This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Digital Art Portfolio

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Digital Art Portfolio

A couple weeks ago I decided it was time to go through big sisters art work--it was time to clean, purge and save.  It's hard deciding what art work to keep and what art work to toss as this becomes a battle between the sentimental artist mama vs. the I-don't-want-to-be-on-a-future-episode-of-hoarders mama.  But I think I've got a pretty good system and I thought I'd share for any of you who also face the same dilemma when it comes to saving (or tossing) your children's art work.

1.  I have PSP separate her artwork into two piles--a keep pile and a throwaway pile.  I let her decide.  It's her work and she knows what's most important to her.  If she's on the fence I gently remind her she can't keep everything.  To her credit, she throws a good amount away.  (However, it should also be noted that I definitely save some of my favorites from the trash bin.  That's the benefit of being the mama right?)  

2.  We go through her keep pile together and I tell her she can choose 5 to really keep.  The rest we'll take a picture of and put in her digital portfolio, then throw away.

3.  We put the 5 pieces of art in this memory keeper box we got her for Christmas.  It's nice to have a designated place for her work.  Eventually we'll go through that as well and probably parse those down to the ones she really, really, really wants to keep and take pictures of the rest again.

4.  I upload the pics, edit them a bit and add them to her portfolio.  We have a back-up hard drive to help make extra sure these precious memories are saved.

It's a good system for us right now and like anything it can always be revised if at some point it's no longer working.  I love looking at these drawings and seeing the detail and thought behind them.  I love seeing the progression in her work over the years.  Plus, I think it helps her feel like her feel validated knowing that her artwork is important and special to us too.  Which it is.

What's your system/philosophy when it comes to your children's art work?    


  1. Right now, my daughter is only 2 and I am saving EVERYTHING!! My husband hates it. I scan everything to the computer though. Every month, I burn a disk of all the pictures she drew, the pictures I took of her, the pictures she took...just everything her.
    The plan is that I will eventually not save everything, but I will buy a better scanner to at least always have that digital copy.

  2. Anonymous11:50 AM

    We used to do something similar to you (I've been really bad about just throwing things away without recording them lately), but we also will go through and make photobooks of her artwork, whenever one of the websites that do them (like Snapfish or Shutterfly) offers a free one. Then she has a hardcopy book to look through of her artwork, too.

  3. I love the idea of a digital portfolio. I already have a well edited memory box, and do take photos of things I'm sentimental about, but I often forget to 'organize' the digital aspect. Great system!

  4. Connie S.12:51 PM

    I've read your blog for a while, but never commented. I couldn't resist this time!

    My husband and I don't have any children just yet (fingers crossed soon!), but my mom-in-law gave me the most amazing birthday present years ago when we were just engaged. She gave me a scrapbook: each 12" x 12" page contained a wallet-sized school photo and an actual piece of his artwork from the ages of Kindergarten through 8th grade. It was such an incredibly personal thing for her to share with me-like giving me a little piece of his childhood, these pieces he proudly brought home to her.

    The digital idea is very cool. You could make a photobook from each year!

  5. You MUST go to this website! They can turn any kid's artwork into a stuffed animal/toy/doll.
    When my kiddos are old enough we're definitely going to use this method (probably once a year) to make their artwork "come to life"!

  6. Ok this has been on my list of projects to do forever. Instead I have an enormous stash of artwork that is under my bed that is getting out of control. I plan to do what you do but then make a book of all the photos through shutterfly or something so the kids can have them to look at

  7. Linda P.6:06 AM

    Great idea, Miggy!