The Artistic Edge

art mattersResearch continuously  supports the importance of the arts in education.  Competition for jobs is fierce, and the current state of the world requires an ability to constantly adapt to change.  This is where the arts come in.

The Artistic Edge, written by Lisa Phillips, explains how to give children a competitive edge by enveloping them early on in the arts, and continuing throughout their education.  According to Lisa, education in the arts should not be reserved for the talented few, but promoted as the means for all children to develop skills in creative thinking, confidence, problem solving, accountability, relationship building, communication, adaptability, and dreaming big.   Lisa says leadership skills taught through the arts are what young people need most to be successful in life.

And Lisa would know.  She is an author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, mentor, and business owner.  As CEO of Canada’s Academy of Stage and Studio Arts, Lisa has been very successful at teaching art education and leadership skills  to as many young people as possible in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Artistic Edge has been nominated for a Small Business Book Award in Leadership.

Bravo, Lisa!!


Credit for this article is given to The Artistic Edge.


The Anti Coloring Books

ImageHave you heard of the Anti Coloring Books by Susan Striker?  They are alternative drawing books, developed to promote originality and creativity in children.

If you’re like me, you probably grew up with the traditional coloring books; you know, the ones with the stereotyped pictures drawn by adults.  We were told to do our best and color in them and STAY WITHIN THE LINES.  They’ve been around so long, they seem natural and normal.  And we in turn have given them to our children.  But if you think about it, where is the creativity in these?  A child is told to color a picture someone else drew, and is applauded when he/she stays within designated boundaries. With the exception of maybe different colors, everyone’s product looks the same.  It reminds me of  cars made on an assembly line: they are all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

Here’s another thought:  When children color in the “traditional” coloring books, they see only the stereotype images.  When they are asked to draw their own picture, what will they do?  Try and copy what they’ve seen, of course.  And feel inferior when their drawing doesn’t look much like the one in the coloring book.

Our children deserve a chance to reach into their own mind and share an original idea.   They deserve a chance to share their own visual impressions.  Children’s art work is fresh and real, unique to them.  They are born artists!  I think, as adults, we can help nurture this ability by promoting and encouraging them to make their own drawings and coloring them.  They can do it!  And they like doing it.

Check out Susan and see for yourself.  This lady is an educator, author, and founder of an art school among many other things.  Read about her ideas and see what you think.