shark dressWhere does she find her inspiration? Is she watching runway shows and award shows?

We pull inspiration from wherever we go. The shark dress, for example, came as a direct result of her first visit to an aquarium.

From Huffington Post


It’s apparently not important to the Common Core State Standards Initiative that David Coleman never taught a day in the classroom in order to be the lead architect in the crafting of the standards from which the majority of children will be taught.  I’ve looked at his background and don’t see that he was/is an artist.  But his claim to be one of the most unqualified people to be involved with the standards development extends to his explaining why standards should be imposed one of the more creative disciplines: Art.

From Common Core and the Arts and an explanation on why students need Common Core in studying/doing art:

common core artI don’t know about you, but I primarily thought making art was a creative, fun process, especially in the younger grades.  The love of art and creativity could then be nurtured into a more serious study of art if that is what the child expressed interest in.  But art is a serious area of discipline starting in Pre-Kindergarten according to David Coleman:

art pre-k

I’m not a professional artist so I’m a little puzzled by this line: Over time, a student of the arts should become a more accomplished imitator. He follows it up with At the same time, students should grow in their capacity to not just imitate to apply principles they have gained through the study of an artist.  Can the creative spirit within an artist be so harnessed by these standards?

Let’s look at this 4 year paper dress designer and her artistic creations.  From This 4-Year-Old Makes Paper Dresses With Her Mom — And They Keep Getting More Amazing:

I started following @2sisters_angie a little over a year ago. Back then she was posting the typical stuff you see from moms on Instagram — pics of her daughter at the park, pics of her daughter eating breakfast and lots of photos of her daughter playing dress-up.

You know, the same stuff I post.

Then, about nine months ago, Angie’s feed started to change. It became clear Angie’s daughter (she calls her “Mayhem”) was more interested in fashion than the average 4-year-old. Mayhem shunned her store-bought princess dresses and started wrapping herself with scarves and sheets creating her own styles.

Then one day Angie got tired of finding her clothes in Mayhem’s toy box and suggested they make a dress out of paper. Mayhem loved the idea and they haven’t stopped creating paper dresses since.

Click on the link above and you will see amazing dresses this four year old artist (apparently without any Common Core standards to guide her creativity) has been creating, one every day:

green and white dress

How much is done by you and how much is done by your daughter?

The ideas are pretty much a 50/50 split, but Mayhem constructs a lot more than most people would probably believe. That’s one of the best things about this project, I see her learning new skills every single day. At this point, she knows exactly how many sheets of construction paper she needs to make herself a top and a bottom. She can lay the entire thing out and tape it together all by herself. Definitely, the more complex designs have more of my time invested, but she’s literally always beside me learning something new if she’s not tearing or taping or gluing while I am.

The mom has allowed Mayhem’s creativity to bubble up and doesn’t try to harness or direct it.  She is figuring out math skills without the standards!  The mom is allowing her daughter to direct her own energies and artistic eye and create beautiful dresses in the manner that she determines satisfying, not adhering to anyone standards but her own personal standards.  She is creating/experiencing art via the stimuli her mother provides: visits to aquarium, books, runway photos and assistance when she needs it.

The mom responds to a question about her daughter ‘s interest in making paper dresses and the mom doesn’t have a prescripted idea (unlike David Coleman) of how her daughter’s interest in art should progress:

Do you think this is going to be a lifelong interest for Mayhem?

After we made our first paper dress, Mayhem requested another the very next day. Then another the day after that. And no one is more surprised than I am, that she still wants to make them nearly 9 months later. I have no idea if it will continue, but as long as she wants to make them, we’ll keep doing it.

I think it’s a stitch her pseudonym is Mayhem!  It’s such an appropriate name.  Her creativity is driving her to make these dresses.  Isn’t that what true artists do?  They construct something beautiful from those creative urges that sometimes are chaotic and develop them into avenues of artistic expression that they deem authentic.  Don’t you just LOVE the hat?  Pure fun!

dress designer with hat


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