Do you know that feeling when you are calling your child to come to eat and they don’t come, because they are playing some online game and they can’t? I have two sons, and this happened quite often in our home, especially with my younger son Adam. This was driving my wife crazy and so, she wanted me to do something about it as I am supposed to be the family authority. I was thinking a lot what I should tell him so that the solution would be permanent, and he wouldn’t start hating me at the same time. Finally, I came upon one technical solution.
I agreed with Adam to limit his access to the Internet on the router at specific hours. This worked immediately. Suddenly we started seeing Adam more often. He was only closed in his room but also came to see us. Yet what surprised me the most was the moment when I entered his room and saw he was making very nice things from paper. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me he was bored. He was without Internet connection, and so, he was creating 3D motorbikes and robots. He didn’t study as I had secretly hoped, but the fact that he was doing something creative seemed an acceptable compromise to me.
And then I thought there would probably be more families struggling with the same problem and that it would be nice to find some alternative for the children that would keep up with the times and wouldn’t make them unpopular with their peers; on the other hand, something that would help them to develop their creative skills and soul. And the idea of multimedia teaching books popped into my mind. Their main goal would be to lure the children away from games and bring them back to craftwork. A computer, tablet or a smartphone would only serve as a sophisticated manual. I managed to get in touch with artists who were full of enthusiasm for the idea just as I was, and we started working.
Here my story could end, if it wasn’t for one seemingly insignificant event.
To make sure we were on the right track, me and the artists were testing everything at workshops. I must admit I didn’t attend them personally at first, saying to myself this was more a children’s program, and I am not artistically gifted either, but then something unexpected happened. My mum celebrated her birthday, and, we were preparing everything was getting things ready, when we found out we didn’t have any gift wrap for her. All I found was pure white wrapping paper that was everything but festive. A few minutes before I left, I recalled what I had seen on a video from the workshop, and within five minutes, I made such a nice picture using dry pastel and a stencil that it surprised me. As you can guess, in the end my mum liked the wrapping paper even more than the gift.
And not only that. It captured her interest so much that she painted it, too. And although she had never painted before, she became so absorbed by it that she obviously didn’t paint only this one picture.
To cut a long story short, this event inspired us to adapt the lessons a bit and offer something for adults as well. With time, we could see the adults became just as keen on painting as children did, as all the pictures are easy to paint and you can relax nicely while working on them.
So, we have prepared three books you download for free, so that you could try some of the picture, too! I believe you will become just as enthusiastic and you will surprise yourself when you see everything you can do.
Founder, Continental Gallery
And, if some of you are interested how to limit Internet access, click here.