I’m surrounded by short little greedy creative people!
One sweet little girl brings a large cardboard box to me and innocently asks “Can I use this for my art?”
As I ponder my answer I happen to look over to the far side of the room to see my once neatly corralled cardboard pieces tossed all hither and thither...the box that did the corralling nowhere in sight. Wait...That was THE BOX!!
Another asks permission to get the abata de lenguas (tongue depressors), just as she is supposed to. “How many do you need?” I inquire.
Cuarenta (40) is her non-chalant answer. I tell her 20 is sufficient to start.
I barely catch one boy as he is starting to fill up a CUP of green paint to paint a match box. Green is his favorite color.
Another quiet but productive artist begins her evening asking me to use the white paper I guard preciously. “Can I use 5 pieces” ....si.
“I’m using another 2”....por supuesto (of course)....Half an hour later- she glides by holding up another 6 pieces.....She is making books for her parents.
Blank books with pretty covers. I wonder if her parents are ferocious journal-ers.
The boys who like “espumation”—a word THEY coined from espuma (foam-shaving cream) for their daily exercises in shaving cream exploration, dependably ask to add to their mountain of shaving cream. I quickly calculate the cost of the 29 pesos (about $1.50) can of shaving cream that I buy by the dozen, against relaxation, exploration, and learning color mixing.....I let them squeeze out a little more.
The kids show up in droves when Slime making is brought back into the rotation. Not just the kids who are at the studio each week, but kids who have fallen out of the habit of coming. Kids come with their cousins and neighbors in tow. And then there is the little girl who will positively DIE if she doesn’t get a chance to make SLIME...even though she just made some the previous day. We go through 1 gallon of white glue and 1+ liter of laundry detergent in 1 day of making slime. (Below is a picture taken the fourth day after Slime was reintroduced to the studio; there were 15 kids waiting for 30+ minutes a line (they bunched up for the photo) to come into the studio. At the time the photo was taken, there were 14 kids inside the studio.
At the end of each session, I give the kids a 5 or 7 minute warning that their time is about to be over. They respond with a collective “Awwwww-WWWW” More time, they want more time. Do I submit? No way! This girl’s gotta have her limits!
Who are all these kids? And how in the world did I end up in Mexico?
I am an artist and art therapist with a passion to change the the lives of kids in Cozumel, Mexico through the power of creating art.
If you are love art and kids join me on this exciting journey. I’m sharing it all here; every hope, every uncertain moment, every sweaty step, and each small victory. —anita yeh norrie