Colour 𝖬̶𝖾̶ ̶You – A Nostalgic Interactive Colouring Experience by Jessica Tanto

Creative Collections

This week in Creative Collections we have something completely new – an emotional, reflective, interactive experience created by Jessica Tanto that you can take part in from the comfort of your own home – a perfect activity for the weekend. Below is a step by step instructions guide on how to take part.

Jessica says “This might take a little effort to prepare but I promise that the emotion you feel will be worth it.”

Jessica Tanto: In Colour Me (2019), I traced my childhood drawings from when I was 5-7 years old and printed many copies of them. These copies were spread on a re-purposed gallery plinth for anyone to colour in using the colourless crayons that I’ve made and provided. The colourless crayons had 24 different scents ranging from leaves, orange, chocolate, ocean, burnt wood, and my least favourite–men’s perfume.

Documentation of Colour Me (2019) by Melbourne Film Studio
Click here to read more about Colour Me (2019)

Colour Me (2019) is a critique to the privileging of vision in galleries that is made so obvious by signs which read ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ and barrier poles to prevent us from experiencing the art through any of our senses beyond sight. As much as I’d want to relive this work and make it available for you, technology hasn’t enabled us to virtually send scent yet. Hence, I’ve prepared an instructive version that you can easily follow along using materials in your own homes and capture the nostalgic emotions of Colour Me.

You will need:

  • A drawing material (e.g. crayon, pencil, paint, pen)
  • Blank A4 paper
  • Your childhood drawing (if unavailable, substitute with another child’s drawing)
  • 30-45 minutes of your day

Step 1. (re)COLLECT.

Find a drawing you have made as a child (coloured/non-coloured ones). I would suggest ones you have drawn before the age of 7. If you do not have your childhood drawings, you may use a drawing made by other children or download my childhood drawings here.

Step 2. TRACE.

Trace your own childhood drawing on a blank sheet of paper. As you trace, notice how your hand is moving exactly like it did at one point of your life, years ago. Become aware of the lines your childhood self has created. Notice the bold lines they drew with confidence, and the lighter lines drawn with slight hesitation.

Step 3. STOP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS.

When done tracing, notice the elements that formed on your paper. Do you remember the things you loved as a child that influenced you to draw those elements?

Step 4. DIALOGUE.

Splash some creativity in whichever medium and however you want in response to the new copy of your childhood drawing. Some ideas include colouring them in, cutting them into paper figures, or making a music to accompany the scene depicted. Most importantly, respond to your childhood self freely, without striving towards a definite end product. When finished, reflect on the dialogue, exchange, or negotiation which happened on the paper between your childhood and current self.

I hope you enjoyed this mini reflective activity I have crafted for you. If you enjoyed it, please be sure to share it with your friends. Feel free to contact me through tanto.jessica@gmail.com to share your experiences with it, ask any questions, or propose a collaboration!

From Creative Collections, we’d like to say a massive thank you to Jessica for this amazing experience.

Once you’ve had a go at this experience, feel free to tag the Creative Collections Instagram (@collectivemagcreations) and we’ll share your drawings on our story!

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