There is such benefit of doing small, quick art projects. I am currently planning and thinking through the best way to do a group art project with 10-15 adults and so I first set up some paper, scissors, and glue on the table at home for my son and I to play with. The result was 3 different styles of cut-paper art. I did these fairly small, 10 x 10, and pretty quick (as my sons attention span is short).
Not only did it test my problem solving skills as I thought through the design and execution of distinct ways of approaching some cut-paper representations, but it also focused my sight to the things that are important and beneficial to spend time on while using paper on this way. Each of the finished pieces represents, mostly, a failure to capture an element of movement, flow, or color, but It also represents something I learned and will do or teach differently when I try this with a group. Especially, since these pieces were essentially 3 different attempts of doing the same thing, I benefitted by thinking about one problem (how to represent the tree outside my window) from three different spaces that all have different strengths and weaknesses in how they explore the visual problem. This is valuable obviously here, for this project, but don’t get me started about how this kind of thinking is valuable for life. The ability to solve a problem by putting yourself in different spaces and thinking about it from different angles. Yes, even though this is a small art project, even this lends itself toward a way of thinking that I want to always be developing in me and in my kids – Ok see, I am off topic.
Where was I… clearly I was working towards a finished piece that was also nice to look at, but what was most important was the process. If the first cut-paper piece I ever did was with the intent of creating a beautiful piece of art – this would end in failure and frustration. Since that is not what I was aiming for with these, and they were small and fast, I was able to stay open and responsive to the process and actually enjoy the time making these!