exclaims a young girl when asked by an adult what she will grow up to be. This is the type of response that a group of artists found when discussing in their forum, the Red Thread Café, sharing their creative practices with younger generations in their own families.
At 6 months Lala Ortiz’s granddaughter was already sculpting clay. When asked at 4 years old if she would be an artist like her mother, she knew the answer immediately. She is currently working on her first paid commission.
Intergenerational Creativity Proliferates
Everyday across the world children doodle, color, and create. This group of artists based out of California with a network stretching across the world is advocating for increased engagement within families to create art intergenerationally. Sharing these practices within a family helps pass on culture, connect, and grow.
The group, called Musea was founded by Shiloh Sophia, who has made her life’s work to catalyze creating art with an inner focus. This is what she calls “intentional creativity.” Her work stems from the finding that creating art with a set intention and sharing it with your community promotes healing.
Shiloh Sophia is working to extend this concept to children. Artists that she has trained in her methods are in turn sharing them with their children, and grandchildren. Mary Ann Salerno Padulo showed her granddaughter Shiloh’s technique of drawing a face in thirteen strokes.
Upon asking her granddaughter how she liked the picture she promptly drew a pig nose over the nose Padulo had drawn. Her dismay was quickly soothed when her granddaughter told her, “Art doesn’t have to be perfect Mema.” Artists are finding that in sharing their art they are not only benefitting the youth in their life but learning more about their own assumptions about creativity. Padulo reflected about the interaction, “How bright and how right she was. I try to remember this when I paint because when I try to be perfect it is painful not joyful.”
Stories from the Red Thread Café
Creativity During a Pandemic
Sharon Marie’s daughter interrupted her call with an artist friend and joins them in painting until the early hours of the morning. Sharing creativity has given their family a moment of clarity during the current COVID-19 pandemic by creating art together.
Another artist, Linda Keen connects with a 12-year-old neighbor by sharing her own art and offering her materials to use. During a time where everyone is advised to remain 6 feet apart, art is a way for communities to connect from their own homes.
“It is inspiring to me, to see that I have helped her express her creativeness and her loving heart with art, while social distancing!” -Linda Keen
Artists Share Creativity with Young People in Their Life
Amanda Abreu works with her grandchildren practicing gratitude through art.
Susana Barquet paints with her nephew and reflects on creative moments her grandmother shared with her.
Jo Laurie invites new perspective into her painting.
Exploring all the facets of pink.
"The very best thing in all the world is Intentional Creativity with my granddaughters! In November, 2018 it was an experiment in Super Power Self Portraits, with 3 generations of the family and a couple of new experts in the fine art of prayer dots. In December of 2019, my more experienced artists branched out with mountains and wolves and Highland cows. I love the joy on their faces!"
- Sue Boardman
"My grandson and I are starting a garden to grow food in. I asked him what he wanted to help me paint on the outside of the planter box and he immediately said a Toucan! I found a youtube tutorial and we drew along together side by side as we watched. Then we went outside and painted the box with a Toucan on one end. I love his practice sketch, he did it with such ease! What a joy it is to hand creativity down to my legacy. Looking forward to when my granddaughter is big enough to join us!"
- Lauren Adorno-Weatherford
"This is my sweet granddaughter (7 years old) last night. I was reading her a bedtime story on Facetime, Dr Seuss “I wish I had duck feet” the story has several imaginings of what having duck feet, antlers, a tail etc. would feel like. While reading the story to her I was aware she was very busy doing something I couldn’t see while I read. At the end she showed me her drawings, and said she was drawing just like me when someone tells a story.. I’ve been practicing visual graphics as part of motherboard course... I didn’t think she even knew I was doing this. We love doing art projects together, when I visit we always include a visit to her secret spot by the creek to draw the water, no matter what the weather."