You know what I love about artistic expression? The diversity of it- I love how we all have unique ways to express ourselves. Your creative outlet might be light years away from mine. My son’s artistic voice can sometimes be like his personality- quiet and a little reserved, or sometimes it can be loud and totally out there. He likes cardboard and creates sculptures, and houses, and multi-level command centers out of it. Or sometimes he just likes to draw the logo of his favorite football team. I myself am a totally addicted doodler. I doodle all day long, on everything around me. One day I started really thinking about creative outlets, and thus: the art table was born.
I have a semi-formal dining area and an eat-in kitchen in my house, and we really are not formal dining room people so we really never used the semi-formal space. I started to think it was the perfect spot for a creativity hub- a place to organize our boxes and crates of art supplies that I had stashed in various closets around the house (making it hard to find that green pipe cleaner you desperately need to finish that project). I put up a cube bookcase and organized all of our art supplies and then started shopping for a table. I finally found one that was perfect- a plain white table- absolutely nothing fancy about it. I also found some awesome bright colored stools that were perfect for it (super simple and totally affordable). I brought it all home, set it up and put a cup of permanent markers in the middle of the table; declaring it free space for whatever you want to draw. Only one rule: respect other people’s drawings.
Every person who has come into my house has added something to the table- it’s become our cornucopia of doodles. All of our friends and family have contributed- my son had a birthday party and him and his school friends spent a good hour drawing on it. One nephew was a pinch too small to use permanent markers on his own, so I worked with him and made a picture out of his traced handprints. I keep a clear tablecloth over it most of the time to protect the art, as it had started to wear off a little bit- eventually I plan to cover the top with a clear varnish. But that is once we run out of room, and no matter how hard I try to run out of room I find I can always squeeze something on.
It’s more than just our art table too. It has become our homework table, our school project table, our game table, our puzzle table, the Lego table- a table where we can spend time together doing endless amounts of things. I have to say it is a piece of furniture that I absolutely cherish, and not only because it has become a doodle documentary of family and friend history, but because to me it is a symbol of open expression and acceptance.