Friday, February 27, 2015

Children + Devices = Bad Bad Bad (or does it?) ...and how does that make you feel? :-/

Frying their brains... or learning skills?
 When we were little the 'big deal' was television.  Too much TV rotted your brain, right?  What about all those people that grew up to be actors, producers, cinematographers, etc.?  Why was television, arguably, GOOD for some people and just a numbing, zombie making, box of brain death for others? This is what we think, some people were thinking... the whole time they were watching!  They were inspired by the images, music, story lines, SOMETHING.  They were creating later, with the information that they gathered.  Television was a springboard for them, not the end all.

From our experiences with our children, we see that there are different ways that different people 'do' different things.  One kid can watch a TV show and sink into a stupor of unthinking blobness while another kid can watch that exact same show and think about how the lighting bounces off the puppets, how the camera angle makes such a big difference in the 'feel' of the shot, and wonder the whole time how they can replicate the set to produce their own 'movie' of the same quality.  It makes us wonder if the activity (in this case TV watching) is bad for our children, or if there are WAYS to watch TV that are bad for our children.  It makes us wonder if a better question than 'how much screen time' might be 'how is each individual child handling screen time'.

Violently creative?  Or creatively violent?
Do our children really need to be fluent with technology?  Yes.  Won't there be enough people that are computer and device savvy that the world won't need OUR children turning into drones?  Well, the thing is, technology is a language and they will have to 'speak' it well.  (We see that we could be on our own screens far less if we had a better command of technology ourselves.  Ironic, isn't it?)  It makes us think though, that a healthy dose of technological know how is definitely very important for our children's futures.

We spoke with our friend, Loreal, and some good points emerged.  People, we concluded, are individuals.  Rules for one child might not be exactly right for another child.  Life should be lived fluidly and if there are indications that too much internet, device, or digital entertainment time is happening we can simply stop allowing so much...  Maybe instead of spending so much time discussing and thinking about the damage that certain things do to our children's minds we might look at our children, in the moment, and efficiently diagnose the immediate, present situation and respond to that...

Our children can still hold pencils!
Does your child spend time on MineCraft and then build elaborate (or inspired) structures in the living room.  Do they draw box-like creatures on napkins and talk to you about them?  Is there evidence outside of device time that indicates they were thinking while they were staring at the screen?

Some of our children spend time on their screens and then produce all manners of artworks, music, writings and ideas around what they have watched or played.  Some of our children only complain about how bored they are when they are not allowed to play with their device.  Guess which ones we allow to spend more time in front of their screens?

...and are adept agents of espionage!
What do you guys think?  Do you think that we should worry about time constraints if our children are growing, or would they grow MORE without screens?  Also, do children need to be encouraged to be creative and be in the habit of creating FIRST, in order to respond to technological stimuli in a forward thinking, motivated way? What does screen time and the limiting of it mean for adults?  Is it bad for us to be glued to our devices so much, even if we are working?  Do we sometimes make all this more complicated by spending so much time thinking about it?  Would we all get along with less guilt and judgement if we did not have 'emblazoned burned on our hearts' opinions about these things? Thoughts?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Please, We're in the Business of Making Friends...

You see, we don't consider ourselves toy makers... as a matter of fact it shook me up when I overheard my nephew once telling somebody that we were 'little dolly makers'. He wasn't saying it in a derogatory way, just saying it.  

The thing is, I have tried to communicate the same things for as long as I can remember... the overall idea, of which we just barely scratch the surface.  That we just barely connect here... I am often a frustrated artist running through the mediums, but I know that I am always looking for life, real life, filled with love and greatness.  I look for friends and I have always made them... with my own hands; drawings, paintings, multitudes of sculptures out of fabric, clay and debris.  My creations are real to me and they speak to me.  I have used them to connect with others like me.  The most boring looking soul at a craft fair can light up in our booth and talk about the life of his childhood sock monkey.  I love that!  

I want to be taken seriously.  I want to be a 'real artist'.  I want people to find life in my music, philosophies, writings... I want to be applauded and understood... and I am baffled as to why I am drawn to compulsively create things that tend to be so weird (and humorous) and perhaps even childish.  
Julie has joined me.  I don't think that she is any more or less of an artist if she makes baby booties, wall size paintings or simply writes a blog post.
Why does what an artist make always define them.  Maybe an artist is 'simply someone that creates art'.  Simply someone that creates...   


Love to you all,

Monday, February 23, 2015

People That Other People Talk About...

This is a photo of the egg funeral.  Though this egg never had any articles or fun things written about it, we like this photo, and thought it would be fine to just stick it up here at the top of this article about 'living life to its fullest'. RIP egg.

I've noticed that we do a lot of things that, if they don't accomplish any big thing, we brush away by saying, 'Well, at least it's something we can talk about.'
Thing is, there comes a point when that is not enough.  When having a story to drag out at a party or social gathering about some 'fun' thing that we did last week (because we're awesome cool, kick butt artists :)) is not enough.  
I must be getting old.  I just don't have as much fun in the talking anymore.  I want to be doing things that are so mind blowingly awesome that I don't have time to talk about them.  Is it so wrong to say: I want to be doing things that are so undeniably interesting that other people (people that are better equipped and more gifted than I at putting into word the world around them) take time out of their day and open up space in their writings just to talk about me. Wouldn't the world be a million times more interesting if every one of us woke up in the morning and decided that we wanted to be 'people that other people talk about'?