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Inspiration – Vernon Ah Kee

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​​​​​​​​​​​Artist, Vernon Ah Kee, explains the importance of fostering curiosity and drawing on what children know and can do to inspire the creative process and build strong foundations for life-long learning.

Read the transcript for this video

I'm Vernon Ah Kee, and I make art. To me, creative means finding out the answers to your ideas. Trying ideas out and finding which ones are the best. 

When kids are very young, creativity is something that's already inbuilt. And what makes it - makes children's drawings so strong, is that there's an honesty, they're unencumbered by anything around them, and they completely believe what they're doing.

Now as we get older and as adults interfere with that process, their ideas about themselves and their drawing starts to be a little convoluted.

There's a sense of permission that should be already implicit. It should be clear by your tone, your body language, whenever you are working with young children, there is a level of curiosity that you have to maintain in the kids. But if you can maintain it, it's just like winding kids up and letting them go. It's that easy, you don't have to do that much at all.

What they do when they're very little is they make art, or they express their ideas from what is immediately around them. And the older you get, if you maintain that, if you always start from what is immediately around you, then you're starting from what you know is true, and it's easy to start from that point.

So when you're working with young children, explain to them what do you know of your life that is true, in your own home, in your own room. What you wear, what you eat, how you talk to your parents and your siblings, then that's true and no one can dispute that. 

As children evolve and their thinking evolves, if you can maintain that kind of creative process, that will work every time. You start from what you know is true, what immediately surrounds you, and you spread out from there. And it works all the way through your life.

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Categories and learning areas

  • Category
    • Inspiration
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Last updated 06 June 2022