Last week I did a workshop in Laxå Konsthall with a bunch of little  energy bombs - a full class of 5-year-olds. I've done a few workshops before but never with this young age, so I was excited to see the results of this.

Firstly, I love their enthusiasm and openness to expressing themselves both in words and in picture. I also just really admire their wild imagination. I think hanging out with painting young kids is inspiring for any adult! 

workshop002We started with looking at the paintings in the gallery together and discussed the topics of our relationship to animals. We talked about what we have in common, and what the animals might be feeling or thinking at specific situations. After that they all got their little set of water color and oil crayons and were free to create their dream animal. This resulted in everything from a rabbit braiding an alien's hair, an octopus with a crab friend, to another rabbit with a horn or a very lovable giraffe. A lot of the kids had or had had pets of their own and decided to paint the pets that had passed away. They talked very openly and naturally about this. I think involving animals in a kid's life at an early age gives them an understanding for the circle of life, as well as learning what compassion and respect for all living beings means. We all share this planet together, and these kids already seemed to know what that meant. Apart from creative freedom and learning that art galleries are safe places to express, share and appreciate - that was a big subject matter of my workshop.

At the end of the workshop we collected all the drawings together and the kids got to choose which ones they wanted to take home and which ones they wanted to hang in the little extra room we created in the gallery for the kids to create their own little exhibition. I am really happy with how this turned out and can't wait to have more of these little workshops. Seeing the appreciation and excitement of these kids when they looked at my work - and inspired them to create - melts my little artist heart! I hope they know how much they gave back to me as well!