Art + Writing = Fresh and Original Ideas!

25 Jul

When it comes to creative writing inspiration, some activities that are now part of my everyday repertoire, are things that I stumbled upon quite accidentally. Like combining drawing and writing. I know it’s not uncommon to partner these activities, especially in the younger years but usually we give writing the centre stage and drawing becomes a secondary character – necessary to keep the plot moving forward but not often in the spotlight. Children usually illustrate stories when the writing is drafted, edited and ready to publish. But I find that when I encourage children to sketch and daydream and draw first, the writing that follows is rich and original. Drawing allows children to capture a sea of ideas and feelings and to play around with how these parts of the picture are connected, without the pressure of spelling, grammar and sentence structure. This paves the way beautifully for the writing process to sweep on through and provide the details we need for the story to come to life. Not too many kids sigh loudly when you suggest they pull out a clean piece of paper and draw. Even reluctant writers will draw. So I have started using drawing more often in my writing workshops and I’m loving the fresh and original writing that drawing inspires.

If you want to give it a go too, here are three quick activities you might like to try:

Have children invent a new, magical world by drawing a map so visitors can make their way around. All you will need to provide is A3 paper, sharp pencils, music and a license to daydream… Perhaps this will become a setting for an adventure story?

Straw or blow painting is a simple way to watch colours and patterns collide. Then use the image to inspire a Haiku. Is a story emerging? Add a character or two. No pressure, just relax and enjoy the process!

How cute are these little characters? Collect some leaves. Paste them down and when they are dry, transform them into little characters. They may come to life in a story or a puppet play…

So fire up your imagination and creativity and draw yourself  a story!

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