Learning From The Creativity Of Kids.
Updated: Nov 29, 2018
One of the best ways to stay creative is to consult with the most creative people. That’s why Mark Jones visits the St. Anne Elementary school in Seattle to interact with true unbridled creatives: kindergarteners.
The tradition started six years ago when Jones was invited to read for his son’s class. The Jones Advertising creative director decided to turn the story into an interactive lesson on creativity, for the kids and himself. After reading Chris VanDuessen’s “If I Built a Car,” a story about a boy who sets out to design the most spectacular vehicle ever, Jones challenged the class to come up with their own cool car.
All 25 kids contributed ideas for their own fantastic new car with elements like frozen yogurt machines and waterslides built in. Jones incorporated the concepts into the kid’s very own custom car illustration. The final drawing was such a hit with the students and teacher that Jones was invited back to future classes.
This year Jones read Van Duessen’s sequel “If I Built a House”, and 26 new kindergarteners contributed ideas for their very own “Flying Super House.” Jones’s final colored pencil drawing incorporates every idea the kid’s conjured up, from a room that rains dogs to a terrarium with butterflies and lizards. The illustration features 15 glass bubble rooms, six swirly slides, an octopus-shaped swimming pool and a retractable ramp that goes up if robbers come.
“It’s the perfect age for creativity,” Jones says. “The kids aren’t self-conscious about their ideas yet.” He also notes that as the kids get older they become more concerned about what their classmates think and they begin limiting their ideas. “It’s a great exercise for me as a creative director,” Jones adds. “No matter what idea the kid comes up with, I have to make it work. It reminds me to try to see the potential in any idea, no matter how abstract or crazy it might seem.”