For the latest post in Bumby Blog’s Creators Series, we spoke with Eza Borchardt, the woman behind our favorite natural paint and non-toxic art supply company: Le Petit Matisse.
Some of you may have already had the pleasure of discovering Le Petit Matisse’s beautiful paints and expertly crafted brushes in your Bumby Box.
But for those of you unfamiliar with the company, Le Petit Matisse produces non-toxic paints and art supplies that allow your child to safely explore their inner artist.
Eza (who has nearly 20 years experience in childcare and early childhood development) shared with us what inspired her to create Le Petit Matisse, as well as practical tips on how parents can interact with their children through art.
Q. What inspired you to create Le Petit Matisse?
A. My oldest son, who was born at only 26 weeks. I've always believed that art greatly helps in the overall development during early childhood, so I wanted to help him to get caught up developmentally as soon as possible. However, because of his prematurity, I was very careful about exposing him to synthetic & possibly toxic substances. Unable to find any art supplies in the market that were safe to use with little ones, and yet performed well (just in case he created a masterpiece at 12 months), I decided to create my own. It took over four years to come up with the formulations as it is today!
Q. How did you come up with such an adorable name?
A. I LOVE France & Henri Matisse. So much so that I named my son Andre' Matisse (the name also means "Gift of God", which I found quite fitting given the circumstances of his birth). Le Petit Matisse means The Little Matisse, and the little guy in our logo is also my son :-)
Q. What place does art hold in your life?
A. A huge chunk! I grew up surrounded by it. Not just fine art, but folk art, regional art, music, dance. These are all amazing art forms that enable us to express ourselves in ways that words can't.
Q. In what ways have you shared art with your children?
A. Since the closure of our studio in 2015, their exposure has been unfortunately reduced. However, we still have our art books library, and they have art materials openly available to them so they can use as they please. So what if they get a little paint or crayon on the wall? That can always be painted over... but the experience they have at that creative moment is priceless. I also take them occasionally to museums.
Q. What are some ways parents can teach and interact with children through art?
A. I believe that children are not taught art, they are born knowing it. What we adults consider "art" is very different than what kids produce...except abstract art - some works of adult artists out there, I swear could have been done by my toddler!
Parents can interact with children by being there IF they need assistance, and to show how a particular supply or tool is used. However, I encourage parents to allow children to lead their art discovery sessions. At our former studio I always suggested these six points to consider to ensure a pleasant experience for the child:
Q. Do you have a favorite artist or work of art?
A. I like pretty and/or harmonious and colorful things. That's how things look in Brazil, colorful! Some of my favorite artists are Henri Matisse (of course), Miro, Chagall, Kandinsky, Rothko, and so many more.
To learn more, check out Le Petit Matisse's website. You can also find Le Petit Matisse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!