Imitative or Iconoclastic? How young children use ready-made images in digital art

Sakr, Mona, Connelly, Vince and Wild, Mary (2015) Imitative or Iconoclastic? How young children use ready-made images in digital art. The International Journal of Art and Design Education . ISSN 1476-8062 (Published online first) (doi:10.1111/jade.12104)

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Digital art-making tends to foreground the inclusion of ready-made images in children’s art. While some lament children’s use of such images, suggesting that they constrain creativity and expression (McLennan, 2007; Szyba, 1999), others have argued that ready-made digital materials offer children the opportunity to create innovative and potentially iconoclastic artefacts through processes of ‘remix’ (Lankshear & Knobel, 2006) and ‘mash-up’ (Lamb, 2007). In order to further this debate, observations are needed to explore the different ways that children use ready-made images in their digital art and the various purposes that these images can serve. Adopting a social semiotic perspective, this paper offers an in-depth examination of five episodes of 4-5 year olds’ digital art-making that collectively demonstrate the diversity of approaches that young children take towards the inclusion of ready-made images in their digital art-making. The paper discusses these findings in relation to suggestions for what adults can do to support children to adopt a playful and critically aware approach to the use of ready-made images in digital art-making.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Version of Record online: 9 JUL 2016
Research Areas: A. > Centre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
Item ID: 19659
Notes on copyright: Attached full text: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sakr, M., Connelly, V. and Wild, M. (2016), Imitative or Iconoclastic? How Young Children use Ready-Made Images in Digital Art. International Journal of Art & Design Education. doi: 10.1111/jade.12104, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (
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Depositing User: Mona Sakr
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2016 15:29
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2019 19:16

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