Question TimeDecember 12, 2015
**** Here are just a few of the questions I have been asked recently, if you have any not listed feel free to comment down below******
How long have you and Eve been collaborating with each other?
Pretty much since she could hold a crayon, but our our "official" collaborations began shortly after she turned 2. We have spent the last year and a half exploring and discovering many new methods to collaborating.
Are there any "rules" to collaborating?
YES!! First, have fun. The end product is NEVER the goal, it is the journey that is the most rewarding and memorable. Second, always ask permission. Whether you are collaborating with a child or adult, it is of the utmost importance to realize there is no leader or teacher when it comes to collaborating, you must see and treat each other as equals. Allow your minds to combine as one for a brief amount of time, work back and forth in cohesion and accept that your own ideas can only be enhanced by your partners. It may be hard to let go but that is the beauty in collaborating. It is going on a journey with someone else and taking turns holding the reins with no judgement or criticism, and simply being open to any and all possibilities.
Does Eve always give you permission to use her art?
Majority of the time she offers me her art to work with, lately though she has been taking my sketches to work with so the tables have turned. The odd occasion she creates a piece that I am immediately drawn to I always make sure to ask and include her in every step of the way, she especially enjoys telling me what colors and brushes to use. Eve is a very outgoing, strong willed little girl who knows what she wants, she has never been shy in telling me which ones I am not allowed to work with. An option for parents worried about their being any negative effect of collaborating can always print out a copy of their child's work and use that instead of the original.
What sort of negative effects could there be of collaborating?
While there are many rewarding aspects to collaborating you must still be careful when working with others, especially children. Some children may be very sensitive to change or protective over their work and that is 100% natural. You should only collaborate with children if they are receptive to the process and it builds them up, the minute you see any negative results you should definitely stop.
What are the positive effects of collaborating with your child?
Where do I even start?! Collaborating with your child, when they have given their permission and show excitement about the process, can have so many positive side effects. Collaborating with them provides you the opportunity to teach them about teamwork, sharing, creativity, techniques, color theory, patience and so many more character builders. By fostering and encouraging artistic style it only enhances their strength and confidence to embrace their uniqueness. It is so important to teach them to find beauty in everything they do, for as long as they remains true to themselves, then no other opinion should matter. Not only does collaborating provide that crucial bonding time children so desperately need but it helps you lay the foundation for so many life skills and creates a bridge for strong communication. If they know you value their opinion and ideas they will be much more likely to come to you when they face a problem.
As for the effects it has had on me, well those have been endless. I could go on about that forever so let's just say she has shattered everything I once knew about art and continues to teach me on a daily basis about the raw beauty of art in it's simplest form. To embrace my "mistakes" and see them as part of the artistic process, which helps me from developing the dreaded creative block.
Why have you chosen to share your collaborations on social media?
I love what I do with Eve, the memories and experiences created will last us a lifetime and only draw us closer. By sharing our process I hoped it would convince others to do the same with their children and even if I could convince just one person than it would be totally worth it.
What has the reaction been?
The majority of people have been very supportive and receptive about what we do. It makes my day when I receive an email from a parent telling me of their collaborative adventures with their child and sometimes even show me pictures of their work. Of course, when you post something on the internet you will inevitably get those who think critically of what you do.
What sort of criticism do you receive?
It's funny actually, the most common comment is that I am ruining her work and it looked better before and I actually couldn't agree more! I am Eve's biggest fan and would never assume that her work looks better after I collaborate with her, her work to me will always be perfect just the way it is. Unfortunately, the people making these comments tend to make snap judgments without finding out the whole story behind the process. They do not realize that Eve brings the paintings to me and asks me to help her create stories, it has become a lovely game for us that has only brought us closer. I just hope the comments made do not persuade other parents from trying to collaborate with their own children.
How does Eve handle all of the attention?
Honestly, she has no idea. I do not want to taint what we do with any sort of pressure or outside influence that could take away her passion for her art. The most she knows is that there are people who are interested in our work and want to buy prints (she loves helping me package them up).
Do you think she will be an artist when she grows up?
As lovely of an idea as that would be, I am not sure. She loves art but is also very passionate about dancing, photography, and sports. All I know is that whatever she chooses to do I will support her. I have cherished the ability to share my artistic passions with her but accepted long ago that her interests may change. The profit from the prints we sell through Etsy are actually going into her education fund so whatever she chooses to pursue, at least this experience will benefit her in more ways than one.
What is next for you two?
We will continue collaborating together for as long as Eve enjoys it, I am sure we will continue to discover new methods and techniques that will keep us evolving as artists and partners. Right now we are working on some Youtube tutorial videos showing the many methods we discovered for collaborating. Eve and I love to make up stories together so I foresee some children's books being written and illustrated using our collaborations. Eve's little brother is also only 3 months old so once the dust settles we would love to host an art show featuring all of our work.
How can people follow your work?
We post all of our collaborations and the full story behind them on this blog (www.themischievousmommy.blogspot.ca) and little snippets on other social media outlets: