Growing Artists At Home- The Brady Family of Chicago


Sometimes the most impulsive ideas are the exactly right ideas, ones that come from the gut, from your experience and intuition. No second thoughts. Such was the case when I needed an additional domain name for our company. I was in the process of learning how to develop a website: being too afraid to take on a migration of I purchased, because it fit. It was the first thing that came to mind. It described what we had been doing and what we wanted to do. No big plan involved-- just a mind-jerk reaction to a transitional moment for a small business.

Growing Artists at Home

We meet the most incredible families. When a student finds our space and melts right into it we kind of know that a “grow artists” philosophy is in play in that student’s life. When a family welcomes us into their lives by sharing a good amount of their child’s time with us we get the perk of learning more about the family and what makes them and their child so extraordinary. That gave me an idea-- what if we could see into the home that nurtures that family? Our new monthly feature, Growing Artists at Home was born.To provide a healthy, inclusive and non-judgmental space in which creative capacity is discovered and confidence is developed-- this is the first sentence in our statement of purpose. Kids start out this way-- creative and curious. We all start out this way. It’s our job, all of us, to help them stay this way. At Wishcraft Workshop we have intentionally designed a space and experiences that allow students to confidently and curiously follow their own muse. [One family was so inspired by our original Roscoe Street space they recreated it at their lake house. You can read about it here.] How do other families do it?The Brady Family of Chicago. Growing artists at home and with the help of The Wishcraft Workshop.Meet the Brady family: Jim, Tammi and their daughter E who started as a Wishcraft Workshop camper, now attends our daily Crafter-School™  and is a graduate of our Young Entrepreneurs Society program. We asked them for a peek into their world.What does the term "grow artists" mean to you?Space + Freedom + Inspiration= CreativityWhy is supporting your child's creative curiosity important to you?It encourages creative thinking and problem solving. E says it helps to calm and focus her.creative problem solving How does your family nurture creativity for your child at home?We encourage dabbling and allow things to get a bit messy. No need to have a plan.What is your favorite creative activity at home?As a family our favorite creative activity is drawing-- and we throw in the occasional impromptu dance party to mix it up.Describe the space and the things you make available to support your child's creative exploration. E's room is bursting with inspiration to get creative: past and in-progress projects, curios and trinkets galore, plus supplies of all kinds. The everyday go-to's are pencil, pen and paper, but we have materials ranging from vintage buttons and fabric to oil paints and printmaking tools. A little bit of plan requiredWhat is your child's favorite thing about their creative space(s) at home?The amount of space-- she now has her own table in our new studio. E’s current favorite activity is her series of wolf drawings. She loves drawing their shape. [see E's new drawing space pictured below]How creative do you feel as parents?We're pretty creative as parents, but there's definitely room for improvement-- especially when it comes to making time to do it ourselves. Our new art studio room should help.Do parents need to work in a creative field in order to create a creative home environment?It's not necessary to work within a creative field to foster creativity in the home. It's more about providing children with exposure to creative outlets and allowing them the freedom to express themselves in their own way.What is one thing any family can do to encourage curious exploration?put aside expectationsJust about anything can inspire creativity-- drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing, cooking, gardening-- the list goes on. Put aside expectations, pick up your own tools and work alongside-- you'll learn a lot from each other.Where in Chicago do you and your family find creative inspiration?Our creative outings take us to museums and art openings, but inspiration can be found anywhere, including just outside the door in nature.No plan. A little messy. No expectations. (Sounds like my house when I’m responsible for dinner, without the calm and focus part.) Thank you to the Brady family for sharing their thoughts and ideas.Do you have a home that grows artists and want to share? How do you support your child’s creative curiosity? We would love to hear from you.Make a wish. Make something. Make something together.