In this digital day and age, digital literacy is gaining prominence as an essential skill. At the same time, educators have long recognised the benefits that the arts have on children’s development. Naturally, the next question is, why are not more people putting the two together?
Apart from gifting humankind with the convenience of word processing tools and the internet, digital technology also opens up a wealth of possibilities when it comes to creating art. While digital art used to be a more specialised skill restricted to graphic designers and illustrators, today’s broad range of available apps and tutorials have lowered the bar of entry significantly.
Almost anyone – including children – can use digital tools to support their artistic endeavours and enjoy a fresh way get creative. At the same time, it hones their familiarity with current technology. So, why not try out a different way of art-making with your child? If you’re keen on getting your child to explore tech with art, here are some ways you can ease it into their art process:
Get inspired online
What we see around us often becomes inspiration for our artistic works! While books and magazines are amazing sources of inspiration, they limit us to what we have at home or at the library. But with the internet, we can have an abundance of ideas and references at our fingertips.
Browsing for new ideas using the internet can hone your child’s essential skills of conducting online searches. Parents can guide or supervise younger kids as they glean inspiration from art channels on social media, or even virtual art exhibitions.
Learn through videos
Itching to try out a new art form? Your child can explore new ways to create art by learning through video tutorials online. Parents can use this opportunity to familiarise children with video-streaming sites like Youtube, while educating them on the necessary safe surfing habits.
The on-demand nature of online videos have an added advantage: children can learn anytime and anywhere, at their own pace. This promotes independent learning, allowing children to upskill themselves according to their own interests.
Introduce different apps
When people think of digital art, they frequently think of industry-standard software like Photoshop or Illustrator. These programmes may seem pretty daunting to even adult beginners, not to mention children, but there are also more accessible alternatives around.
Plenty of free and easy-to-use apps abound, be it for photo editing, graphic designing, or sketching. Some are even specially made for children! Want to start really simple? You can even use your device’s in-built note-taking app or PowerPoint to make art!
Combine traditional and new techniques
If going full-on digital art at once seems too intimidating, your child can start by combining traditional mediums with simple digital edits. For example, after completing an artwork on paper, they can take a photo of it, then bring it into an editing app to recolour or add other visual effects to it.
Another manageable project to start with is collage-making: Children can use the internet to source for pictures and print them out, then cut and paste them into a collage. This makes a great scrapbook journal idea or for creating home-made posters!
Exploring and making art with the help of digital technology has the twofold benefits of providing more avenues for creativity, and boosting digital skills. These digital design skills will also come in very handy in future projects and creative pursuits – especially if they want to dive into a creative field like marketing or design in the future.
If creativity and digital literacy are some things you find important for your child’s education, it is also crucial that you find a school for your child that aligns with your vision. The Canadian International School in Singapore boasts a solid arts programme that comprises both in-class and extra-curricular arts activities, giving your child plenty of room to explore various art forms and interests. Widely regarded as one of the top IB schools in Singapore, CIS also runs the K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum by Common Sense Media to bolster children’s learning of digital skills.