ABOUT Me, Robin Thibodeau :)
Watch this fun four-ish minute video to find out just what I do, why I continue to do it and how I started! A VERY BIG thanks for her filming, editing and interviewing skills: Elisa Shigehiro! AND NOW she, with her team of three, is the WINNER of Best Picture of the Okotoks Film Festival's 48 Hour Film Challenge! WATCH HERE for "Yellow Crane" on YouTube!
I believe that art & creativity shapes our world
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.
Creatively 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!
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 from 2008- 2010. 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 now eight years running. 2020's summer camps are likely to look a bit different with regard to the coronavirus pandemic still being managed. Camps can be Double-Day, Triple-Day and Five Day Camps running five hours daily.
The Studio has been host to Private and Public Christmas Parties, Show & Sales, The Cookie Contest, and The Food Bank Tree! Food items and gift cards, are collected and then given to the Okotoks Food Bank in time for their family hampers initiative.