Despite being the best area in the country to raise a family, Nashville is known as a tourist destination for a lot of things that aren’t exactly “kid friendly.” Late night honky tonk concerts and peddle taverns are great for bachelorette parties but not so great for princess parties or early bedtimes.
Some of Nashville’s most instagrammable attractions are our murals. Even Taylor Swift commissioned one for her new album so that all the football fans could take their selfies during the NFL draft (marketing is weird). But aside from just happening to be in the area, taking your kids all over Nashville to take a selfie in front of a mural sounds like a giant headache and a hassle. So… why not just make your own?
Making The Mural
Many of you have chalkboard paint or chalkboard walls. This is a great chance to make your own “mural.” If you don’t have chalkboard paint or if you are renting and don’t have the chance to paint any walls, then you can do what we did and use butcher paper.
Butcher paper is great for a lot of kid projects so you may just want to have some on hand anyway, but at our house, the most common usage is to help prevent coloring where coloring doesn’t belong. But taping it up to the wall and letting the kids go nuts is one of the most satisfying ways to use it. In fact it is great for more than just murals. We tape it up on the wall and then stand against it, tracing our bodies similar to a chalk outline but vertical instead of horizontal. Then you can color and draw whatever clothes you want (we have girls). Or we draw Christmas trees and then decorate them with crazy decorations. You can even tape on real (non breakable decorations).
What To Draw
Now for the fun part! What would you like to draw? Some of you and your kids have about 1000 ideas and are good to go right off the bat. But for those of you who could use a little inspiration, why not look around the city itself? Here is a great guide to some popular murals, but try searching online or even your neighborhood for some lesser known murals.
But why limit yourself to Nashville? Murals are popular all over the world, from small town USA to the biggest cities, they are a great way to express local identities. Speaking of which, what is more local than your own home? What makes your home special or unique? How can you express the identity of your family through murals?
What If It Isn’t “Good” In The Classic Sense?
A 3 year old and a 1 year old live in our house. They are still personally offended by the idea of putting the caps on markers, even on the back so you don’t lose them. Our eldest just recently learned to draw a square but her usual art style is to just draw and then decide what it is afterward. (She inherits both her artistic ability and undying confidence from her father.) All that adds up to something that is closer to amateur graffiti than an actual artistic mural. But that’s ok! That’s the identity of our home at this point! Fun, messy life that makes no sense while it is happening but kinda looks like a picture after the fact (if you squint and tilt your head)!
Share Your Art With The World
Murals have become increasingly popular because of social media. As selfies have grown more common so have murals. But selfie taking has a little bit of a bad rap. Selfie takers are accused of being narcissistic and self centered. But adding a messy family of crazy kids to the mix negates that. Celebrating and enjoying your family with your family is a great idea! And we want to celebrate with you!