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Friends of Trouva: Lots of Lovely Art

With its interactive art boxes for kids designed to encourage curious and creative play, Lots of Lovely Art is the independent brand here to save the school holidays.

"We are strong believers in the importance of creativity for the next generation"

The summer holidays are in full swing, meaning 6 long weeks to pack full of activities for children of all ages. It can feel like a mammoth task arranging a packed calendar of things to do for kids over the school holidays, but it doesn’t need to be. In need of some ideas? Lots of Lovely Art has got you covered.

Creating arts and crafts boxes for children inspired by iconic artists, LoLA was founded by sisters-in-law Alara and Selina based on the idea that process-based art experiences are an important part of children developing creative expression and analytical thinking - as well as being a great way to have fun.

So whether you need an ace up your sleeve for a rainy day activity, or something to occupy a spare hour or two at home, LoLA’s art boxes are your ideal solution - without a screen in sight. From learning about creatures big and small with the Awesome Animals box to taking inspiration from nature with the Noble Nature box, with over 12 years experience teaching art to children in workshops, LoLA has become our go-to forgiving kids a creative outlet.

We caught up with co-founder Selina to find out more.

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Tell us how LoLa began

"Alara lived in Istanbul and had an art studio/design shop/cafe/library space there for children for over a decade, holding workshops and teaching children art and art history. When she moved back to the UK, we brainstormed ways to support children’s creative thinking on a wider scale - we came up with the idea of ‘boxing up her brain’! The LoLA boxes hope to bring a regular experience of art into children's homes, in the easiest way possible - all the quality materials, instructions and inspiration arrive at your door in one magical art box!"

Where do you find your inspiration?

"We are strong (read: obsessive) believers in the importance of creativity for the next generation. We firmly believe in the power of creating for the sake of creating, in the importance of process art, but we also understand that children need guidance and a framework in which to do this.

This is why we believe being inspired by artists is such a brilliant way to teach children about art. It helps them understand different styles and techniques, and to see the courage and freedom with which these artists often acted. We want children to experiment with a variety of different art supplies, from acrylic paints to sculpting clay, as well as learn about lots of different inspiring artists."

"We believe that creative thinking is crucial for children to develop in the world they will grow up in, so different from the one we grew up in, or even the one we know now."

Which product is your current favourite?

"We love the Noble Nature box as it dips its toes into the ideas of flowers, water and trees - nature is such an inspiration for so many artists that there is such a wealth of brilliant art to look at. Such different styles; from Georgia O’Keefe and her huge flowers, to Hokusai and his printed waves, and Rousseau and his lush jungles.'

What is your brand's key ethos?

"Creative thinking. We believe that creative thinking is crucial for children to develop in the world they will grow up in, so different from the one we grew up in, or even the one we know now. Being able to think creatively and to be resilient will be key. We have already begun to lose the great benefits that creativity can bring to us. Ken Robinson’s TED talk on creativity in education is brilliant, or did you know that surgeons were instructed to do life drawing as part of their medical training to refine their insufficient motor skills?! So in all walks of life a creative practice can be beneficial.

Learning art also teaches children to respect others, find their voice, self evaluate, express themselves, learn from their mistakes, embrace diversity, persevere, have an opinion, appreciate beauty, envision solutions, innovate, develop confidence, problem solve and build cultural and global awareness."

What are your 3 top tips to keep kids occupied over school holidays?

  1. "Rather than attacking it all and feeling lost, we like to structure our day into sections - some outside play, some quiet time, some playtime, and some art time.
  2. Having an art corner where all the art materials, paper ect is accessible and where children can explore and get messy (in a structure that you are happy with!) is a great option. Add in interesting recycled materials, or daily prompts that may surprise them - a fly swat, an ice cube tray, a toy car, spaghetti for example - what can they create with these today? How can they use these new materials to make art?
  3. Being creative outside is one of the best things about the summer holidays! Here are some ideas we love:
  • Pavement chalk pictures - and then hosing them down!
  • Picking leaves and flowers and making a nature mandala
  • Going on a walk with a sketchbook and drawing a landscape we see
  • Making friendship bracelets in the sun
  • A play dough tea party!" Trusted Site