• Danielle Mussafi

What is Process Art?

At Crayon Power, we believe in child-led, play-based discovery. We follow the friends’ interests, questions and ideas. We observe first and plan second. One way at home to emulate this is by setting up process art activities.

In process art, the final product is unique and the focus always lies in process of creation, not in the outcome. Exploration and discovery are key. Friends learn the possibilities and limitations of materials, use critical thinking skills, and begin to trust their creative instincts. Even the rocketship shape collage from the previous post is process art if the children are focused on the experience of using the materials (what happens if I put glue here, or there, or double up shapes, or crumple up this paper, or only glue shapes in the bottom left corner, etc). Even though there is a rocketship inspiration, creating a rocketship is a starting point, not the end point.

As you inevitably lay out various art and craft supplies for your children over the next few weeks, keep the exploration and discovery in mind. Pinterest-worthy end-goal projects may have their place, but remember that the true work of our young is always through their play.

Tip: As with the rocketship collage example, I do find benefit in some structure and guidance for this type of art. Without some guidance, young children may get overwhelmed by the possibilities and either lose interest or react unproductively in other ways. (This is true for adults too. I find I’m at my most creative when there are some restrictions and guidelines, but then I’m left to create!) The best set up I‘ve found is to have a starting point goal, but not an end goal. Start with some structure and guidance, but then let your children play!

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