Ahh, making art with kids.
There’s nothing like watching them work, fully engaged, creating something brand new. It’s a pretty great way to watch them grow.
If you are like most overworked teachers though, without a lot of resources, then I’m guessing you may have trouble doing this as often as you would like.
Well, I’m here to say that art needn’t be difficult to mix into your daily schedule, and can often support other classroom lessons too.
What you need are projects and materials that show off the best of what kids can do. And believe me, they absolutely CAN create art that takes your breath away if given the chance. You just need some inspiration that supports their amazing creativity.
As a former classroom art teacher with over 15 years of experience, my goal is to continue to create and collect projects that support this mission. It’s all about making art an everyday kind of thing, instead of just for special occasions.
— Kathy Barbro,
Author of “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids”
P.S. My first book features more than 30 arts and craft projects specifically designed to do what the Sharpie markers do best. You can read more about it HERE.
To learn more, here’s a recent online interview about how Art Projects for Kids came to be.
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I first earned my B.F.A. at Minneapolis College of Arts and Design, and then enjoyed a 20-year career in graphic design. When my son entered kindergarten, my career path took a turn.
I started as a volunteer art docent in his kindergarten class, and eventually became my school’s Professional Art Expert (a title for those with skills, but not a teaching degree).
I taught weekly K-5 classes and eventually added an after-school Art Enrichment program as well. After 15 years of teaching by day and blogging by night, I left the classroom to pursue my online art website at Art Projects for Kids.org. I currently work from home in Henderson, NV and love learning everything I can about the intersection of art and business.
- Have you always been interested in art?
Yes, I’ve been drawing and making things as long as I can remember. I have to credit a simple farm life upbringing, 4-H club and all, and parents who encouraged lots of interests for all her children.
- Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?
When looking for new ideas, it can sometimes feel like everything has already been done before. I find that if you can combine the things though, you can sometimes come up with a new and fresh approach. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, it’s worth waiting for.
- What was your favorite part of the job of being an art teacher
Every once in a while, the last student you would ever expect, would make something breathtakingly good, or creative. It was always a reminder to never assume who was capable of what, and great motivation for staying positive so you wouldn’t miss it when it happened.
- When did you start your site Art Projects for Kids? Tell us about the site and what you offer.
I started blogging way back in 2006, before it was a common thing, purely as a way to keep my growing collection of art projects organized.
In time, I started making my own teaching aids, thanks to my graphics background, but I couldn’t figure out how to market them. I had no interest in doing anything risky, like sell actual printed goods, and no money to invest in them even if I wanted to.
Eventually PDFs became a standard format, buying them online became a standard thing, and I slowly built up with my PDF Shop that now includes over 150 items.
- What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you and who was it?
If my schedule or projects ever start feeling like they are becoming too much, or overly fussy, I stop and ask myself if I am making things harder than they need be. I don’t know where I heard it or read it, but my mantra is just that. It’s the idea that a lot of the pressure we put on ourselves is totally self-inflicted, so why do it?
- What would you tell a young person about following their dreams?
It sounds cliche, but if you follow your heart, double down on the work needed to excel, and stay patient, something is good is bound to come of it. I’ll always believe that.
You can follow me on social media here:
Facebook: Art Projects for Kids
Instagram: Art Projects for Kids
Art Projects for Kids.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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