they like to take down information can help improve how much of the material is remembered, but also makes the review process much more enjoyable.
So how will this information help improve your child’s creativity?
First let’s look at the notebooks your child may be working in. You may want to buy your child those basic lined styled notebooks, but is that the best option? If your child is a budding artist it may be holding back some of that creativity with the lines. Think about the subject and it may be more beneficial to buy notebooks with blank pages and even possible with different colours. This way the notebook becomes a visual journal that is not only more memorable but encourages review of the material. I have included a picture of my sketchbook pages from a convention to give you an idea of what I am talking about.
What about the drawing instruments such as pencils and pens?
There are two major items that every artist puts energy into finding the best quality available. The item they draw or paint on and the item they draw or paint with. Quality paper or canvas and quality paint, brushes, or drawing materials are key to helping create great art. So when buying back to school supplies could you be helping your child improve their creativity with decent materials?
The best way to start is to ask your child if appropriate what they like to draw with. Do they draw more with pencil, pen, or marker? I myself rarely use pencil anymore. Once I started doing pen and ink work as a child I abandoned the pencil for the most part. Other artists I know use only pencil so it really is a personal choice.
If you are looking at buying colour materials here is a guide to help.
You may want to just pick up those big packs of coloured pencils or mega packs of highlighters but before you do let me offer another option. If possible buy the colours separately. This is why most art stores don’t sell their products in pack because many artists don’t buy their materials this way. Let’s say I need a red colour. The best way to buy that is to buy a red pencil crayon, then a darker red pencil, and then a lighter red pencil. This way you can colour a shirt red, then use a darker red for shadow, and lighter red for highlights. This technique can also be done in other ways with blue colours but it gives you an idea of the process of shopping for colours.
These tips can help not only improve creativity, encourage note taking, and improve retention of material. I have found it a great way to help remember information during conferences, seminars, and presentations. If you have a budding artist that likes to draw this may be a great way to encourage getting homework done and improving their artistic talent. Hey it couldn’t hurt!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a professional artist /cartoonist from Burlington Ontario Canada. Bruce has been drawing since he was ten years and offers custom illustration and design services for clients specializing in caricatures and cartoons. To learn more about Bruce and his work visit his website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com