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Image by Tofan Teodor

ABOUT The Things I Do :) 
 

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I believe that art &  creativity shapes our world, fully and completely! 

I believe that art education should be recognized as essential subject within the curriculum so that all children are given equal opportunity to express themselves creatively each and everyday.  It has been proven that kids, teens and adults of all ages are happier people when they're given opportunities to express themselves in a nurturing atmosphere. Especially in today's lightning fast-paced world, young minds need a place to be creative, to be themselves while they express themselves at their own pace.  

I am continuously inspired by the great Leonardo da Vinci. He was born one year after the Age of Renaissance and because his parents were not married, was not permitted too attend proper education. Despite this lack, and societal rules, he chose to follow his heart and utilized his curious nature to discover the world on his own terms. 

 Creative  problem-solving is the way through everything...

My goal is for  kids to enjoy the process of learning and I fully encourage  individual expression. When it comes time for them leave the Studio , it is my hope that they are empowered by their accomplishments. As a child, perfection

 is often believed to be the goal, however it is the enjoyment-process of creative learning that is the way of traveling.  Adult brains assume the goal is only the outcome, but really it's only looking for fun! 

Kids and their creativity are our future.  So through my time with Serendipity Pre-Kindergarten, The Okotoks Community Programs and my Inspiration Studio I am grateful for the opportunities to teach children ages 6-108 and lucky to offer courses for creative adults ready and willing to jump in on the fun!

But What Do I DO??? 

My original work consists of a wide variety of mediums, subject matters, mediums and musings so I had to separate them by medium and by theme! Browse my many galleries here. There is much to see, and I'm always adding more:) Before the coronavirus pandemic, I was consistently hanging original art inside a local coffee shop, but now most of my work is on display inside my home. I don't currently have an online shop due to the amount of maintenance it requires and quite honestly, I'd prefer to simply have a chat online or meet in person or through video conferencing where I can take you on a virtual tour of my work. 

In late March 2019, I enrolled in full time 2 year Marketing Coordinator Diploma Program through The Academy of Learning Career College.and graduated in 2021!   

I have also teamed up with one Canadian-run, international online platform through Art in Canada for marketing to international collectors, both of which invited me to join their cause. With no commissions taken, I can keep my price points affordable. Original art is best viewed in person, so should you be interested in seeing a piece in person, or through Zoom you can set up a private viewing with me through my Studio. Or feel free to contact me through Social Media platforms:) 

Image by Pawel Czerwinski

My debut as a local respected artist came in 1990: Grade 9, at 15 I was asked to draw a commemorative portrait of a classmate who had tragically lost her life. It was completed in graphite, framed and hung prominently in the Okotoks Junior High today.  Shifting to my grade 12 year, I created a hallway mural depicting lockers slowly morphing into a road to symbolize the transition from school to the 'real world' which lead to my Art Award of Excellence from Foothills Composite High School.

Enrolled in Alberta College of Art & Design (now known as The University of the Arts) in the Drawing Program, gave me 4 intense years of high expectations, yet extremely inspiring professional arts education. In between semesters, I attended art markets, festivals and shows offering portraits and designing promotional material for local businesses 

At the end of my program, I earned my Diploma in the Visual Arts: Honours with Distinction. I found employment  as a graphic designer, muralist, portrait artist, cake decorator, gift shop associate and basically the go-to local artist. By 2001, I took a chance and offered three different courses to Okotoks Community Programs. Without knowing it then, I had actually embarked on my career as an art instructor! Those three little classes evolved into 19 years of teaching art classes, running fine art camps for a few years and of course, workshops for teens and adults at the Okotoks Art Gallery. 

In 2006 I achieved my Art Framers & Design Certificate and one year later, opened my Inspiration Studio to private art students that had 'aged out' of my Community Programs. These kids were seeking more one-on-one instruction and more advanced techniques that could not be accommodated within the OAG. Many of these students are now successful young artists in the fields of: Glass Blowing, Drawing, Painting, Film and Animation.

2008 - 2010 I joined forces with Master Silversmith and art teacher of many talents, Shirley Paradis teaching Fine Art Camps at The Okotoks Art Gallery.  2011's Fine Art Camps were run by myself along with Special Guest artists as my complements. 2012, I began The Fantasy Fine Art Camps through my Inspiration Studio until 2019 years running. In the complicated year of 2020, I ran three days of Canadian-inspired art camps at separated work stations. Wood Homes contacted me to run a week of summer camps  for their at-risk students. We spent most of our time outside to maintain social distancing requirements. Following the camps, regular lessons continued partially online and in-person. Restructuring of the entire Studio workspace allowed this to be acceptable measures to permit in  person lessons. 

The Studio has been host to Private and Public Christmas Parties, Show & Sales, The Cookie Contest, The Food Bank Tree, Rescue Foundations for animals in need as well as the Gingerbread Showdown and ISAFA Coffee Shop Shows.

 

Image by Tofan Teodor
My Volunteer Work began in 2003 with the Okotoks Arts Council

By 2003 I joined the Okotoks Arts Council holding a variety of positions to further the respect and recognition for the arts in Okotoks. Soon my skills as an artist and event planner were recognized and I became a major influence and contributor running arts and craft activities for The Okotoks Children Festival, and painting live on several OAC Floats for the Annual Okotoks Parade. Along with many other tried and true members, I brought in new people with skills I didn't have and slowly became their unofficial marketing and promotional designer as member of their new Arts Outreach Committee. I was involved in many other activities such as strategic planning, website re-design, social media management, marketing efforts, Volunteer Connector, managing their Showpass accounts, attending board development meetings as well as planning a few AGM's. I remained a faithful board member up until February 2020 at the OAC's AGM to allow some fresh ideas, members and to free up time to finish my marketing course. 

October 2017 saw my debut and to my newly discovered skill as an Event Planner and Market Director.

Myself and a very small subcommittee of passionate fans of magic and mystery, the Okotoks Arts Council's "Wizarding World of Okotoks." I volunteered to run the Artisan's Market and my duties grew exponentially. With no real experience in this role,  I found myself collecting, curating and coordinating a fairly large collection of vendors and artists. Our committee was fierce! So along with the committee, I also took on marketing the event on social media, designing registration forms, taking registration, booking the location and preparing customized signage. As the months, weeks and days crept along, it was time to place each vendor with a healthy amount of competition ... so I also made a Vendors Map for them to find their way. The event was an incredible success bringing 180,000 guests out to Okotoks to celebrate the magic created by J.K.Rowling and Okotoks saw an influx of income to the tune of $300,000.00!!! But that's not where the story ends... 

Image by Pawel Czerwinski

Here are a few of my events

Image by Tofan Teodor

The "Wizarding World Event" EXPANDS!