Creativity has always been my superpower, as a child and into adulthood. Throughout my experience in education, I’ve struggled to learn through the traditional reading and writing format. Discovering the arts (visual art, music, dance, and drama, etc.) gave me a voice, healed my anxiety-driven mentality, provided me with the knowledge needed to succeed in life, and has become my way of making long-lasting friendships. Growing up, however, art education was denied as a beneficial use of time and was generalized as a hobby, by teachers, constituents, and family members. Even worst, my experience today in academia doesn’t fully accommodate my visual learning mechanisms. Through my research, I strive to prove these generalizations false. Creatives spaces can empower children and it should be encouraged at the utmost in childhood development even if a child isn’t inspiring to be an artist. While there is a privilege behind affording a creative space and being recognized as creative, there is also flexibility to change our perceptions of creative practices and inspire children and adults to create freely.
Children’s literature has evidently supported the need for creativity and artistic spaces. Unlike a normal research essay, I took a backward approach, creating the art before researching and deciding my thesis. Inspired by characters of 4 children and adolescent novels who engage in creativity, I challenged myself to recreate creative spaces in my own life. I noted how the characters use their artistic moments as a space to communicate, a space to explore, a space to meditate, and a space to build relationships. Representing each novel, I used 4 different mediums that were in my visual art capacity: canvas painting, sculpture, collaging, and rock painting. From this practice, I concluded that novels promote diverse creative spaces which empower children with a voice, brilliance, well-being, and friendships. With my secondary research, I discovered the importance of these 4 types of spaces, concluding the benefits that art practices have on children and adolescences.
A SPACE FOR COMMUNICATION
A SPACE FOR MEDITATION
A SPACE FOR EXPLORATION AND BRILLANCE
A SPACE FOR CONNECTION
Seeking Creative Spaces
As part of my creative research methodology, I went on a photo scavenger hunt to collect images in my London community. Each of the photographs represents either 1) space where I feel or felt empowered, 2) a space that drew connections to one of the 4 novels I analyzed and 3) a current or past creative space of either communication, meditation, brilliance, or friendship. This was a brief meditative experience that aided in collecting my thoughts and organized the areas of my thesis that I wanted to focus on.
Creek in childhood neighborhood
St. Kateri elementary school
Results: Home Gallery
Lastly, with all my artwork, photos, and my Wasaga House map painting from a previous assignment, I curated a home art gallery to display my Unessay. Inspired by the many museums that had to shift their in-person experience to an online platform I designed this webpage to act as a virtual gallery to share my story and research.
Want to learn more about my research? Check out my full annotated bibliography:
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