There are now hundreds of framed artworks from my sessions that are now hanging up in homes, all memories created with a 20 -60 minute art project that preserves the innocence of the child who created it and the interaction between them and their caregivers.
My goal is to foster the interaction between caregivers & children using the process of creating art. The process of creating art with a successful outcome, boosts confidence and self-worth to all participants. Plus, each kit produces a personal artistic memory for families to cherish, both in memory and a framed hangable artwork!
Who the Art Kit are designed for:
The Art Nanny Art kits are designed for everyone! It provided the NY mom relaxed fun mentoring time with their children . Right now the kits are geared to caregivers with children ages 1-8, organizations dealing with children ; Hospitals, group homes, schools, recreation groups & libraries to name a few.
The Art Kits will be offered in a range of different abilities, ranging the ages of participant from 1 to 100+.
The kits are also a well designed tool to help people suffering from a mental or physical disability, elders, any group home or facility with a day program. The success of the procedure makes it a great group activity to encourage socialization, confidence and self-worth. *Not to mention great display art!
I have the experience to teach multiple population simultaneously, individual kits are designed for all ages and abilities, a “one size fits all”. The Art Kit is Patent pending and is designed to allow participant to create at will, creating a uniquely theirs artwork, that will always be a recognizable theme regardless of artistic ability. It is NO a “Paint-by-Number”, the participant has full artistic licenses.
The Journey - How I ended up here. ( It is a read - but worth it)
As a little girl I fell into art before I even knew how to define it, I believe all children do this. They fall into a creative process naturally, exploring and discovering new ideas constantly. They have the freedom of innocence to be creative. Children are not intimated by failure, they are not hindered by the ‘I can’t’. As we grow into adults, some of us lose our creative innocence, and it hinders our creative process.
I learned this in middle school, about 6th grade when I was taking a studio art class. I wasn’t the best artist in the class, and I wasn’t the most popular either. Teenage years can be hard, as we all know, and being shy didn’t help. It was in the art studio, that we were allowed to be ‘us’. We didn’t have assigned seats, there were no absolute right answers, and there was no teachers constantly talking, so we could socialize. It was in that art studio that I learned to be myself a little more each class, I learned to make art freely, and it taught me that it was ‘o.k.’ to be me. No matter what art came out of me, there was only trial, never a judgement. I learned that art was not about good or bad, but trial and error - If it didn’t work, try a different way. This became the bases of my life.
The art studio continued to influence me as I muddled through my high school years. I took all the art classes I could. When I graduated high school, I was awarded an art certificate. I was surprised when my name was announced, I didn’t think much of it. Looking back now, I think it boasted my self actualization that art is about the process, not the outcome.
Heading off to college - with not a clue as to what I wanted to do - I signed up for Liberal Arts at Suffolk Community College. I signed up for a Graphic Design class, and switched my major quickly. I graduated with an Associates in Graphic design in 2001. It was a great base to have, and helped me to support myself financially ever since - But I learned quickly I didn’t want to sit on a computer all day.
I transferred to Southampton College for my Bach Graphic Design and Certification to teach art k-12. I taught my very first lesson at the old Parrish museum in Southampton. We were supposed to teach an art lesson in pairs for a class grade, but my partner never showed up. As nervous as I was, I had my first class to teach, so I went for it. This gave me a huge boost in confidence, teaching the class entirely on my own, allowed me to overcome the fear of failure. I graduated in 2004 with my certification to teach K-12 Studio Art.
I wanted to gain more experience teaching art, so I applied for a position at an Eastern Long Island Art camp as a counselor. To my surprise after the interview, I was hired as the Program Director of the camp. It was my job to plan the art lessons, configure materials and coach other teachers as to how to run a productive art session. I worked there for many years, learning through rial and error how to teach a class of multiple ages at once. The experience started to mold me as a teacher, and strengthen my ability to think on my toes.I learned that an Art class should ‘take you for the ride’! You can design a project, but if the class runs itself, creativity is not fostered as it should be! It is the creative ideas that will determine HOW the class is run, an art teacher needs to be flexible and have the ability to judge what the students can explore and what will deter the project.
In 2006, I returned to school for my masters in Art Therapy. This experience “sealed the deal”, art was not only about the visual outcome - but the process of teaching, creating and sharing it. The practice of using art as a therapy “put into words” what I have been discovering about art. My journey had made a full circle, and I was now prepared to implement what I have learned to the world. This is when I started to define art as “a visual language”, one just needs to know how to read and write art confidently to use it. I graduated in 2007 with a feeling of “now what, what direction am I going to take this.”
I threw myself out there, and landed part-time jobs ( all at once) in local schools as a sub, on a psych ward in the art studio, at a nursing facility for elders as a recreation therapist and facilitating Creative Art Therapy directives at a short-term drug rehab and detoxic unit. Experience was my game! Oh to be young and full of energy! I excelled at them all, and soaked up the education of experience teach had offered.
In 2009, I was offered an Art Teacher position at O.L.H. in Southampton, teaching kindergarten through eighth grade. It was a full time position, in an art studio all day. I was amazing, I was being paid to “play all day”, teaching art on an elementary/middle school level allowed me to hold onto that innocence to be creative. I learned how children & young people perceived art, and again strengthened my experience as to how to teach the process of creating.
I taught the younger students explore and discover what art is by testing out the materials. Little ones have little thought about the outcome, most of their attention is about the creation process. By 3-5th grade, they start to realize that art if a form of self expression, that art is a part of them, an extension of their self. They are more influenced by the end product when creating. They try ways before them commit to the process. They are proud of what they make and I have yet to hear the ‘I can’t’ from a k-3rd grader. There is no competition, or that one is better than another, they unconsciously accept that they are all different.
Not till 4th-8th grade do students become self-conscience of their artwork. They start to develop self-identities and it reflects on the aura of the classroom. The studio becomes a spot where students can create as well as reflect on what is happening around them. They use the art as a communication to express about their selves. They use the art to reflect on each other, they start to judge, and they start in with the “I can’t(s)”. It is at this time in their artistic abilities that makes a life changing effect. They can choose to indulge in the process and steer away from the ‘perfect painting’. Students tend to fight themselves, and decide to fail at the project before they start. I teach my students to make art, and enjoy it, not perfect it. It takes a bit of convincing, but most of the time, I can convey the message that art is about the process of creating not the final product. Students let go of the ‘I can’t’ and immerse in the act. This is my favorite part. The part went they become aware of their surroundings, and that the innocence to create is becoming hindered by everyday life. They are growing, but at the same time, they actually realize that they are changing, they are no longer innocent children. They are able to make a choice to be their unique self. It is at this time when students realize they are all different, that they all have good qualities, and not one person can be good at everything. They learn to respect differences. Teaching this life lesson thru art, is the root of my joy of teaching. I hope all my students take this into adulthood.
All people could benefit deeply by creating art. It is a therapeutic release, a stress reliever. Just like when a person is stressed, they are asked to talk or write about it as a release. The act of making art does the same thing. It is my goal, next in life, to teach teens and adults to express themselves using art. To teach people how to express themselves without the hindering ‘I can’t’. It is when a person can express themselves - be unique without the idea of failure - that they can truly experience life. Being one with the self and the ability to be unique, allows a person to fully be present in their everyday life. They learn to see things around them in a new light. Once this is realized, people learn that everyone is different and that life is full of trial and error. An error will lead to a new way of doing things, rather than a fault.
My goal when I left my position at the school - 6years later, with the birth of my second child - was as follows: “to continue to teach people about art, to spread the word that art is not only for ‘fine perfection artists’, but a tool that everyone can use to help reflect on themselves. I would love to start an Open Public Art Expression Program. Art sessions that would allow the everyday person to indulge in the process of creating art. I would love to create a space that allows everyone willing to create to do so and wipe out the ‘I can’t’.”
This bring us to ‘The Art Nanny’ - 2015 I never ment to fall into women's entrepreneurship! I was simply following my passion.
Being a stay at home mom, for the first time in my life, there was no schedule, no place I had to be outside of my family. I longed to stay creative and teach. I wanted to “get back out there” and explore. I booked a local booth at a fair - with the intention of doing “Walk-up Art”. I developed a fool proof project and went for it. It was the start of The Art Nanny Colorshield Art Kits. The response was overwhelming. Onlookers gathered around the booth in amazement, watching children create right in from of them. There was glow of confidence when the project was completed in a frame ready to take home and hang up. Children held up their project to show the crowd, as faces smiled in awe. The interaction between caregivers and the children was inspirational. Over and over again, I watched the sparkle that a memory was just created between them as the artwork was being developed. The way the parents said , “I’ll hold onto this to keep it safe” as they walked away, trying to grab the artwork from the child that refused to let go. It happened over and over.
This interaction continues to happen, in group settings, at “walk-up art” or in private Art Nanny classes. There are now hundreds of framed artworks from my sessions that are now hanging up in homes, all memories created with a 20 -60 minute art project that preserves the innocence of the child who created it and the interaction between them and their caregivers.
Currently new themes are created as I move along in this new chapter in my life. I am so happy to do what I love and have the opportunity to share it.
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