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Creativity is something that many overlook and don’t even think of as something of importance. However, last week we met Pass The Crayon, a nonprofit organization that thinks otherwise and appreciates the power of creativity. Together with our artist JOHNman, they put together a show for refugee kids. But it wasn’t any kind of show…

“Every child is an artist”

Kids painting JOHNman's head
Creativity juices flowing

As Picasso says it himself, every child is an artist and this was the main focus of JOHNman‘s show. The character he offered for this performance, “BLANKO”, is an entirely white living statue. The concept is simple: “BLANKO” is a blank canvas! The children have to paint over the living statue in order to bring it to life. “What is more creative than asking people to help you create the character? ” shares JOHNman. It took only fifteen minutes for the children to cover him with paint and start painting themselves and everyone around!

“Creativity is a powerful tool that encourages us to think outside of the box and gives us the chance to discover an ocean of possibilities”
– Pass The Crayon

Little girl preparing paint
A little girl getting ready to paint

The organization behind this event is Pass The Crayon. It is a nonprofit organization that fosters self-expression through art workshops for refugee kids. The founders Sevin and Martin explained to us that their mission is to facilitate the integration of these kids by using art as a way of growing their social and emotional skills.

“At Pass the Crayon, we believe that artists have an essential role to play in society. This is why they are at the heart of our Organization.” Sevin reveals. Often, children have a total ignorance of their abilities or their talent. The presence of artists in the workshops helps them recognize their strengths and weaknesses in order to give them self-confidence. Thus, they also discover forms of creativity that they could never have imagined to appreciate before.

“JOHNman was a very good fit for our activities because he expresses a different kind of creativity by bringing performance art to Pass the Crayon.” she continues. Indeed, “BLANKO” is a very interactive show and it attracts kids of course, but adults too!  “He actually did this performance with us last year, and the people kept asking us to bring him back! That’s when we contacted Book a Street Artist and everyone said yes immediately.”

“Shy is the last word I would use to describe the kids.”
– JOHNman

JOHNman waving goodbye
JOHNman waving goodbye

Finally, let’s meet the artist!  When asked about his performance at the refugee center, JOHNman made something really clear: ” I’m not doing this to be nice or to say I did a good thing for refugees”. This is the second time he performs as “BLANKO” in the center and he couldn’t be happier about it. He explains that he is doing this simply for the fun! “I like to bring joy and fun and I’m in a good place to do that. I just hope it’s a happy moment for the kids and the people in general who live here”.

JOHNman is a performing artist and living statue from Berlin. Not only is he one of the best-known living doll artists in Germany, he also won the World Statues Festival For Living Statues Twice! His character “BLANKO” fascinates everyone and is much more than just entertainment. The soul of his show is the true interaction with the audience and in this case, the children.

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