By Tracy Martin Taylor
They can’t all be gems…
A reality discovered by new parents is that your child will produce an unbelievable amount of artwork, math worksheets, scribbles… you name it. In my experience, there are three stages of what I like to call, “Everything he/she creates is AMAZING.” They are as follows:
- Stage 1: The Honeymoon Phase
During this phase, every errant scribble your beloved little make is treasured. You are in awe of their raw creative talent. You can’t imagine throwing anything away. Ever. Clear boxes are purchased, and the guest room and/or hall closet begins to fill up with boxes crammed full of their masterpieces.
- Stage 2: The Panic Phase
In this stage the enormity of it all is beginning to sink in. Slightly. You still can’t throw anything away, but you begin to resent the need to build an addition to house your wee one’s works of art. You take no tangible action, but begin to experience jags of anger tinged with guilt. This stage is the longest.
- Stage 3: The Balanced Phase
You are officially in “acceptance,” realizing that (as with everything) editing is key.
Let me first say, out loud (sort of): They can’t all be gems. All creations are not created equal, and it’s OK to say so. They key is to edit as it comes in the door. Create a spot to put mementos for the scrapbook or box of key milestones. Report cards, awards, and other special items go there. Any artwork that you or your little is especially fond of should be displayed…at least for a while.
Here are some ways to show off the beauties in a way that will add to the character of your space and truly make it your family’s own.
- The Gallery Wall — Intersperse artwork in frames along with family photos or other display in a chic Salon wall not unlike the fetching one created by Jonathan Adler above. This approach works well in public spaces. Just be sure not to skimp on the frame — a matted frame will elevate the piece automatically. You can change them out as they evolve. My girlie loves to draw dresses and I use a frame with a matte for four images and we change them out as she creates new ‘fashion lines’.
- The Digital Archive — For the tech savvy, you can scan each work of art and create a collage of many pieces organized into one very (cool) symmetrical oversized piece.
- The (Old School) Pinboard — A cork board encased in a large vintage frame is a pretty and fun way to let your child pin up their lovelies. The more layers, the sweeter it looks. And if you have the space, a wall of symmetrically mounted clipboards (best if the wall is covered in them) makes a fun and interesting impact. And, it’s easy to add and subtract items.
- Wallpaper — For the bold, creating wallpaper with your original or scanned pieces will put some WOW into your space. You can take images to the copy shop and print large sections to mount either directly on the wall (best for smooth textured walls) or on foam core.
When you edit and take the time to showcase the best of the best, you’ll be able to truly enjoy the stages of your little one’s creativity.
Love your space,