Since last school year, I have been taking Julia to the office with me because of practicality. There is no available school bus route in Malabon and if ever I would request one, the cost will be similar to hiring a private driver with car. So for the past two years, Julia has not only been my daughter but also my office mate. My co-workers and boss are so accustomed to Julia that they consider her already part of the OCA. She’s in the office early morning doing her assignments and would have been pretty bored if not for making her paper toys. Here are three of her latest creations.
1. The Rabbit 2D House
Dollhouses are popular for little girls and she’s no exception. However, beyond the usual paper doll, she customised it based on her own personal favorite — bunny. She made the bed, basket, table and tub like a pocket that can accommodate the bunnies and their accessories.
2. Her Rabbit Food
Of course what will happen to the rabbits without their own rabbit food? She made her version of the grocery complete with marketing materials. What impressed me was how accurate her math skills are! The packaging are also realistic complete with serrated edges found in real packets for easy opening. And when you open, there really are bits of paper inside.
3. The Rabbit 3D house
She made this 3D beach house just today. How timely for the summer! She asked me to take a picture at the top for the floor plan which shows the bedroom, dining, kitchen, toilet, and the beach. The bunnies even have their own diving board and floaters. Inside the house, you can see the little things like the blanket, chairs and tables, stove, but what I love best is the refrigerator. The door opens and out comes the food with masking tape at the back. You can get the eggs, pancakes, and carrots to eat in the dining room/ kitchen. There is also a stove with a pan where you can cook what is inside the ref.
How did Julia become so creative?
I often get asked this question. I sometimes wonder myself. I love crafts but lately I am exhausted. But I also believe that there must be something to make her so interested in art. So here are my guesses…
1. Adequate supplies. At home there are a lot of writing materials, supplies, and paper because there was a time when I hoarded stuff. She has access to my arts supplies that she doesn’t even ask me anymore and then eventually I’ll figure out that it’s hers already. She also gets art supplies and craft materials as gifts so we really have a collection.
2. After making something, we usually talk about it. I praise her of course for a job well done but I also comment on what other variations we could do next time and why. Being engaging and offering constructive criticisms can help her improve. At the same time, she can be open to suggestions by others.
3. Sometimes not having everything has benefits. When we have the urge to buy those mini toys that are so expensive, we look for other ways to do it ourselves. Even if it is not as professional or pretty as the ones in the store. We got this idea to make polymer clay sculptures to substitute for our mini addiction. This way we not only get to play but we have fun making it as well.
4. Consistency. I always say practice makes perfect! And that’s what she does. She doesn’t tire of making bunny illustrations every day making her improve. It was said that you need 10,000 hours of doing something to master it and it looks like she’s on her way to at least a third of that! It helps that she knows what she wants and focus unlike others (that would be me) that can’t still figure out what they like!
5. Leave her alone (but be on the sidelines to supervise). This one is in between easy and hard. I find myself wanting to step up and help if she’s struggling but I give her a few more minutes. I don’t interfere unless it’s a safety concern. Other artwork requires sharp objects so I’m always there to help her with that.
These are just some of what I think helped her be more creative. Who knows what she will obsess about next. I hope… academic work?