Monday, October 21, 2013

Do You Save the Hand Turkeys?

I am in conflict: 
1. I am an art teacher. I completely treasure any and all artistic creations made by my children. 
2. I am a hard core minimalist. I toss anything I believe to be possible clutter-material. 

So, my fellow parents, art appreciators, and clutter busters...what are we to do with all the hand turkeys? I have been gathering artwork from both of my kids since they were able to hold a crayon. I will admit, I toss about 80% of it and scoop off the "good stuff", the milestone pieces. Milestone pieces are when my kids make a new discovery in their art. Here's a short list of things I do save:

-representations of people, family, animals
-paintings where they mix new colors
-their first cut paper collage
-interesting compositions, or art that they have created an elaborate story to go along with (I will write story or titles on the back of the piece)

My ultimate goal is to have these works printed in hardcover photo books, through Shutterfly- as many as it takes from now until college.

Here's my process:
1. I save the actual work in 2 separate large portfolios, one for each child.
2 . Each piece is states name and date.
3. I snap a digital photo of the work & upload to iPhoto, color correct, & crop if necessary.
4. I upload to Shutterfly, load into books with captions, dates, titles.
5. I also include pics of the kids actually doing the art when I can.
6. I order the books and hope some day they will be appreciated.
7. I pray no one asks for the original work- because I...and here I am a bit hesitant...I toss it.

The bulging portfolios.
Petra's artwork in iPhoto
Well, I haven't tossed any of it yet, because remember, I am in conflict about it. Do I save these giant portfolios full of work that have the high chance of becoming moldy in my basement? I have yet to decide. I'm sure I'll save a few gems, but the rest are destined for the recycling bin. For the tech savvy, I found these two awesome Apps for kid's artwork to save, organize, share, and even order photo books through.

Free. Looks amazing, clean and simple, but for now is only available for apple products. An Android App is in the works. You can also follow friends and what work they have loaded, so that can be kind of cool for the kids. Too bad for now they do not offer a photo book option, but rather cute mugs, water bottles, mouse pads, etc. Books will come soon they say.
Watch this sweet little demo:

Free. Another great looking App for kid's artwork. Works with Apple products and most Androids. You can immediately share on Facebook, Pinterest & other sharing sites. Best feature, I think, is the photo book option. 
Check out this video:

Both Apps are really nicely designed. It looks like they take a bit of time to set up and get going. I'm tempted to try them, but I cannot stray from my ongoing process just yet. It's working just fine and is streamlined with the rest of my other photos in Shutterfly, so it's one stop uploading and shopping. Let me know what you do to preserve you kid's artwork. 

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