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Starting Art Classes For My Community

This post was originally written in my journal by me when I was 12-years-old in 2014, later transferred to my previous blogging site, and now transferred to this website.

My exams had just got over, and summer had begun. Children, around my area would usually spend their afternoons watching television. Even I spent my first two afternoons fruitlessly watching television. After a while it got boring, the shows kept on playing on repeat, and it felt like I knew the dialogues of the cartoon characters better than the creators. That is when I got the idea of picking up a summer project. I wanted to do something during the summer, something that I would enjoy, and would not lead to me aimlessly watching television. I thought of conducting art classes in the neighborhood.

I, myself, having done a three year course in art, thought of teaching the children what I had learnt. This way, instead of aimlessly watching cartoons, they could spend two hours learning something new. Also, art being a subject which requires patience, would not only teach the children creativity, but would also help them develop the skills of being patient.

Draft 1 of activity brainstorms:

Activity Brainstorm March 29, 2014

As soon as I got the idea, I decided to make posters and distribute them. My posters were handmade, as I wanted the children to get a glimpse of my art skills. Once the posters were done, I made a list of people who might be interested in joining. I then went door to door, with my posters, asking the people if they wanted their kids to join my art class. Sometimes when the kids opened the door, they were rude to me. One of the kids, took my poster, and laughed and threw away the poster. I didn’t let silly kids stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I went to around 7 to 8 houses, and from that only 2 houses confirmed. I had only three confirmed students, I had expected at least 4. I had also kept a small nonprofit fees of hundred rupees that would go towards the art material.

On the first day my plan was to teach my students glass painting. Since, the children were aged between six to twelve years, I had decided to use glass sheets and markers. Using glass sheets and markers would be an easier form of glass painting. At first the three children who had confirmed appeared at the door. I was going to start the class when three more children walked in. I was surprised because they had not confirmed. One of the houses that had confirmed two children, came with their mother. I understood why, how could could people just trust a seventh grade girl to each their children art? Their mother wanted to know what I would be teaching. and about my past experiences in art. I showed her some of my artwork, and discussed what I would be teaching in the three days. She was happy, and then she left her children at my house. All the children were excited to learn. There were four 7 year old girls, and a 10 year old and a 11 year old girl. The two older girls decided to draw a parrot, and the younger girls decided to draw a scenery for their glass paintings. I assisted the younger kids in drawing the scenery on paper first. After drawing it on paper, I gave all of them transparencies to trace their drawing onto. They didn’t require much help tracing. After they were done tracing with permanent markers, I handed them colorful markers, to color only certain parts of their art piece. They were done with their first piece in 2 to 3 hours. I realized that I had underestimated the time it would take.

For the next day, I had started preparing in advance, because we were going to paint. I had planned to do a painting with air dry clay. We were going to make seahorses out of clay and stick them onto a wooden board. The children began to arrive, and they all looked excited. We began by painting the boards pink, as a background color. This took us half an hour. After that, we opened the air dry clay and began shaping it into a seahorse. This was the tricky part because most of the kids were unable to work with the clay. I helped them in this part, and we ended up spending 1 hour making the seahorse. Then, we began to stick the seahorses onto the the boards. They all looked different, but they all resembled a seahorse. With this, we ended the second day.

On the next day, I took out a variety of poster colours, because the seahorses were going to be colorful. Everyone was excited to paint. We began painting the seahorses different colors, this only took up half an hour. After that, we let the paint dry. While the paint dried, I decided to use that time to teach them how to make gift boxes. I handed out origami paper, and we began making boxes. When the paint dried, I gave them permanent markers to draw patterns on the seahorses body. I let them look at my already completed seahorse for ideas. Some of the kids finished early, so I asked them to paint bubbles in the background. We completed painting the seahorses in 2 hours, and everyone was done with the class. I told them that they could leave their seahorses with me if they wanted them to dry, and they could collect them in the evening. The ones who had finished early took the seahorses with them, while the others left them and took them from me in the evening.

At the end I had a really fun time glass painting, painting on wooden boards, and making boxes with the kids. In the evening, when I met them they said that they enjoyed the classes. The parents liked the artwork their kids produced. For me, it was

three days well spent.

Examples of my artwork:

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