A peek into Mysticeti's sessions with children ~
Mysticeti designs and facilitates sessions on art and storytelling with children between the ages of 6 to 12 years. Though each session has unique outcomes, all of them work towards our objectives of encouraging children to dream, explore and create.
Stripes is an art gallery created with children between the ages of 6 and 12 years at Kenzen School. The gallery showcases 70 artworks that represent the connection between the little artists' imagination, creativity, and the natural world.
While browsing the gallery, you will find four sections, each inspired by a distinct Indian art form. Visit the gallery to be amazed by the intricate patterns of Gond and Madhubani art, relive the joy of creating colorful dots in Bhil art, and observe the primitive nature of Warli art.
"Our art gallery pays tribute to the beauty of tigers. Just as the stripes of every tiger are unique, so is the artwork in our gallery.
- Parnika, Art Guide, Age 10
A little girl named India
'A Little Girl Named India' is a zine written by Kenzen School's young authors, aged 10 to 12. Inside its pages, you'll find their short stories and poems that express their dreams and hopes for our country.
When we first thought of personifying India as a little girl, I was very excited about what we could come up with. While we were working on drafting our poems and short stories in the classroom, I went around and asked my friends what they hoped to share through their writings. Here is what they said, and what you will find in this collection:
In ‘India’s Portrait’ by Naman, Parnika, Paul and Vrinda, you will read about what India looks like as a little girl.
In ‘India’s Name’ by Dheervi, you will learn about how India understood her purpose and started loving her name.
In ‘India’s Strengths’ by Aarav, Devansh and Luvya, you will learn about the qualities of India that make her strong.
In ‘India’s Affirmations’ by Ami and Prabir, you will read a poem from India’s diary.
In ‘India’s Home’ by Ishanvi and Riddhi, you will visit India’s beautiful home in nature.
In ‘Golden Bird’ by Aradhya, Manendra and Swati, you will discover India’s superpowers.
In ‘Hockey Champions’ by Cherika, Moallima and Shreyash, you will read the importance of gender equality and the values of being honest.
In ‘India’s Memory Box’ by Parnika, Vrinda and Yatharth, you will find all the things that India loves to collect from nature.
In 'India’s Travel Log' by Anugya, Dyansh, Saanvi, Zayn and Zariyan, you will find out about the places that India has visited.
- Editorial note by Suryansh
Illustration by Vishnu B
Create your portrait!
Requirements: Blank pages, crayons, pencils and pen
Prompt: Why do you look different from everyone? Make a drawing of your face and make it as accurate as possible. What is the shape of your face? What do your eyes and eyebrows look like? Is there anything special about your nose and ears? How many teeth do you have? What is the colour of your skin?
Once you are happy with your drawing, write 'I am different and I love me' next to your drawing.
Pranya's (age 7) portrait. She loves herself because she can roll back her eye balls and make her nostrils become big and small.
Anupriya's (age 6) portrait
Aradhya's (age 6) portrait
Dev's (age 6) portrait
Satvik's (age 7) portrait. He thinks he looks different because his eyes become big when he wears his specs and they become small when he does not wear his specs.
Create an abstract poster about your self
Requirement: Blank pages, crayons, scrap material, pencils and pen
Prompt: Think of a word that captures your inner self, focusing on qualities beyond physical appearance.. Does this word remind you of an object, memory, place or being? Make a collage about it with different materials such as leaves, twigs, beads, buttons, scrap paper and anything else that you find!
Suryansh, aged 12, thought of the word 'explorer' to describe his inner self and expressed it through this artwork depicting space.
Ehaan, aged 10, thought of the word 'kind' to define his inner self and expressed it through this collage of the mountains.
Create a collage of your favourite animal
Requirement: Blank pages, crayons, scrap materials, pencils and pen
Prompt: Look around you. Do you spot any shapes? Can you think of any shapes that your body is made up of? Now, think of an animal. Can you think of all the shapes that the animal is made of? Draw it.
Once you are happy with the drawing, use scrap materials to add some colour to your drawing.
Sagar's (age 7) lion
Dyansh's (age 8) fish
Spend a few nights with the sky
Requirement: A notebook with blank pages, crayons, pencils, apps for introducing astronomy such as Skyscanner
Prompt: Every night, before going to sleep, spend a few minutes looking at the sky from your window, balcony, lawn or terrace. Do you spot a star or a planet that you have not seen before? Can you guess its name (use the app if you need help)? Create a drawing of the night sky along with your new spotting.
Imagine the shapes and patterns that you could create by joining the stars!
Let's look at what Yashi (age 7) spotted ~
Yashi spotted the Orion, Big Dipper, Saturn, Mars and an unknown green planet in the night sky. Maybe she discovered a new planet before our scientists!
Create a poster of the future
Requirement: A blank sheet of paper (any size), colours
Prompt: Can you imagine what the world would look like in 2050? Will we have more machines and innovations? What would our phones look like? Will we be able to teleport from one place to another?
Think of an innovation that you would like to create to help nature in 2050. Create a drawing or story about it.
Let's see what Arya (age 11) created ~
Arya created shoes with a mini helicopter engine. With her shoes, she would be able to fly and water all the trees in her city.
Create your own hybrid animals
Requirement: A blank sheet of paper (any size), colours
Prompt: Think of your favourite animals. Try to combine some of their characteristics to make your own imaginary friend.
Let's see what Akshat (age 9), Lavanya (age 12) and Prakriti (age 11) created ~
Akshat's Dino-dinosaur can walk on land with the help of its strong legs and tail. It can also float on water with its tummy which makes its body buoyant.
Prakriti's Peabbit is a small anf fluffy bunny that can spread its wings to dance like a peacock when it rains.
Lavanya's Deko is a snake that can fly as high as the mountains.
Write a time capsule
Requirement: Blank sheet of paper (any size), pencils, pens
Prompt: Can you imagine what you would look like when you are 25 years old? How would you spend most of time? Will you have any hobbies? What kind of a person would you grow up to become?
Aradhya's (age 13) timecapsule ~
I will continue to have long hair and big eyes. I will be taller and will probably wear loose clothes, a watch and have many piercings.
I will have a job (not sure what). But when I will have holidays, I will travel and learn about the culture and history of many places. My home will be in a peaceful hill and I will decorate it with my own DIYs.
I will be calm and have positive thoughts. And I think I will be an introvert.
Finding Me is a peek into a child's world. It prompts young readers to think beyond their everyday reality, and form meaningful relationships with themselves and their surroundings. It creates a space for children to bring imagination and hope into their reality through art and storytelling.
Finding Me is a limited-edition book by Mysticeti which will be distributed in art and community spaces, encouraging children to believe in themselves.
About Mysticeti's friends ~
Stuti created Mysticeti. She is an art educator, storyteller and a researcher. She lives in Varanasi and spends most of her time designing creative activities with children. Her work has been featured by The New Yorker, MAP Bangalore, UNICEF and The Hindu, among others.
Kenzen School is an alternative education primary school in Varanasi. Founded in 2011, it cultivates the love for learning, exploring and dreaming in children.
Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) Bangalore
MAP Bangalore is one of the first digital art & photography museums in India providing unlimited access to the world of Indian art and culture. Mysticeti collaborated with MAP Bangalore to facilitate the session on Hybrid Animals with the children of Kenzen School
Sketch note artist
Anushree is an interaction designer and visual artist based in Ahemdabad. She is currently exploring storytelling through art for children.
Vishnu is a fine arts graduate. He lives in Trivandrum and spends most of his time experimenting on various mediums to make art. He is currently in love with 2D animation.
Shilpa is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. She lives in Scotland, where she spends most of her time curating an art gallery.