Children naturally connect thoughts, words, and images long before they master the skill of writing. This act of capturing meaning in multiple symbol systems and then vacillating from one medium to another is called transmediation. While using art in the classroom, students transfer this visual content and then add new ideas and information from their personal experiences to create newly invented narratives. Using this three-step process to observe, interpret, and create helps kids generate ideas, organize thoughts, and communicate effectively.
Art classes inspire creative thinking ability in students. The more we experience visual art, the more we bring their spirit and textures to our works. Drawing allows us to become better observers, pay attention to details and seek knowledge of perspective, composition, balance, and harmony among colors. Learning to draw from life is about erasing the existing assumptions in the brain onto the things that you see. This is especially true in figure drawing and portraits. We might know how the contour of the jaw curves at a certain angle, but every person’s face is slightly different in a thousand-minute way. How the light falls across a cheek changes its shape and weight, and there’s something unique to be found in the tilt of the legs, the slope of the shoulders, a glint that gives the gaze an air of knowing, defiance, or warmth. Capturing those minute details—those rude and beautiful imperfections—makes a drawing feel vivid and real. Learning & imitating these details helps a writer develop the character sketch for his narratives and construct paragraphs that evoke a precise sense of a person, place, scene, or landscape. Literature is considered a form of art because the author communicates ideas and experiences to the reader. In his memoir The Nearest Thing to Life, James Wood discusses the importance of detail in creating an immersive story. “It is details that make a story personal,” he writes. “Stories are made of details; we snag on them. Details are the what, or maybe we should say the whatness of stories.” The quest to replicate this “whatness” is something that writing shares withdrawing. Wood writes that “in ordinary life, we don’t spend very long looking at things or the natural world or people, but writers do,” and so do artists.
Crafting writing that seems alive is much like mixing paints, or drawing and redrawing until you land on that one crucial line. A talented painter suggests movement and feeling with a slicing flick of the brush. So too can a skilled writer conjure a singular image, voice, or setting in one ringing sentence. Anyone who engages in creative writing, no matter the genre or style, helps us explore the human experience, share new ideas, and advocate for a better society. And practicing art will evoke a sense of detailed observation, and strong imagination and inculcate creative ideas which benefit a healthy work of literature.
Whether you write your stories for yourself or share them with a wide audience, creative writing makes the world a better place. Join our art classes to develop your skills of creation!