At the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program (KBMP) we encourage teens to explore, observe, think, and create in the arts. Teens want and need a space that provides a balance of freedom and support. Each day before the teens come buzzing through the door I ask myself, “How can I foster creativity today?”
Each teen is a unique blend of colors or styles—a spectrum. Spaces and environments where we ask teens to let go, be themselves, and try new things are quite rare anymore.Depending on each teen’s background and personality, some teens walk through the door and make art with no fear; they aren’t scared to fail and will try new things without knowing all the details. While other teens are too scared to take the first step because they don’t want to fail in front of others.
At KBMP, we inspire the teens to try materials or techniques they have always wanted to try, but for some reason never took that first step. With a little nudging and nurturing from their mentor, they can accomplish something big: TRYING SOMETHING NEW!
Mentee McKenzie always wanted to take a cast
of her hand…so that’s exactly what we did.
As Studio Coordinator at KBMP here is a list of the top elements that I use to foster creativity in the studio:
- Create a space where teens can try something new and feel safe to fail.
- Surround the teens with nurturing and caring adults so they feel supported and pushed.
- Provide the proper educational knowledge on techniques and materials, but allow the possibility of fun.
- Focus on the process (the brainstorming and art-making) and less on the final product.