Did you ever catch your child looking. at one of those chunky coffee table books dedicated to art? If so, you probably saw them pause and fixate on image after image. As visual artists, we love, love, love to look at art! It’s especially fun to leaf through pictures of drawings from “the making of” film and animation. Anything full-color, can be such a joy!
every film uses storyboards
Consider a big, glossy art book as a heavy, beautiful Christmas, Hanukah or birthday gift! What a wonderful way to support your young artist with inspiration, acknowledging their identity as a creative person while encouraging them to read.
An art book is a special kind screen-free way to enjoy the art of the world. As opposed to the stimulation of a phone or iPad, the nervous system settles when we curl up with a book. Even kids who are less inclined to read novels can find themselves immersed in the shapes and colors of art books. We’ve seen it hundreds of times in our fine art studios; before and after class kids open colorful books with wonder at the small bookshelf near our front door.
Besides providing relaxation and fun, art books also get kids and the whole family into the habit of viewing art in some form. Can you imagine someone learning a musical instrument who never listened to music made by someone else? Reading helps to create an educated young artist.
What happens with that book is pure inspiration! Don’t be surprised when your young artist reads for a while and then pulls out his or her sketchbook, charmed by someone’s creativity, and now inspired to create as well.
Please note: Your child does not have to be at the reading level of coffee table books to enjoy the illustrations. Judge the book by its cover (and its pictures), in this case!
What kinds of books should you choose for the holidays?
- The Art Of your child’s favorite movie. You won’t believe how gorgeous and prolific behind-the-scenes art can be, even with a live-action film! A couple examples that show off art from concept through storyboard and more: The Art of Harry Potter and of Star Wars. Gorgeous!
- Similarly, the Art Of your child’s favorite animated feature. Thousands of hours of visual art work by hundreds of people go into each film, and it’s amazing to see how the artists sketch. Here’s some inspiration with Frozen and Coco!
- Science illustration! Here is a history of scientific illustration that is sure to educate as well as inspire
- An amazing art-history book is beyond inspirational. This book by Sister Wendy , covering all of art history, is our absolute favorite of all time!
- How about a particular historical era? Choose the Renaissance, Modernism, The Impressionist era and more. Here’s a find from the Art Nouveau movement.
- What inspires you child or teen? Individual artists’ books can provide a window in to a fine artist like no website can. Monet, Van Gogh and Alphonse Mucha are some favorites.
This holiday season, let the inspiration flow! To have the most fun with this, head to your local brick-and-mortar bookstore and enjoy seeing all the illustrations for yourself before you buy. Happy Holidays from our family to yours!