Inspirational Art Project—Nowhere to Go but Up! It all started with a graduation card idea. One of our family members was graduating high school this year, and like so many graduates this year, she wasn’t going to have a traditional graduation (thanks to coronavirus measures). So, her mom was hoping we could try to make it a little extra special and shower the graduate with love.
As I was brainstorming some fun card ideas, the closing song of the new(ish) Mary Poppins Returns movie (that my daughter basically had playing on repeat), “There’s Nowhere to Go but Up,” popped into my head. The movie’s final scene features all the characters carefully selecting a balloon from the balloon lady and subsequently—if they believe—being carried up into the air, to their overwhelming joy! I thought that after all that we’ve been through this year, that, indeed, “There’s nowhere to go but up!”
From that little aha moment, I’ve put together a couple of fun ideas—all of which my daughter has put to good use—for some pretty cute inspirational art projects!
“Nowhere To Go But Up!” Art Projects
That was my original idea. My daughter and I created a one-of-a-kind, hand-made graduation card for our family member for her 2020 high school graduation. It turned out pretty darned cute…
Framed Art as a Gift
And this got me thinking that this would make a wonderful inspirational art project to use in other ways. I think this idea would be great any time—but especially in 2020, as there have been what seems like an endless stream of disappointments for children and adults.
In fact, my 8-year-old daughter and I have used this idea in several different ways. First, as a graduation card, as I’ve pictured above. Then, my daughter made a beautiful piece of artwork for my sister and her family, showing all of them floating into the air with balloons in hand. They have had to endure a lot due to coronavirus measures, so my daughter made them this art project to lift their spirits. It turned out so cute and was well received!
Student Art Project
Finally, I created this inspirational art project with a small group of children at my Tucson art studio.
In each situation, it worked as a wonderful inspirational art project! If you’d like to do something similar, I have included the process in the images and text below.
Steps For Making This Inspirational Art Project
- Photo of subject/person
- Piece of paper
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
The first thing you’ll need for this project is a picture of your intended subject(s). If you use existing photos, look for pictures of the subjects in interesting poses (you can draw on an outstretched arm later if you need to). We looked through Facebook pages to find interesting pictures (so we could keep the final project a surprise).
Alternatively, you can stage the photo(s). For example, have your subjects pose standing on their tiptoes, or with one foot in the air, and with an arm outstretched above their head—basically, like they are holding a balloon lifting them into the air.
Next, carefully cut out the subject from the rest of the photo. Like I mentioned above, you can draw on arms if you need to later, so don’t be afraid to trim them off now if you need to.
Glue this cut out onto a sheet of paper…in an area that will be in the air of your final artwork.
Next, draw a balloon (or two or three) and add the strings coming from the subject’s hand. Color the balloons brightly.
Next, add more subjects and more balloons (if you want) and scenery (buildings, trees, etc.) on the ground far below their feet. Also, add a few clouds in the air and any other fun details you want!
Finally, add the inspirational message, “There’s nowhere to go but up!”
It’s pretty simple, really—and really fun, cute, and inspirational!
Thanks for making art with your kids!