In our world we are lucky to come across many a creative mama, but when we discovered the founder of LiTTLE HANGS, Virgina Venn, we were completely inspired by her gem of a business idea – to give new life to the piles of kids’ artwork that had amassed over ten years of motherhood – artwork that was stored under beds, on fridges, and in boxes.
We uncovered just how this Sydney mother of three harnesses her own children’s creative spirit and talk to her about the transformation of children’s artwork into reimagined pieces that tell a story and provide an anchor point for family connection.
Who’s in your tribe?
My 3 kids, Jake 14, Jesse 12 and Lili 9, partner Jody, family in Perth and a handful of incredible friends, all of whom keep me feeling loved, supported, grounded, understood and inspired. They say you’re the sum of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, so I figure that means I’m a little bit mad, independent, textured, fiery, colourful, courageous, creative.... and I love my food, yoga, sport, the ocean, and a good belly laugh.
Tell us about how LiTTLE HANGS originated, what was the inspiration behind its inception?
Do what you love! Sounds easy enough; after years and years of working out what that means to me, it came down to something very simple. I’d always wanted to do something with my growing piles of kids’ artwork but never knew exactly what that was. 10 years + 3 kids worth of artworks under beds, in storage boxes, folders, on fridges, I gathered it all up and began getting it all ready to photograph and prepped for its new life.
I learnt to use photoshop and started arranging the images, colour blocking certain pieces or combining 10-20 of them together to form montages. In some pieces I would find tiny sections of texture or colour then reimagine that into a larger single abstract piece using a high res scanner. These early pieces became beautiful pieces of art for my walls, all created by my own kids! Each time we looked at them, I realised they were, in essence, a road map of my kids’ pasts, a reminder of their development and the things that have impressed upon them.
I received so much beautiful feedback about my own custom printed and hand framed pieces, that friends starting asking me for their very own LiTTLE HANGS. And so it began.
As a mum of three, how have you harnessed your own children’s creative spirit?
I really have. From a very early age, all 3 of my kids enjoyed nude backyard arts + crafts, hours upon hours spent finger painting on butcher paper, sketching, making mud pies, cloud gazing, dress ups, dancing, music, cooking - you name it, they did it.
As a passionate photographer and creative, there has always been a space for each of them to experiment and explore. As they got a bit older (and my sleep deprivation really kicked in), I rolled the dice and started taking them to art exhibitions, galleries, food festivals etc. The windows were brief (often ending in tantrums- theirs and mine), but I do think encouragement early on helped to shape their creativity and foster a love and appreciation of the arts.
You talk about the process of transforming children’s artwork into timeless pieces of art as providing a point for family reconnection. Tell us a little more about this realisation?
Today it’s more important than ever to bring our families together in a space that reminds us all that we are not just individuals transfixed by a screen, we are also a family, part of a community, a tribe.
In a world of increasing dependency on screens and technology and ever growing ways that kids become disconnected, these reimagined artworks became family anchor points for reconnection.
Each piece tells a story, a story of our children, a story of their minds and hearts and as I have come to realise, these are the stories that we need to be telling. It really is priceless seeing their little faces each time they walk past their artworks framed and hung proudly on the wall for the whole family to admire and enjoy!
What’s next for LiTTLE HANGS?
To continue sharing the stories of our children and finding new ways to give each of them a voice.
Our Little Worlds boutique collection of curated artworks, created by kids and reimagined by Little Hangs, will be proudly hung in spaces that can sometimes be scary for little people , including children’s hospitals, dentists and medical waiting rooms.
In 2020 LiTTLE HANGS will also be exhibiting children’s ink drawings, abstracts and illustrations for the very first time, as part of a range of new local community initiatives and projects providing a platform for our children’s stories to be told.
For more information visit https://www.littlehangs.com/