Ok, so there’s a bit of a back-story to this one. The edited highlights: Like most kids, my daughter is fabulously creative. She draws for hours every day. Even if I had a barn at my disposal, I wouldn’t have enough wall space for everything she produces. And, cos she’s eight, EVERY ONE is a masterpiece in her eyes, the surreptitious binning of which will lead to the ‘you are a bad mummy who cares not one whit for my innermost feelings’ look.
So, I devised the most expensive method in history for cleaning my desk. It’s a free app for iPhone and Android called Galactic Fridge. It taps into your phone’s camera and saves all those masterpieces for years to come (and also assuages your guilt for binning the originals). Nifty, no? It’s also an amazing way of boosting your child’s confidence – there is nothing quite like the validation of seeing your stuff online. It’s the Tony Hart Gallery for the iPad generation. I was looking back over Tara’s stuff with her, and she can see how much she’s improved too – it’s a lovely timeline of her interests and development. And, it’s got the added bonus of being shareable. I don’t live close to grannies and grandads, so I can easily share the art-love with them using this little app.
Then last night, it won not one, but TWO awards! A gold and a silver at the Appy awards in Dublin! I mean, one would have been great, but two is pinch me time! So I’m in a little bit of a daze this morning. Possibly because I really wanted Galactic Fridge for my own nefarious ends. The long term ambition is for it to be integral to an online community, which I’ve been building slowly since the app first version came out. The goal is to encourage parents to see creativity as an aspect of education that is as important as math or language or science, and indeed, one that is central to success in any of the others; and to encourage children to aspire to great things using their creativity. They love Lego? Let them set out to design it! Can’t get enough gaming or fashion or comics? Equip them to make up their own!
Encouraging children to explore their creativity from an early age, but more importantly, to grow it as their skills develop is vital. I think that’s the stumbling block for so many people – their skills don’t develop at the same rate as their imaginations and they get discouraged and stop thinking of themselves as creative. It doesn’t have to be like that. I’ve been overwhelmed by the offers of support I’ve had from creative professionals who are willing to contribute to this community (built, it’s worth noting, on a fabulous WordPress base) – it’s clearly a subject close to a lot of hearts. They all see the value of persisting with creativity. But I still need parents and kids trying out the app and coming back to me with feedback. It’s free and fun, and your input will be instrumental in building something that will help create a new generation of creative geniuses. Search Galactic Fridge on iTunes or Android Market Place, and get YOUR Galactic Fridge started! (And if you don’t have kids or grandkids, please pass this on to someone who does!)
* Snowie the Space Kitty is Galactic Fridge’s mascot. Snowie is an inter-galactic traveller who goes from star to star helping various aliens with their ideas and generally having a fab old time of it. He’s a cat….They’re like that!
c/o The Afterlife
Dear Steve Jobs,
I just wanted to let you know that my eight year old finally saved up enough money for an iPad mini. I’m unsure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I admire her ability to stick with it for so long, putting all her birthday money and pocket money etc into an old jar. Even when her younger brother reached his (somewhat less ambitious) target several months ago, she managed to resist the temptation to break into the fund.
But here I stand, parent of a new generation, who are connected to everyone and everything in the world almost as soon as they can grasp a device in their chubby little fingers. And it’s daunting. This fear and worry is a part of the parental package that I could do without. I feel like one of those tiny communities who railed against bicycles, when they first enabled teenagers to travel greater distances than ever thought possible for the purposes of socialising, general merriment and possibly, activities that were frowned upon or dangerous and would lead to loss of reputations and/or lives.
Then I look at how my kids use these things – how much is opened to them by this connection. And I think back to the finite and very biased information that was available to me at their age. And that really is the key to this, isn’t it? Understanding the nature of the connections we make. Being prepared to interrogate and cross-check the information we find. Learning from day one that there is a universe of information, but a far smaller amount of truth.
So, now I’ve got to somehow open the door for this butterfly to find her way in this infinite new world….. and make sure that she doesn’t hit any fly-paper on the way out.
Wish me luck.
Every one! I need help! Not for me personally, but read on, and you'll find out.
Bear with me for the back story.
Mojo, as you may know, is a rescue kitty. It's my preferred method of cat-get. Considering Mojo's *furnomenal* stardom, he and I felt that it behooved him to help kitties who were less fortunate, and possibly less talented than himself.
This is research. In my world,anyway. I’m trying to find out if dogs or cats are cooler. So, clearly, the best way to do that is to create a Dogs Vs Mogs mash-up. Fool-proof, eh? And if my fool were liquor, I’d be 100% proof.
In the interest of scientific accuracy, I’ve taken exactly the same parameters for both test groups. The outcomes are surprisingly different. If you’d like to see more of my pet-culture mash-ups, go to my website.
So, here we go folks. Which of these remixes would you bite into? Or am I even scratching the surface? Vote in the comments please – Dogs or Mogs?
Just messin’ about… Love Japanese woodblock prints, and what with the whole Kendo thing…well, I couldn’t help myself.