Metal’s Village Green arts and music event in Chalkwell Park is always preceded by a day dedicated to school kids – Village Green: Next Generation. And, this year – #VG17 – SEVEN collective was asked to take part as artist stall-holders.
Seeing as Metal have been kindly hosting our creative journal workshops for a wee while, we thought sharing some of our idea-generating techniques with local school kids was the least we could do. Eeeek!
This is what we learned:
1. Be prepared
Not just for scouts or evil lions (see the Lion King for details) getting to the park for 7:45am demanded organisational and timing skills the A-Team would be proud of.
2. Don’t get stall envy
Everyone’s Village Green stall looked glitzier than ours. Branding. Banners. Colourful whatnots. You name it, we didn’t really have it. Just us and our arty stuff. Would we be overlooked or dismissed out of hand? (See point 4).
3. Locate the coffee
See point 1. The early start plus fear of the unknown (aka children) required at least one caffeine hit. Thus, locating the Village Green coffee stand was an essential part of the set-up.
4. Proximity to the loos can be advantageous
And, not for the reason you think. But because teachers and kids using the facilities checked us out. On their way to the loos. As they waited by the loos. On their way back from the loos. Or while lost and looking for the loos.
5. Keep calm & carry on (ideally with glitter)
As wave after wave of primary school kids and their teachers came to check out our art tables – think: mandala collage, collective doodling, and swing tag-making – it was all we could do to just muck in and make the most of it.
More gems you say? Certainly. Lost your prized sunglasses? We’ll help you find them. Want pictures of cars for your mandala collage? Coming up.
6. Kids do come out with some words of wisdom
Don’t know where to start with your art? “I just scribble ’til I think of something,” one boy told us, while getting stuck into our free range doodle roll.
And, sure enough, after a scribble or two he warmed up and started doodling like no business.
7. Our top tip: change shape
Something we found went down a treat with our mini artists was mandala collaging. Turns out eschewing the ubiquitous rectangle for a circle can help overcome placement anxiety – there’s no right or wrong way.
All in all
Village Green: Next Generation had a lot to teach us. Surprising. Rewarding. A little hot. And, at times, a bit overwhelming. But, hey, there’s nothing like learning by doing, right?!
And, we all slept very well afterwards… Thanks to Metal for the opportunity.
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