Now Reading
Kids and Art: We Need your Imagination!

Kids and Art: We Need your Imagination!

Article by Lisa Cinar of Draw me a Lion, who wants to cultivate a strong imagination and a lifelong love of art, not just for art’s sake, but for smart’s sake.

I grew up in Germany. Some of the best parts of my childhood involved sitting at the dining room table, colouring or drawing with my mom. “Mom, can you draw me a Horse?…Can you draw me a Mermaid? Can you draw me a Lion?” My Mom drew and made lots of things with me. She always encouraged me to be creative and use my imagination. This is really what started it all. I was allowed to paint with different kinds of paints, markers and pencils, and always praised for my drawings. My mom also never tired of reading me books with beautiful pictures that I would study intently. Even after I could read myself, she continued to read to me, which I loved. I would listen and imagine. She would read and act out the various characters with her voice.

imagination lisa cinar draw me a lion kids and art

A Life of Imagination and Art

In the winter we’d make potato stamps and drip wax on a piece of paper, then colour over it with water colour. In the fall we’d collect leaves and chestnuts from the park and make little figurines out of them with toothpicks. In the spring and summer my mom would set me up outside on the porch with some water colours and paper. No matter what time of the year, my mother and I had fun creating and looking at different little works of art. Art wasn’t something that was only done on a certain day; it was just part of life.

Many years later my location had changed several times, but some things hadn’t. I sat at a table in Vancouver making drawings while getting my BFA in Visual Arts. After graduating I wrote and illustrated two picture books of my own.

Inspiring Othersimagination lisa cinar draw me a lion kids and art

In 2010 I started I Heart Picture Books, a blog on children’s picture book illustration. I was soon teaching the subject at my former place of study, The Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design. When I started teaching, students would come up to me after class and tell me how much fun they’d had, and I realized how much fun I had inspiring others to be creative and use their imaginations.

I had found my calling, so I sat down and wrote a business plan. I wanted to create a line of prints, cards and activities to be enjoyed by kids and parents together. What better way to complete the circle? That’s how Draw me a Lion was born. It was created out of my never ending passion for drawing, colouring, and creating things, and my wish to inspire kids and adults to create images and stories on their own. It also came out of my strong conviction of the importance and benefits of creativity in any ones life.

We Need Your Imagination

imagination lisa cinar draw me a lion kids and artI believe that by being surrounded by art, making things and working together to create things, the imagination grows strong. This helps us to think creatively not just when it comes to our artistic endeavours, but life in general. A strong imagination helps us think outside the box. It lets us create new images, new stories and of course most importantly, new ideas! And ideas, as we all know, are priceless. My motto: We need your imagination! Who is we?; Only the world!

How do you nurture creativity and build a strong imagination in your own children? Leave us a reply and share your tips.

Lisa Cinar is the local author and illustrator of the picture books The Day it all Blew Away and Paulina P. for Petersen. She is also teaching three classes on the subject of children’s book writing and illustration at The Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design. Recently she launched an online-shop called Draw me a Lion. It carries limited edition prints, colouring posters, postcards, cards, and a very cool ‘Story Activity Kit’. Everything in the line is lovingly designed and assembled by Lisa herself and printed in the Vancouver area.

View Comment (1)
  • This is exactly what I have tried to do, and what my parents did with me when I was growing up. They gave us the opportunity to be creative and left the rest to us. They provided the materials and the space to work freely, and never dictated or limited what we could create. That sometimes meant a messy “rumpus room,” a tonne of paper snippings on the floor, missing tools and nails from the workshop, outside stuff coming inside, and things strung up, taped up, tacked up and sewed up that really shouldn’t have been. They gave us “real” clay, paint, tools, scissors, indian ink, material, colored wires, cardboard and lots and lots of paper. Then they gave us information, trust and quiet encouragement. Yay Mom and Dad! I love you both…
    – Melissa Bennett Knights

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Established in 2009, is an online resource providing urban, hyperlocal information on what to do and what's new for families in Metro Vancouver. 

© 2021 Crisp Media Inc.

Scroll To Top