Talent is a gift you are born with, and developing that talent requires attention and purposeful nurturing.
This month’s Mom we Love, Rina Albert-Llamas tells us that ever since she could remember, she has always been drawn to design and that she has always loved to illustrate. Thus, she honed that talent by taking up art in New York, and thereafter started her own design company a year after she graduated. “Back then it was just a hobby,” Rina says, but because it was what she really wanted to do, Rina Design is now a growing business.
Asked what parents can do to nurture the talents of their kids in the visual arts, Rina says, “Aside from attending fun art classes like painting, drawing, and pottery, parents should expose their kids to other people’s art as well. In your travels - when you’re out of town or out of the country - make it part of your agenda to swing by a local art museum to explain art to your child. And it doesn’t have to be a museum – use the Internet to look at paintings and ask him which ones he or she likes. Try to figure out what their favorite mediums are – watercolor, oil - but expose them to all the mediums.”
Since it’s the season for gift-giving, we asked Rina the top 5 gifts she would give to a child who exhibits an inclination to the arts at a young age. Here are her gift suggestions:
1. Art book for kids
I saw some really amazing books and there was one, 13 Artists Children Should Know by Angela Wenzel, which would make a great gift. It shows samples of works by popular artists like Van Gogh, Da Vinci etc and explains in a very kid-friendly way who they were, why people love their art, and what’s distinct about their art.
2. A cute make-your-own storybook.
It allows you to write your own story and illustrate it also using paint and stickers. It’s a really good way to be artistic not just with drawing but also to develop kids’ imagination, too. Nowadays, I think kids rely a bit too much on the internet and on gadgets, so to encourage them to do things with their hands without the aid of something electronic is amazing.
I love blocks. They encourage you to imagine and build. I love seeing my kids’ blocks creations and the amazing structures they come up with using blocks.
4. Melissa and Doug Decorate-your-Own-Car Kit
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My son got one for his birthday, and he was so excited to do it. It’s a plain wooden car without the wheels, and comes with paint and stickers. First you paint it, then you put on the wheel, and the stickers.
5. Anything crafty
Anything that they can make something out of - something as simple as paint and a plain white shirt, or ceramic pot with paint – would be a good gift.
- Save used scrap ribbons and use them to make this festive design. - Craft paper is cheaper but still a tasteful alternative to wrapping paper - Add a Rina Design greeting card for your message.
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Tip # 2:
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- Use the pages of a glossy magazine to wrap your gifts. - Add a touch of elegance with a pretty ribbon and some berries … and a cute Rina Design card!
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Tip # 3:
Use scrap wrapping paper.
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- Instead of throwing away scraps of wrapping paper that are too small to wrap gifts with, use glossy magazine pages, then use the scrap wrapping paper as an accent, i.e, a band around the box. - Dress up your gift with a big Rina Design card.
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Tip # 4:
Use a brown envelope.
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- Use a brown manila envelope to “wrap” a small shirt, notebook, or anything relatively flat. - Put a band around it using pretty scrap wrapping paper. - Dress up with a pretty bow and a colorful Rina Design card.
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Tip # 5:
Reuse shopping bags from stores.
- Instead of buying Christmas gift bags, save and reuse those from your recent shopping trips. - Personalize it by gluing your child’s artwork to the front and backside of the bag. - Dress it up with a pretty ribbon and a Rina Design card.