How to Get Creative with Kids According to a Professional Artist
During these times when we are spending more time indoors, we thought we’d ask professional artist Kristina Rodrigues some rapid-fire questions on, “How to Get Creative with Kids According to a Professional Artist.” We hope this provides you with some ideas on how to get creative with the whole family!
- You’re an artist – tell us a bit about that. Are you working during this time?
Kristina Marie is an artist based in Orange County, California. Her passion for art started at a very young age. “I’ve been drawing since I learned to hold a pencil,” she says. Her love for her craft is evident through her diverse range of styles, quality of art, and dedication to her work. Kristina grew up in Northern California where she attended college at UC Berkeley studying Business Entertainment and Marketing. “Art was always my side passion and not many knew about this until I started posting on social media.” After dancing two years with the NBA Warrior Girls, Kristina moved to Los Angeles and worked as a professional dancer, performing on Latin Billboards, ACMA awards, live stage shows and commercials. Throughout all these shows and rehearsals, she would continue to paint in her spare time. Kristina always felt at home creating on canvas. In the last five years, Kristina decided to focus solely on painting and perfecting her craft. Fueled by curiosity and an eagerness to learn, Kristina spent countless hours playing with paint textures and styles.
Her work is showcased in the office of UFC’s president Dana White and homes of Bantamweight Champ TJ Dillashaw and former UFC fighter Jake Ellenberger. In 2018, she created a mural for social media influencer Ross Smith and grandma, the time-lapse video of which went viral. While she has been featured in galleries, Kristina has decided to continue her direct connection with clients. “I get a great sense of satisfaction from bringing joy to my clients with my art.”
2. Are you working during this time?
Yes, I’m busy during this quarantine time. I’m currently working on three commission pieces and two have approaching deadlines. I post progress pictures of my work on Instagram, currently, you’ll see my Kobe Bryant commission piece almost complete.
3. How many kids do you have at home?
I am a mother to 7-month-old identical twin girls, Ella Marie and Ava Rose. They keep me very busy but I also have the love and support of a wonderful husband. I have to be very organized to balance motherhood and my career.
4. How have you been getting creative during this time?
I keep the girls on a very organized routine. During their nap time, I get as much work done as I can whether I’m painting, doing laundry, cleaning the toy room, there’s barely a minute to relax. The good thing in my case, painting is a way for me to unwind. When they’re awake, I keep them occupied with books, games, meals, exercises, stroller walks, and learning. The key to a twin mom is scheduling. My 7-month-old twins don’t understand art just yet, but I’m looking forward to the day I can put a paintbrush in their hands.
5. Would you say there are age limitations to kiddos getting creative?
You can get creative with kids at any age as long as they understand not to eat the paint or brushes. If their first reaction is to put the paint in their mouth, I would experiment with edible paints. Martha Stewart has a good recipe for this.
6. What advice would you give to families who want to tap into their creativity during this time?
My advice would be to just pick up that brush and START. I believe a lot of people put things off because they don’t know where to begin with art. But there are no mistakes with paint because you can always paint it over. Just order a canvas, explore with colors, and unleash your creativity.
7. If someone wanted to host family art night – what would you say are the essentials they’d need?
I would say start by getting each person a small canvas. If you have no prior art experience, grab a ruler, and make lines at random from one end of the canvas to the other. This will create different shapes, almost like stain glass. Now encourage your family members to paint the shapes in different colors, bringing the canvas to life.
8. Easy art project ideas parents could do with their kids?
You and your child can create abstract canvas artwork. At your local art/craft store, they should sell Level 1 canvases and acrylic craft paint that’s non-toxic. Pick up the colors black and white. Start by having the parent paint the canvas entirely white prior to working together. For inspiration, google some black and white abstract images to show your child. If your child understands to not eat the paint and only paint on the canvas, give them a paintbrush with just the color black and let them have fun. (Note – paint is not washable from the clothes.) Once they’re done, and if you want to hang it, the adult can protect the painting with a gloss finish (out of the child’s reach). I use one thin coat of Liquitex gloss varnish. (Note..that product has fumes and should be applied outdoors in a well-ventilated area) Now you have your very own black and white abstract piece to hang in your home!