These Identity Art Projects Are a Real Window Into Your Kid

Art is a wonderful outlet for self-expression and a great way for kids to show the world who they truly are. Some children seem to be born with a flair for the creative, able to pick up a paintbrush, pencil or clay and create masterpieces without any instruction. Other kids are more reluctant, but that doesn’t mean they’re not creative or that they can’t use art to express their inner selves.

There are so many different art forms that any kid, from toddler to teen can find something that speaks to their abilities and sensibilities. At first blush, you might think that the rise of technology would have a negative impact on art, but in fact, it has brought about even more ideas and options when it comes to design. Kiddos can now combine traditional approaches with modern methods and digital advances to create some pretty awesome pieces.

If you would like to encourage some artistic self-expression in your child, consider one of the following identity art projects. Each project illustrates the young artist’s personality, goals, dreams, or individuality in a truly unique way. Any or all of these ideas would be perfect for homeschoolers, a small group of kids, or simply a rainy day craft project around the kitchen table.

Identity Collage

Have you ever asked your child, “What is going on inside that head of yours?” This art project can help you discover the answer to that age-old question.

Modern collage artist Martin O’Neill created these mixed media designs, that depict the thoughts, ideas, wishes, and penchants of the subjects exploding out of the tops of their heads. To create their own interpretation of these pieces, kids can take selfies or pose for a pensive portrait that will serve as the basis for the collage.

Depending on their abilities and preferences, kids can make a digital self portrait and use their favorite photo editing software to add a hodgepodge of images or they can print the pic and use old fashioned cutting and pasting from magazine pages or other sources.

Thumbprint Word Collage

Artist Cheryl Sorg creates unique, personalized art pieces using her subject’s thumbprints. Making them larger than life, she fills the lines with images, text, and colors that represent people's’ passions and personalities.

Kids can express their identities with a DIY version. Use ink or even pencil lead to copy a thumbprint and then enlarge it on a printer or scanner to cover an entire sheet of paper. Find snippets of images and text online or in real life with which to fill the lines, or encourage kids to fill them in with their own thoughts, ideas, or even poetry.

Silhouette Self Portraits

Silhouettes are a fun and distinctive way to capture one aspect of your child’s appearance. Turning the silhouette into a self portrait collage takes the idea to another level.

There are a couple of ways to make the outline for a silhouette. You can take a side shot of your child and use a photo editor to trace an outline. You can print the photo, trace the outline and cut it out to use as a template. Alternatively, you can use a flashlight in a darkened room to make their shadow on a piece of paper taped to the wall and then trace it.

Your child can make it a true identity project by filling in the outline with significant pictures, drawings or words, such as the examples included in a blog post on Splish Splash Splatter.

Mixed Media Self Portraits

The beauty of art projects that illustrate a child’s identity is that they can really be in any form, using any medium. Perhaps the best way to let kids express themselves is to provide a variety of media and combine it with a photographic self portrait to create a one-of-a kind work of art.

Middle school teacher Jennifer Nixon shares her approach on her blog, Nixon’s News. After taking and printing a selfie, kids can use paints, pastels, colored pencils or pretty much any other art media to decorate their self portraits. To complete the project, they type and print words and phrases that describe, or are meaningful to, themselves. After cutting the text into strips, they glue them to the picture for a final touch that truly conveys the way kids view their personality and inner beauty.

These one-of-a kind self portraits and collages will not only encourage self-expression, but they’ll also give you insight into the things that matter most to them. What could be more beautiful or meaningful than that?

Got any fun and unique art project ideas that are all about self-expression? Share them with us!

Tags : arts and crafts   identity crafts   



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