Kids and creativity

Austin Kleon recently posted two things that delighted me:

In praise of Garageband:

One afternoon a few years ago when we were bored, I showed my son Owen (now 6) how to make simple tracks on his little iPad mini, and ever since then, he’s been completely obsessed with the program. He spends, on average, at least an hour a day in Garageband. (He would spend way more if we didn’t limit his screen time, and we have to, because if we don’t he gets that weird zombie recording glaze in his eyes. [Musicians will know what I’m talking about.])

He has recorded 100s of songs. He started out, like most songwriters, covering songs by bands he likes. First, it was Kraftwerk. He came in one day after quiet time with this totally cool and insane version of “Autobahn.” Then he moved into parody. At my suggestion, he recorded Christmas versions of Kraftwerk songs. (“Christmasbahn,” “Trans Polar Express,” etc.) That was around the time he learned how to sample while looking for sleigh bells.

I have been searching for a way to get more Garageband in my life and I think I’ve found it. I knew my son would be useful for something. (Maybe we should follow Grimes and make an entire album on Garageband.)

A year of drawing:

My son Jules woke up on Christmas last year and started drawing. He was 2. (His birthday is in March.) […] I find it remarkable, at this point, how drawing for him still has nothing to do with the results. He does not care what you do with his drawings after he’s done making them. How he draws is intense and adorable at the same time: he will put down a few lines, and then stand back and shake while he admires them.

Fantastic that he already has his ‘great subject’—skeletons of all things. And the fact that his pile of drawings need sweeping up, there’s so many of them. Amazing.

Jules Kleon's great subject for drawing: skeletons

A pile of children's drawings being swept up with a broom

Author: Matthew Culnane

Sometime social and UX person working in education. Interested in food, books, music, others. Working out how it all works.