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New brain research showed that creativity, social development and self-worth, are promoted through art. Unsplash

Children have an inborn ability to grasp and understand any subject better when it involves visuals. So art becomes a very important tool in improving their learning faculties. Art can also be the perfect stress buster for a brain that’s over worked, like for children, who can get fatigued by too much studying, belives Savio Mascarenhas, Group Art Director – ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ and ‘Tinkle’, a much-loved artist himself.

Part of the creation of some of India’s best-known comic characters like Suppandi and Shikari Shambhu, Savio describes himself as someone who firmly believes that comics are a gateway to an alternate universe. Growing up with a galaxy of characters from ‘Tinkle’, ‘Amar Chitra Katha’, ‘Target’, ‘Children’s World’, he says he subconsciously chose to belong and live in this Neverland. For the past 26 years, most of his time “is spent with Shambu and Suppandi and the legends and lores in the ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ world, I occasionally come out into your world to speak about mine.”

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At ‘Tinkle’, he was a partner in creating some amazing characters and comics — Mopes and Purr, the detective duo from Crawford market Mumbai, along with writer Reena Puri; Janoo and Wooly Woo, the good witch and the shy dragon, along with writer Vaneeta Vaid; Super Suppandi, a creation that exists only in the hyper imaginative mind of Suppandi; Adventures of Little Shambu, based on the childhood adventures of Shikari Shambu. He says Shikari Shambu is his favourite character that he has been drawing for the past 20 years, continuing from the legendary Vasant Halbe who created the character in 1980.

Art improves coordination and fine motor skills. Unsplash

Asked about the benefits of introducing children to art, Savio told IANSlife: “Over the ages it has been observed that we have got most of our learning from looking at nature and our surroundings. The colours and the shapes that we see have led to the formation of ideas and thought of poems and stories. And right from the time we are babies, we start with visuals which exponentially add to our mental development. Visual learning is a never ending process and we indulge in it all the time in our day to day lives.”

“So when a child takes a break and just spends time doodling, this could be a soothing way to relax the mind.”

At the ongoing WindMill Festival Virtual Funtown’s ‘Tinkle Art Room’ session, Savio is teaching some of the basics of doodling and creating one’s own character faces. Through that children will learn about creating expressions, different types of faces from different shapes and thus, using these they can create worlds of characters and stories around them. The Tinkle Art Room session at the WindMill Festival, organised by Event Capital and Tribe Asia, is a small part of the larger programme conducted at Amar Chitra Katha.

As kids complete art projects, they make choices about colours to use, and are able to develop decision-making skills to personalise their artwork. Unsplash

Why does art ensure good bonding time between parents and children?

“A simple thing like colouring a scene is a perfect way to share your affection with your child. It is about creating something beautiful that the entire family can bond with. As a family it is important to share your love and affection, what could be a better and more fun way than indulging in a colouring or drawing session with a child. This can expand and develop the child’s and parents’ imagination. Art can also help children express latent thoughts in the form of doodles or scribbles and when parents ask the child to explain their art, it can develop verbal skills. When art is experienced in this way, parents can learn more about their children and children can learn how to express themselves better and in different ways.”

Savio concludes by sharing ideas which parents and children can engage in at home in these difficult times, to help engage and bond creatively.

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“Art is the simplest way to engage with your kids. It’s not the ability to draw but its the idea of coming together to do something fun, and there cannot be anything more fulfilling than that. But I have found that there are many other ways one can bond with their children. Board games are another fun way of bonding with your child. A game of scrabble or Scotland Yard or the forever favourite Ludo, can create genuine bonding moments for a family. Storytelling can also be a very special activity to connect with your children. Its a beautiful way to express your thoughts and of course your imagination.”

Tickets for WindMill Festival Virtual Funtown are available on BookMyShow. (IANS)



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