Our third child is in preschool this year. Every day we’re presented with a stack of new masterpieces – art and craft projects from the day.
Our older kids know the routine. Bring your work home, let Mom and Dad see it and tell you how wonderful it is, but most of these projects will end up in the trash.
Their work is not “trash,” of course, but when your kids are bringing home the equivalent of the entire collection of the Butler Museum of American Art, it’s hard to know where to put it all.
Enter my new favorite app: Artkive. Like some of you, I was a parent wracked with guilt every time I closed the garbage-can lid on their newest creations. With Artkive, I simply lay out the artwork on our dining room table, take a snapshot, tag it with some information and store it in the Artkive cloud.
If you have several Pablo Picassos in your family, simply open the app “Account” section, click “Manage Children,” and add more kids.
The Artkive app is not free ($4.99 in Google Play or iTunes), and there’s a charge for additional services. This app is absolutely worth the investment.
Tagging the artwork with identifying information is an important feature in Artkive. You become the family’s museum curator. Once an artwork is captured and tagged, Artkive places a “plaque” at the bottom of each image with the information you provide: which kid, what grade they’re in, the date created, a title (just like a real art gallery).
Truth be told, the title of the artwork is often the toughest part for me. I’m never sure if I’m looking at a horse, an airplane or a new Pokemon.
Of course, you could just use the camera on your phone or other mobile device, but then you run the risk of mixing their artwork in with the sea pictures you’ll never use, and probably delete. Only a handful of my images make it on to Facebook and Twitter. But they certainly never make it into a photo album.
Artkive can help with that, too. You can create scrapbooks and albums of their best work, or use the collections to torture your children when they’re teenagers. My plan is to pull out the scrapbooks when we meet new boyfriends and girlfriends.
Checkout some the sample books at www.artkiveapp.com.
Also, sharing their art with family and friends on social media takes only a few clicks.
Artkive offers a “concierge” service, starting at $149 or 50 pieces of art. Send Artkive your kid’s artwork and their team will professionally capture each piece and upload them to the cloud, create an e-book for you to review and share, and send you an 8.5 x 11 hardcover album.
Unlike other apps, Artkive has a very helpful customer service center at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re really lost, call their toll-free help line at 877-673-6043.
~ A version of this post appeared in the April 5, 2015 "Connected" section of The Vindicator newspaper.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is associate professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about social media and technology, sports and fans.