Creating Mini Artists at Jellybeanstreet

  • Preschoolers
    Mums & Bubs
    Parents Only

By: Lisa Wolff, ellaslist

I am certainly no art expert – I barely know my Monet from my Picasso. But I do have artwork in my house that is priceless- not even a collector baring wads of cash could pry it from me.

Priceless Wall of Art

It’s a wall in my kitchen and it’s full of my children’s art. These are scuffed white pieces of paper with blobs of painting or stick figures drawings all secured by bits of Blue-tack. Yes, I admit, some do get delegated to the bin and when things are getting a bit overcrowded we deport a few works to their new life as wrapping paper. But to me, this art is more precious to me than any ol’ van Gogh.

I had heard mums chatting about Jellybeanstreet. It’s a new concept in Sydney, where your kid’s art gets transformed by real artists into gorgeous canvas or poster prints.

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Making Toddlers into Artists

I love the idea of going one step further than my haphazard home-art wall and turning our childish splodges into paintings that I can proudly hang throughout our home. It would even make an amazing gift for grandparents.

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Priceless Wall of Art

I was certainly curious about the whole process so I booked a workshop for Gabi (3-and-a-half years) and myself with Jellybeanstreet (which only costs $30).

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Best to Book Soon

We attended our workshop in Forestville at the Community Arts Centre, which had plenty of free parking outside. There are also additional Northern Beaches workshops in Cammeray and Bayview. Each workshop is only limited to 8 children, which is why they sell out so far in advance.

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How Jellybeanstreet Was Born

Gabi and I met Lucy and Amanda who are the Creative Directors of Jellybeanstreet Northern Beaches. While they were setting up the paints, they told us how Jellybeanstreet was born when a South Australian dad and mum took one of their son’s fingerpainting creations and transformed into a modern canvas.

“After hanging the finished print in our family home, family and friends would comment on the print and ask where they could buy one. That is how we decided to create Jellybeanstreet to publish children’s prints online and donate the profits back to the children and different children’s charities.” Explains founders Ian and Marisa March.

Kids of All Ages But Perfect for Under-5’s

Most of the kids in our workshop were aged between 2 and 4 years old (although the youngest was 9 months). Lucy explained that the Jellybeanstreet concept is actually perfect for under 5’s because at this young age, kids are quite happy to dabble in ‘messy’ art. However once they hit big school, they are encouraged to draw ‘things’ which don’t convert as well into a professional canvas. However, the workshops are for kids of all ages and the hosts will often sit with the older ones and explain the concepts of abstract art to steer their creativity in the right direction.

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Jellybean Shaking Warm-Up

Amanda is a primary school teacher so she naturally takes on the chief-instructor role. The kids gather on the mat while Amanda reads a book about mixing colours, the kids sing some songs and boogie with a jellybean shaker. And now that we are all warmed up, it’s time for the fun to begin.

warm up

Finger-dots, splodges and stripes

Each kids sits on a stool around a table and are given a plate with blobs of different paint. Gabi immediately dives in and makes colourful finger dots all over the paper. Parents are encouraged to rescue the art before it becomes a smudgy mess. We could also choose our own paint colours if we had a specific palette in mind.

After a few minutes of painting, and before the kids started to lose focus, we were called back to the mat where Amanda demo’ed the next technique. Gabi got to use all sorts of weird and wonderful objects to create her finger art – balloons, toy cars, sponges, straws, lego and ropes. And I got to help out occasionally with a fingerprint here and there and dish out lots of enthusiastic praise.

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My Budding Artist

At the end of the hour, Gabi had produced about 10 pieces of gorgeous artwork, which would definitely have taken pride of place on our kitchen wall. Instead, a real artist will now take my daughters work and transform them into unique and professional works of art. I’ve already got a spot for Gabi’s masterpiece staked out in our entrance hall.

So What Happens after the Workshop?

  • The process from now is pretty straight forward. You pay a $29 deposit which covers the cost to have your child’s paintings transformed into three unique designs by Jellybeanstreet’s team of graphic artists.

  • You then get to work with the artist to customise the designs to suit your style and colour.

  • Once the design is finalised, it is posted on the jellybean street website for purchase. There are a variety of different sizes and formats to buy the art – ranging from an A3 poster for $49 to the Great Grandpa Bear framed canvas for $520 – and many options in between.

  • Then in a wonderful gesture of giving back, every time your child’s print is sold, up to 60% of profits will be donated to a children’s charity of your choice. You may also nominate 20% to be given back to your child to reward them for their artistic endeavours.

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Help! A Workshop is Sold-out and I am Desperate for Art

If you can’t get to a workshop (although that was a big part of the fun), you can send in your child’s art to be transformed. Also, if your kids just want to attend the workshop without the art purchase, that is completely fine too.

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A Party at Jellybeanstreet

The dynamic Jellybeanstreet duo, Lucy and Amanda, are also hosting creative birthday parties. Parents can book a private Jellybeanstreet Workshop for your kid’s next birthday party. This is something unique and special that you and your child will never forget! What a unique idea.

Book Your Jeyylbeanstreet Creative Workshop NOW

Check out their WEBSITE for more information, or BOOK NOW, as spots are filling up super fast!