Process Art {Collages}

This is a post I was debating on publishing.
Then I realized that just maybe,
 I'm not the only one this has happened to
just maybe,
 you think you're the only one.

This is a post about collages
letting go of expectations.
I was really excited about this process art post,
I've been saving doodle paper for weeks waiting to cut it up and turn it into something new.

I was expecting this project to be exciting to the girls
I was expecting them to know what to do
I was expecting this activity to last an hour or two
Guess what,
none of that happened.

When I set everything out C seemed excited.
She started cutting the paper 
then, she asked me to cut the paper into squares for her.
She brushed some glue onto the cardboard
slapped on the little squares
and said,
That took about 5 minutes.
I bit my tongue.
I wanted to tell her she wasn't done
I wanted to tell her that she did it too fast
but I didn't.

 in an attempt to extend the activity a little longer,
I brought out a few other collage materials.
Shapes, sequins, ribbon, yarn and feathers.

I sat down beside her
 we created together.
As we worked side by side
I noticed C paying careful attention to what items I used and how I used them,
she was very curious about why I was doing what I was doing.
By the time she was done, her collage looked very similar to mine 
(in the first picture)
Total time spent on this project,
10-15 minutes.
C's collage
A's collage

I had to let go of my earlier expectiations
Letting go helps me to step back and realize
the more I bring the materials out,
the more C will be willing to explore with them.
The more she explores, the more exciting it will be for her.
The more exciting it is for her, the more she will want to spend time on it.

The collage is now an ongoing project.
Since we started it on a cardboard box, 
I was able to fold it neatly in half and set it aside 
ready to be brought out when we want to add to it.

How do you encourage your child to explore a new material or technique?


  1. I'm so glad you wrote this! Yes, this happens to me all the time. I want him to do it himself. In the past I've even felt like I was doing something wrong and stifling his creativity. It took me a long time to realize that he was practicing his skills through me leading by example and would soon branch out on his own. This was especially the case for drawing. I hope this post is wildly popular and helps the parents that were like me.. and worried a little over it. Great post!

  2. This happens more than we realize. I think as bloggers we are afraid to do posts like this because we know our readers want a beautiful product that is simple to make. Sitting side by side is the best way to encourage someone. We need to model creativity. Kids are always being told how to do something and when given the option to create freely they have no idea what to do!
    As an art teacher of a whole class of kids you always get those kids who say they are done and you have to constantly have to guide them along. You wish all your students could be creative and think of ideas, but then that is your job. Thanks for make a wonderful art teacher to your children.

    1. Thank you Melissa, that really means a lot to me

      I think you are completely right, this was a post that I was worried about having enough content for. I figured it really is a post about me going through the process of learning how to really let go of my expectations. I never really expect a perfect product but didn't realize I did have other expectations, especially with how much time they spent on the project.
      This project put me one step closer to helping the girls gain confidence in themselves and explore art to their full potential!

  3. Wonderful post! As an elementary teacher I feel that I always have a couple who are "done" early, and yes I make suggestions or demonstrate how to create patterns, lines, colors etc. but never touch their project. I am amazed that after a year with me they have the confidence and knowledge to explore and create while having fun. When students are giving me hugs and high fives as they leave my classroom I know I have done my best helping a child reach their full potential. Laura @ Painted Paper

  4. this is such a great posts. as teacher-mommas, sometimes it's hard for us to take a step back. i know that i do it too. i'm so glad that you posted this. *pinned*

  5. I love that you have posted this, it is so important for their growing imaginations. As a grandmother and early childhood teacher I love to watch the process. The other thing I like to do is really mix up the materials that I offer at one time so they can experience the differences, like hard and soft, different shapes and textures etc.


Thank you for visiting Dilly-Dali Art! Please check back for a reply to your comment!