ENJOY THE PROCESS. Want to know what takes the life out of art? It’s setting a goal and then hating your project until it’s finally done--and til it’s GOOD, by golly. Listen, unfortunately, this is often my experience when I’m designing, and I think it’s the same way for many other creatives. Of course we shouldn’t lose sight of a goal, but I consciously try to get away from the fear of failure and come back home to the excitement of exploration. This is especially important if you are just starting to learn about art and design. Give yourself--and your child--time to discover and explore media (the materials with which you create) without the pressure of a perfect end product. See what layering that watercolor and crayon can do! Try drawing lines, making splatters, smudging and smearing and blending. Then cut it into shapes and see what happens when you make it into a pattern! Then change one piece and create an unexpected aberration in the pattern! Allowing time for process is crucial for creating work that is successful and vibrant. If you have paper, a watercolor palette and a box of pastels, you have three words with which to communicate. But if you have explored, stretched and transformed that media, you have hundreds. For three good children’s books that communicate the importance of process, potential of media and joy of spontaneity, I’d recommend Beautiful Oops; Swatch: the girl who loved color (introduced to me by @cpcfam); and Mix It Up!