Category Archives: Creative Process

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life

What is it like to be an artist? In this book, author/illustrator Lois Ehlert gives readers a look at her studio and her creative process as well as inspiration from her childhood.

Her parents encouraged her to make things by hand. 

Growing up, Lois had a folding table set up by her dad where she did her work. When she moved away, she took her table with her.

After Lois writes a story, she sketches a book dummy for her illustrations.

Her art technique is collage, cutting scraps of paper and piecing them together like a puzzle. Sometimes she combines real objects that are close at hand with painted ones, and always with bright colors. Lois Ehlert believes she is an artist because “art chose me.”

This book promotes creative components of creative process, creative person, curiosity, and inspiration.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because Lois Ehlert invites readers into her creative life and inspires them to be creative in their own right.

TITLE: The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life

AUTHOR: Lois Ehlert

ILLUSTRATOR: Lois Ehlert

PUBLISHER: Beach Lane Books, 2014

AGE GROUP: 5-7

TOPIC(S): Lois Ehlert, inspiration

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative person, creative process, inspiration, curiosity

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Make an inspiration notebook. Using the collage art technique, decorate the cover of your notebook with things that spark your interests. 

2) When Lois Ehlert needs inspiration, she goes for a walk, searching for stuff. Take a nature walk with your inspiration notebook. Observe what’s going on around you. What grabs your attention? Sketch your observations and write descriptive words that describe the objects. 

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:To learn more about author/illustrator Lois Ehlert, visit:https://loisehlert.weebly.com/biography.html

Chilly Da Vinci

“Chilly Da Vinci”

Chilly did not do penguin things. He built things that did not work.

When Chilly’s invention accidentally breaks a chunk of ice off from the Vinci colony, 

he needs to prove to himself and the other stranded penguins that he has what it takes to be a good penguin.

This story promotes creative components of imagination, taking risks, and humor.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because I am a big fan of Leonardo da Vinci’s and as such, I really enjoyed seeing J. Rutland’s perspective and how he introduces Da Vinci to young readers through a humorous story about a penguin taking risks despite failure.  

TITLE: Chilly Da Vinci

AUTHOR: J. Rutland

ILLUSTRATOR: J. Rutland

PUBLISHER: NorthSouth Books, 2019

AGE GROUP: 4-7

TOPIC(S): penguins, inventing, a nod to Leonardo da Vinci

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, taking risks, humor

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Research a scooter or skateboard. How might you change its design to improve its function? Additionally, what other functions can a skateboard or scooter perform or what else can it be?

2) Play with ice cubes and popsicle sticks or toothpicks. What can you make?

3) Look at one of Leonardo da Vinci’s invention designs. How might that invention be used today?

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator J. Rutland visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

Catriona Pollard – “Sowing New Seeds” www.TheArtofWeaving.com.au

Creative thinkers sometimes take what someone else has done and think about ways it can be improved. Australian fiber artist, Catriona Pollard takes natural weaving materials to create art. Her baskets connect people to nature. When working with foraged and discarded plant material, she “listens” to the material, weaving and shaping it into what it wants to be to create her unique organic sculptures.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

First, think about the purpose of a basket. Is used to hold things, to carry things, or to be home to an animal? Brainstorm other ways a basket can be used. Will it hang from a wall? Will someone use it? From your list, pick one purpose.

Second, make a list of different materials that can a basket can be made from. Choose one material to use when creating your basket.

Third, think about how you can make your basket unique. Remember it needs to achieve its purpose.

Fourth, sketch out your design.

Fifth, gather materials you will need and begin to create your basket. Don’t worry if your design does not work at first. Sometimes it takes several tries and revision before it works. Your design may take on a different approach than what you originally thought and that is okay.

Sixth, elaborate on your basket design. What embellishments or decorations would you like to add (or not add)? What can be added or taken away to improve your basket’s function?

Seventh, proudly use and display your basket.

You can also use this creative thinking technique called Scamper to help you design your basket.

S = Substitute:  Remove some part and replace it with something else.

C = Combination:  Join or force together two or more elements of your subject to develop a solution.

A = Adapt:  Change some part so that it works where before it didn’t work.

M = Magnify or modify:  Consider the attributes of the subject and change them. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, position, etc.

P = Put to other uses:  Think about your subject – why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Then think up new and unusual purposes.           

E = Eliminate:  Remove any or all elements of the subject to find another solution.

R = Rearrange or reverse:  Look at the subject from different perspectives. Turn it upside-down, inside-out. Make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used. Similar to Reverse, modify the order of operations or any other hierarchy involved.

EXTENDED CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about Catriona Pollard and her creative process, visit: http://www.catrionapollard.com/art/  and watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZHySibDdoA

To practice your weaving skills, create an easy paper basket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX2Tw40K5DY