Helen Collins - artist

Creating Happy Hearts Through Art

Sep 07, 2018

So often I hear people say, "Oh, I'm not creative", or "My child's not the creative type". We can be quick to dismiss 'creativity' in ourselves and others because we have a view that if we can't paint a 'van Gogh' we aren't good at art. Allowing our children to have some creative time, regardless of the outcome, can play a huge part in their happiness.

I truly believe that art can help out kids be happy! 1 in 4 young people these days suffer from anxiety. There are so many pressures on both us and our kids in the craziness of life. Taking time to just explore, create, and "be" is so important. 

Recently I watch an interview on the Today show about raising resilient kids. They interviewed Hugh van Cuylenburg, founder of The Resilience Project. Having had a very similar experience to him, myself and teacher and having done volunteer work in Kenya, I could very much relate to what he was saying. Three main things he identified as what we need for happiness: 

GRATITUDE: focusing on what we do have 

EMPATHY: putting yourself in their shoes, showing KINDNESS

MINDFULNESS: being calm, being present 

These three things are a huge part of the reason why I am so passionate about teaching art to kids. The experience of seeing a child create an artwork has, time and time again, demonstrated these element being put into practice. 

Only last week while creating their beautiful 'Peaches and Keen' inspired floral arrangements a student described the artwork as 'in the moment art'. The room was calm, the children where so focused and relaxed as they chose and placed colourful flowers in their space.  

Looking at others artwork to get inspiration and ideas, always creates a very interesting discussion of what they might have been thinking or feeling. Putting yourself in others shoes as a young child is a tricky thing to do, but if we foster this gradually with little prompts and examples they will grow to be very natural at it. 

Where does gratitude fit into art you ask? Have you noticed the first thing a child will do with an artwork is give it to mum or dad or loved one? While this is very simplistic version of gratitude, its an important one, and one that will grow over time becoming more thoughtful and deliberate. Also as they begin to put more thought into the process of creating, their feelings, emotions, stories and ideas on what they have or are thankful for, begin to shine through their art. 

Now you don't have to go out at buy a paint set, drawing kit, tape, glue, scissors, etc to insure your kids is happy! You don't have to fear an unthinkable amount of mess...well, not all the time! Playing with some little stones from the garden, drawing pictures on the steamy shower screen at bath time, sorting random object into colours or shapes, or ...your child will have their own unique way they show their creative side. Sometimes we just need to stop and see how important these seemingly insignificant moments of creativity are and help nurture them as they grow.

Art can create happy hearts! 

Helen Collins

THE FOX BOX - Art Academy 


 .....IF YOU DO WANT TO BUY SOMETHING FUN AND CREATIVE TO FOSTER YOUR CHILD'S CREATIVITY....check out these amazing little businesses making creative time with your child fabulous! They take away all the fuss for you and bring so much fun for your little ones! 

Happy Hands Happy Hearts 

My Creative Box

My Creative Child

Earth Dough

...  just a few of my personal favourites!  

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