Inkblots and Room Otto

One of the nicest things that has even happened to me, EVER, is being picked by Room Otto at Aspirations School in California to be the artist they study this year. As Kurt Vonnegut would say, “Now if this isn’t nice, what is?”  At this Reggio inspired school, they pick an artist and explore that artist’s work in depth, and then have an art show at the end of the year to show their work and to auction off a larger collaborative piece they make together.

This is the first picture I received from Room Otto–this fantastic seahorse that is one of the best inkblot interpretations I have ever seen, from kids or adults alike!

Here’s a letter I got from the kids, with help from Ms. Natasha, Ms. Jenn and Ms. Sarah:
Dear Miss Margaret,
We are from Room 8, at a school called Aspirations in Carlsbad, California. We like making inkblots! Our teachers got your book about inkblots at the library. We read your book and it was really good. We liked all the inkblots from that book. We tried making some inkblots and we all liked doing it. We picked you for our artist for the art show because we think you are the greatest. We are making lots of different kinds of inkblots. We will show our mommy’s and daddy’s all our artwork at the art show.
“I like making inkblots because when we fold them, they turn into something we like!”
( Kendall, age 4)

“I like that we can fold the paper in lots of different ways.”
(Ames, age 4)

“I like the inkblots in your book because they are so beautiful!”  
(Violet, age 4)

“The dragon in your book is my favorite.”
Oliver, age 4
They sent me pictures from their final exhibit:

The beginning, where the kids are first learning about inkblots, doing single-fold black and white inkblots and learning about Hermann Rorschach.


The children of Room Otto wrote their names with ink along a fold of paper and folded the paper to make an inkblot image with their names, much like The Ghosts of My Friends, the Cecil Henland autograph book from crica 1900 featured in Inkblot: Drip, Splat and Squish Your Way to Creativity.

They asked me questions about myself and from this, and from a package of stuff I sent to their classroom, made this wonderfully flattering display–but first, the awesome questions:

“What is your favorite color of ink?” – Avery (age 4)
“Why do you like making inkblots?”” – Ames (age 4)
“Who’s your favorite friend?” – Trystan (age 4)
“What do you like to do Sundays?” -Olivia (age 4)

“Are you a mommy?” – Kendall (age 5)

“Who is your favorite artist?” – Auggie (age 5)
“What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?” – Riley (age 4)

The really nice display Room Otto made for me for their inkblot art show. I have printed it out and have it on my studio wall to look at whenever I have a crisis of confidence! Thanks Room Otto!!

The collaborative artwork they made to auction off at their exhibit is really inspired–this gigantic inkblot tree, with inkblot leaves made by the children, mounted on a mottled, sky blue inky canvas. So wonderful:

A collaborative inkblot tree made by Room Otto–check out the gorgeous subtle detail in the bark of the tree…

We love you and we think you rock!

Love, Room Otto (8)
And I love you, too, Room Otto. Congratulations on your beautiful, spectacular exhibit, your very thorough study of the inkblot form, and thank you for including me in your Festival of Inkblots. Special thanks to Ms. Jenn, Ms. Natasha and Ms. Sarah, too, for captaining the Inkblot Voyage, and keeping me posted all along with pictures and updates.
all the very best wishes,
Margaret Peot

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