Like much of North America, it’s been really cold around central Ohio this winter. While I’m not a huge fan of playing in the snow, the sub-zero temperatures had me wishing I could run and play just a little, or at least walk to and from the car without feeling like I might loose a digit.
In hindsight it seems like more than mere coincidence that Disney’s blockbuster animated film of the year was Frozen. Did they consult the Farmer’s Almanac on this one? We haven’t seen the movie yet, but our young neighbor June has developed a deep fascination with all things Frozen this winter which she shared with me the other afternoon when we braved the elements and tromped down the road for a playdate.
June started out a pretty shy kid but has been coming out of her shell more recently. Her mother told me that she’s been talking to everyone who will listen about Frozen. Singing songs from the film. Acting out scenes. Dressing up as her favorite characters. On our visit, she sat me down for a page-by-page run through The Art of Frozen. All 168 pages. It’s a beautiful book worthy of anyone’s attention.
June’s dedication to her subject was inspiring. She pointed out aspects of the design process she learned from the book – how the characters developed in the minds and drawings of the animators; the environments they created and their Scandinavian inspirations. She pointed out the different media the artists used. And then she showed me her own artwork, inspired by, and embedded into the book.
I love this example of autodidactic art education. It is a kind of spontaneous activity not often found in school art programs. Reminds me of George working under the tutelage of unknown Lego and origami mentors on YouTube. Is there a space for such learning in schools? Or should it just stay at home?