index card art

Melody and I recently put together a package to send to our far away, very missed friends. The project began at Walmart. It was July 1st. I was pushing the monster blue double toddler cart around the acre store and found a back-to-school art supply sale. It was amazing.

Elmers glue: 20¢
24 pack crayons: 22¢
two glue sticks: 30¢
colored pencils: 60¢
pencil sharpener: 20¢

I stood and stared, trying to figure out if the stuff was a good deal or not. When I decided it was a good deal I began tossing stuff into the cart. Melody got excited.


After we got home I decided to put together a little package for our friends. We pulled out our new stuff and got to work. I found a package of white index cards and began doodling with a black Sharpie. My idea was to make coloring book type drawings on each card. I wanted them to be bold, simple, and fun to color in. Melody worked at the table with me, coloring with her new pencils and sharpening them between each job. As we worked she told me what to draw. Her strangest request was, "a tank top with a heart on it." (You can see it at the top.) We mailed these cards with a pack of new Crayons. It was great fun to doodle on index cards. It reminded me of Thumbnail exercises in college.

(For those of you not in the art world, we call little brainstorming drawings Thumbnails. In college I was required to do a certain number of thumbnails at the beginning of each project. It was a brainstorming activity that everyone hated, but grew to appreciate. It works! The key is to not invest in one idea for too long, thus allowing one's brain to continually come up with fresh ideas as you draw them. It worked beautifully for the index cards because I was just trying to do coloring book artwork.)

Here is some of our work...

Melody colored this one in all by herself. She was in another world as she worked on it. She said things like,

"Hmmm, I wonder what color I should use next?"
"Mommy, don't look. It's not finished yet."

Hearing her say these things was cool because I remember having the same thoughts and feelings about artwork as a child. I know exactly what she was feeling and thinking and I love it when that happens.


Kelli said...

This is just darling! I love it! You did a fabulous job with the drawings! Bek, you inspire me! I hope Eli likes to color someday soon. :) I more imagine us playing in the dirt with cars and dinosaurs. But, we'll see. :)

Laurel said...

That's a great idea and I'm sure Anna will love the personalized gift.

I do have a question for you about coloring sheets vs. coloring on blank paper, since you are an art person. My mom told me I shouldn't give Benji coloring pages with drawn pictures to color because it will inhibit his creativity. What do you think? I have been following her advice the last year or so and am happy to see him draw his own things, some of which actually are beginning to resemble what they're supposed to be (kites are his current specialty). However, we don't color all that often - we do more painting the last few months (at least 3-4 times a week - water colors, acrylics, or finger painting but mainly water colors since it's easiest to clean up).

Thanks for the input.

Lauren said...

Bek! Too cute! My favorite one is the "coke" one. I could tell what is on my mind. I LOVE your art it is so simple and so beautiful at the same time. I know these were just doodles for you, but for me they would have been masterpieces. I'm so glad to see you using your artistic abilities more and more. Every time I read about you and your girls being creative it inspires me to "get busy!"

bekah said...

Laurel, I've heard similar things said about coloring on blank paper vs coloring books. I don't know if there is a black/white answer to that topic. I don't mind coloring books because I absolutely loved them as a kid. I loved having a starting point for my artwork. I did always prefer simple drawing in my coloring books. I remember wishing and hoping for simple art. For some reason it was more fun for me. This is probably why I am drawing simple things on the index cards today! As far as Melody, she does both. If she is working in a coloring book, she tend to color for about twice as long (which is nice for me!)

Laurel said...

Yeah, I agree that I prefer the coloring pages with more big and bold pictures (like the ones you made here) - at least for our kids at this younger age. Maybe when they're older the more intricate designs will be more appropriate. I used to print off really detailed pictures from the computer that Benji colored but he wouldn't really color them but scribble and then be done and want me to print more and more and more. Of course that was probably a year ago so I'm sure his attention span is longer now. Thanks for answering!

Debbie said...

Hey, Kotter! I hope it's ok that I still call you that...even though you're a married woman. : ) I found a link to your blog on Laura's. It's fun to see you share your love of art w/ Melody. I look forward to interacting with Jaden more and more--who knows, maybe he'll strum out a tune on an instrument or even spike a volleyball. We'll see...

Oh--sometimes I try to e-mail you the update on our web page, but it comes back to me. Anyway, I've attached the URL to this comment. We usually only update monthly... Catch ya later!