These days, artists — even edgy, renegade artists — are seen as commodities in the workforce. Small businesses and locally owned enterprises are taking focus and are likely to employ (or be started by) creatives. Large corporations are still using PR firms to develop their web presence, TV spots, circulars and other media, but those firms are often hiring independent artists. In other words, middle school’s taggers are tomorrow’s graphic designers.
As society becomes more accepting of right-brain learning, and relies on artists and creative thinkers to drive the economy, it is increasingly crucial to engage our kid’s creativity. There might once have been a difference between street artists and professional designers, but the line is not so clear anymore. (Check out this related piece on that blurry line between art and vandalism.)
When I was a kid I took a shoebox of crayons and a big tablet of drawing paper almost everywhere. My parents found this especially helpful to distract me at restaurants or when I was stuffed in the backseat of the car on road trips. Sometimes my mom would bring along a cutting board to function as my drawing table. We’ve come a long way, babies. Now we have multiple versions of digital pads of paper, complete with paints and colored pencils, applied through a stylus. One such traveling sketchbook is the uDraw Game Tablet. This particular device comes already bundled with a program called uDraw Studio Game.
With a digital art maker, like a tablet, young O’Keeffes and Basquiats can get a head start splashing out ideas, making mistakes and repeating the process, endlessly, without spending fistfuls of money on art supplies. The uDraw is a wireless tablet with an attached stylus, and is compatible with the Nintendo Wii. The tablet has several modes of interaction, such as free drawing from one’s own imagination, templates to foster creating, and even tutorials that show artworks being created a stroke at a time. (We love artistic tutorials!)
Kids have options to draw, paint or color — in preset lines or not — and people with any level of experience can use the programs. Your 5-year-old and pre-teen can both be equally engaged. Artists can then save and share their work via an SD card that’s included in the uDraw. If your family likes to stick the children’s artwork on the fridge, or up on the office walls, you can print your favorite masterpieces.
There are myriad possible future careers (besides straight-up visual artist) that will also benefit from a rich background of drawing and painting. Your little savants could use the uDraw to get into animation, film, fashion, interior design, architecture, even industrial design. Better yet, making art stimulates the brain, and helps develop social skills and lateral thinking.
There’s no such thing as offering too many artistic outlets for your kiddos. The uDraw is the perfect (budget-conscious) way to do just that.
Please keep in mind that this product is only for right-handed kids.
You can pick up the uDraw Game Tablet here.