Meet Jean Van't Hul of The Artful Parent

Meet Jean Van't Hul of The Artful Parent

Julia Cho
Oct 23, 2009

We love seeing kids being creative in their homes, and that's one of the reasons we love Jean's blog, The Artful Parent. It both challenges us and inspires us to make creating art more a part of our daily lives. She's got really great information like, "Top Ten Art Materials for Toddlers" or "Messy Art for Homes that Don't Have Messy Spaces."

Name: Jean Van't Hul 
Location: Asheville, NC
Website: The Artful Parent
Kids: Maia, age 4, and Daphne, newborn

How long have been blogging and why did you start?
I've been blogging for almost two years now. Hard to believe! I started The Artful Parent in January 2008 partly to share the art I was doing with Maia and with my toddler art group. I wanted to make sure art was an important part of our life and blogging made me focus on it more. I was telling all these people I wanted to parent artfully – that I wanted to encourage creative expression, imagination, joyfulness, and a love of learning. Blogging about it all was a way to keep myself accountable to my intent and my values!

Tell us about the blog and your favorite things to post on:
The Artful Parent is a blog about the intersection of art and parenting. I write about our family and the art we do at home, about our favorite books, and about my own sewing and crafts. I've also interviewed lots of other artful parents and authors in the past and have started doing so again. I have three fun ones in the works that I'm looking forward to posting over the next few weeks.

What are some of your favorite blogs?
Two of my regular reads are SouleMama and Angry Chicken. They're both incredibly inspiring yet good at keeping it real. And another of my all-time faves is Gennine's Art Blog. I love her bird art. But there are so many wonderful blogs out there and new ones starting all the time!

What are some of the projects in your home you're currently working on?
Oh, I wish I had some fun home projects in the works right now. I'm mostly just trying to keep my head above water at the moment with housework and the new baby. And trying to keep art a regular part of our life. We did a watercolor leaf printing project earlier this week and have big plans for a pumpkin pinata.

You focus on art and parenting and ways in which they intersect.  Can 
you tell us one of your favorite ways to make this happen?
Art playgroups! I think all parents of toddlers and preschoolers (and even older kids) would benefit from a playgroup for themselves and for their kids. An art-focused playgroup is a great way for parents to connect, kids to get in some fun playtime with peers, and for all to share an art activity that you might not otherwise do. I started our Toddler Art Group after Maia's first birthday and we met weekly for a couple of years until she started preschool. And then again this past summer. We've done all kinds of art projects with the kids, including printing, collage, paper maché bowls, scrap wood sculptures, and just about any kind of painting you can think of, with body painting being one of the favorites.

So, everyone - go and do something fun and creative with your kids today! And go check out Jean's site if you need some ideas to get you started- head right over to Artsy Ideas to Get You Started!

Since our inception, we have loved hearing from all of our readers as well as reaching out to several in the blog community. You are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands all writing about your families, style and what makes you tick. To continue fostering this great blogging community, we'll be featuring close-ups of our favorite family and design blogs as part of our "Big Blog Family".

(Images: Since our inception, we have loved hearing from all of our readers as well as reaching out to several in the blog community. You are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands all writing about your families, style and what makes you tick. To continue fostering this great blogging community, we'll be featuring close-ups of our favorite family and design blogs as part of our "Big Blog Family".

(Images: The Artful Parent)

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