One of the reasons I’m excited about my new job as Executive Director at Art in Action is because of the unparalleled level of passion, support, and commitment for our organization that I’ve found is shared equally amongst our hardworking and talented staff, committed Board of Directors, generous donors, and devoted teachers and parents.
The amazing curriculum that Judy Sleeth and her team created over the years runs so deep…and aims so high. I’m an art history major and Art in Action students are learning about artists and concepts that I didn’t know until I was a sophomore in college. Kandinsky in Kindergarten? German Expressionism in 4th Grade? Really?
I was at an event recently and upon leaving, the organizer proudly said “You know…my children have Art in Action in THEIR school.” And I’ve heard that over and over again in the short time that I’ve been here.
I felt a natural affinity to Art in Action right away because of the profound impact that the visual arts had on my life, as I imagine it has had on many of yours. I started my career in art museums and, because my late wife was a contemporary art curator, I’ve had the rare opportunity to travel the world visiting amazing artists.
These artists, like many of those featured in our Art in Action lessons, created art filled with deep thought and made with incredible skill. But there was something else -- a way they had of seeing the world with an almost childlike curiosity. That sense of endless wonder never left them.
This provides an interesting parallel with a group of people that helps drive the engine that is Silicon Valley – Inventors. I spent the last 16 years working with inventors from the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and I’ve found that the parallels between art and invention are many.
The space shuttle astronaut Dr. Mae Jameson says that, “The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin…or even different parts of the same continuum…but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.”
And that is exactly where Art in Action lives. It celebrates…and encourages…and calls out human creativity. It activates a profound sense of wonder in students. They learn to see details that they didn’t see before. They learn to passionately communicate their idea. They learn to not fear self-expression or trial and error.
These are all skills that are critical to survival in our new economy. An economy that is driven by visual stimulus where being able to organize a web page, design an app, or a compose a YouTube video using perspective, space, color, and line will be incredibly useful. Where new inventions, products, and services will rely equally on technology and artistry. Art in Action is busy working to create a pipeline of students that are prepared for this new paradigm.
This year alone, we are impacting nearly 40,000 students. Many of those are right here in our backyard. But we also have programs in Oklahoma and Oregon…Alaska and Alabama -- because students everywhere deserve a chance to have the in-depth art education that Art in Action provides.
Our vision is that art education should be a central part of every student’s curriculum – alongside math, science, history, and the language and performing arts. Art in Action operates at the intersection of all of these.
With shifts in education moving toward a Common Core Curriculum that has room carved out for the skills that Art in Action delivers, a need for a future workforce that can communicate visually, and parents that are evermore committed to ensuring that their children receive the benefits that arts provide, we believe that there has never been a better time to continue to grow the impact of Art In Action in California and across this great nation. Because the next iPhone, Facebook, or Prius won’t just come from the mind of an inventor – it will come from the hands and eyes of an artist, too. We hope you will join us on our journey to bring the benefits and the joy of art to youth everywhere.Thank you.
Color makes me smile. I love the way warm fall colors give contrast to a rainy day or cool ocean hues relieve hot summer sunshine. I love a brilliant garden or a peaceful sunset. In art, color is my passion. Our new emblem, the color wheel, is the perfect representation of the joy and excitement Art in Action brings to so many children. In the past 30 years we have created an amazing program that opens the eyes and minds of students, inspiring creativity and visual awareness. Our technology-based world requires more sophisticated vision. Art in Action opens children’s eyes to beauty and variety, and helps them create a more colorful world. Our new mark reflects our achievements and envisions our future. Thank you to our many dedicated supporters, donors, school coordinators, docents, board members and volunteers for your wonderful contributions to building the outstanding Art in Action Program. Read more
Schools have changed since Winslow Homer's Civil War days, and today's children view their world from a vast perspective. Visual literacy is basic to a universal language. As students learn to observe a deeper level and analyze subtle messages, they prepare for thinking about complex issues and analyzing different viewpoints. Just as the new Common Core standards encourage Critical and Creative Thinking, Art in Action lessons have been stimulating for 30 years. Art in Action opens children’s eyes and engages them in active learning. Read more
Thirty years ago I shared my love of art with my daughter's kindergarten class when I showed the children van Gogh's painting of sunflowers. We talked about the flowers' personalities, and then I passed out red and yellow paint and taught them to create their own flowers. As a museum docent of many years, I knew that the lesson would be more powerful if they tried it themselves. But I had no idea how powerful that lesson would become. It was the beginning of the Art in Action Program, and this year, 108 lessons later, we are celebrating our 30th Anniversary. This month nearly 4,000 kindergarteners will paint those vibrant flowers and begin a lifelong love of art! Read more
Back to school reminds me of giving a shiny apple to my teacher on the first day of school. This tradition dates back to the 16th century when teacher's salaries were not enough to live on, so parents gave them food they had grown. The tradition continues, but today apples also remind us of the modern schoolroom with computers. The 5th grade Art in Action lesson about Winslow Homer's Civil War-period schoolhouse celebrates the idea of apples for the teacher and illustrates a time when barefoot children attended one-room schoolhouses. Today computers are basic to learning. As we celebrate our 30th year at Art in Action, we are proud of the many advantages of our curriculum, including the online lessons now available on iPads and cell phones!
Summer is a great time for families to visit a museum or outdoor sculpture garden. Sculpture is fun to interact with – walk around it, lie down and see it from below, and touch surfaces wherever it’s allowed. Notice the textures and how they are different from the surrounding landscape in the sculpture garden. After your visit, search the Internet or library to learn more about the sculptures. Create your own museum by collecting objects such as baskets, interesting containers, or your own artwork, and arrange them for others to see. Have fun building your own sculptures with found objects such as wood scraps, cans, small boxes, feathers, stones, or toy figures. Attach pieces with glue, nails, staples, ribbons, or yarn. Paint the sculpture or wrap it with cloth or paper for a different look. Not everyone has a nearby museum to visit, but the Google Art Project lets you get up close and personal with art from museums all over the world. Read more.
It is with great enthusiasm that I am writing to let you know about some exciting changes at Art in Action. We have grown tremendously over the last 30 years and are poised to expand our program to even more children. I have, at this time, decided to refocus my time and energy on curriculum development, which has always been my real passion. As a result, Art in Action will be hiring a new Executive Director. Read more.
Have you noticed that when you walk into a school with art on the walls, you have the immediate perception that this is a good school with vibrant thinking and creativity? Colors and shapes in children’s artwork make us smile. The children are proud of their art and they smile too. Art in Action transforms schools by stimulating innovation, building self-esteem, and connecting families to their school and community. Parents volunteer to teach or assist with the program, building friendships and a robust force with an educational purpose. As they help display the children’s original art in the school, local libraries and shops, parents carry the enthusiasm of the program to others in the community. Art is central, to the human experience, and when an art program becomes part of a school’s culture, it expands the impact of the learning experience. Read more.
Nearly 30 years ago I started teaching art lessons in my daughter’s kindergarten class. I can hardly believe that now more than 40,000 students are getting similar art lessons through the Art in Action program. As we approach our 30th anniversary, I understand why art is such a critical part of everyone child’s education: Art develops our creative and critical thinking, skills that not only increase student performance, but also make us happy! Art opens our minds to new ideas, new ideas to seeing the world more clearly, and to thinking about new ways to solve old problems. These are right-brain activities that are sometimes left untapped in today’s classrooms. The Art in Action Program teaches exactly the kind of creativity that engages children in using their right brain. Recent studies in neuroscience show what happens in the brain when we are thinking creatively. Read more.
Leonardo developed seven principles for thinking like a genius. The first is Curiosita, or curiosity, a universal gift, the human impulse to learn more. Expanding our natural curiosity requires determination – to observe more carefully, to ask hard questions, and to question again and again from different viewpoints. Art in Action discussions stimulate questioning, even in young children. Analyzing a masterpiece elicits questions about what’s happening in the piece of artwork and how it makes you feel.
Try this: Look at Leonardo’s painting, Lady with an Ermine, and think of ten questions about what is happening in the painting. We might be curious about who the lady was, when she lived, and why she was holding an ermine. Curiosity will lead us to wonder whether she really sat holding that ermine, what she was looking at, and what she was thinking. Read more.
This acceptance speech was given by Denise Shackleton, Board Chair, at the Diamond Awards on February 2, 2012:
"Art in Action is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. In that time we have grown from serving one classroom in one school reaching 25 students, to over 1,400 classrooms in 213 schools reaching 40,000 students. We are very proud of those numbers and we talk about those numbers all the time. The part that is more difficult to articulate is the impact art has in a classroom or on a child."
How do you measure the light in a child’s eyes when our Art in Action docent walks in the room? Or the gasp we hear when we unveil the masterpiece that we will discuss for that lesson. Is there a way to measure the pride or success that a student feels when they see their artistic creation displayed in an art show? And how will we ever measure experiences that develop creativity and critical thinking? We know that the business world values “creativity” and “out-of-the-box thinkers” but our test scores don’t reflect those skills. It is a constant struggle to show the impact that art has on the overall education of a child." Read more.
Pictures tell stories. If we find a full page of print, most of us skip it. We demand art - or at least graphics, to make the point. Students need to learn how to interpret and create compelling visual messages. What is the point of the picture? How does art help tell the story? How do we make sure our audience "gets it"? Art in Action students learn visual literacy, through looking at a variety of artists and styles. They learn to look more closely to "read" what the artist is trying to say. They become experts at expressing their ideas and their stories visually. They notice the way an artist uses color and line to direct our attention and to tell a story. Storytelling art is basic to 21st century communication.
We think we know what we see. Yet learning how to look carefully at art helps us see in new ways. When children learn to look closely at the way an artist has painted a tree, they notice more details in all trees: shapes, textures, and color variations. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell tells us that we must practice something 10,000 hours to become an expert. We spend hours looking at objects, but to see better, we must have some instruction along the way. A talented eye notices the subtleties. Examining a masterpiece, noticing details, comparing theories, and predicting outcomes are skills young adults learn through literature analysis. Our brains respond to subtle visual messages, such as body language. In Primavera, Botticelli painted his contemporaries in classical costumes, posing in positions that convey authority, contentment, and love. In our Program 8 lesson inspired by Botticelli, students arrange wooden manikins to express emotions. Read more.
Examining a masterpiece, noticing details, comparing theories, and predicting outcomes are skills young adults learn through literature analysis. But even kindergarten children grasp these sophisticated ideas and build their thinking capacity through the Art in Action Program. In the lesson inspired by Rousseau’s Virgin Forest with Setting Sun, children imagine entering a mysterious jungle. They contrast the beauty of the jungle with the impending danger of the lurking tiger. They imagine themselves in the painting and predict what will happen. They articulate their thoughts, consider ideas of others, and reflect on possibilities. A quality art education encourages curiosity and imagination, nurturing innovative, visionary thinking for the next generation. Through art, we exercise the right side of the brain. Read more.
Pissarro would be an environmentalist if he were alive today. His love of nature is seen in his keen observations and detailed images of the rural scenes and common people, and he believed that living in harmony with nature would make a better world. Through art he communicated his philosophy and ideas. A founding member of the French Impressionists, Pissarro wasn't even French. He was born on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1830, but lived most of his life in France. He loved to paint the French countryside, and his rural scenes balance the rich green tapestry of the farms with the figures of peasants working the land. Like environmentalists today, Pissarro sought a better balance between nature and humanity. A leader of the Impressionists, Pissarro painted with short, broken brush strokes instead of the smooth, invisible layers of earlier styles. In the 1870s, in Paris, Pissarro and the Impressionists defied the styles of the French Academy. Read more.
National Arts and Humanities Month encourages "all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives." Since the 15th century invention of the printing press, people have shared ideas through written words. Now new technology empowers us to use visual images to tell our stories. Great art, like great books, shares stories that delight viewers for generations. Marc Chagall was a master storyteller and wove his memories into his artwork. The Art in Action Program teaches students to "read" and "write" visually, and to think like artists. As children explore art, they learn how color captures attention, placement emphasizes a message, and line connects ideas. Art in Action teaches students how to communicate their own stories with art, and how to evaluate the ideas of others.
We comprehend distant peoples through their art. A current show of Balinese art in San Francisco features stick puppets, and as a child I played with just such an exotic figure given to me by a traveling auntie. The flowing costume and leaning posture danced at my touch, and my fascination with this puppet inspired my curiosity about the people of Bali. When children learn how to look at art, their eyes and minds are opened to a lifetime of curiosity. Years later I saw a lively Balinese puppet show with music and dancing, and I recognized stories I had discovered through my toy. Art entertains, preserves culture, and educates. Art embodies our thinking, and we appreciate the ideas of others through their art. Post a picture of your favorite artwork from other cultures on our Facebook page.
Squint your eyes until the details blur as you look at a landscape. Make a frame with your hands and move it around until you see an abstract composition. How would you paint this scene? Modern artists simplify a real image using the elements of art: color, line and shape, to create abstract images. Children respond naturally to abstract art and how it makes them feel. Kandinsky is considered the first abstract artist. When someone turned his painting upside-down, he didn't recognize it. Then he realized that colors and shapes are beautiful even if they aren't realistic images. Hans Hofmann painted color-filled canvases and taught generations of artists to imagine abstract scenes, interpreting their world through color, shape, and line. Collect some photos of abstract art this summer and post your favorites on our Facebook page.
Art surrounds us; intentional and serendipitous art surprises us, sparks our imagination, and inspires our sense of beauty. Discover public art this summer-sculptures in parks and malls, murals on buildings and the buildings themselves. While art in museums is controlled by a quiet, clean, carefully installed interior, outdoor art is dependent on our capacity to notice. Are we rushing to work, relaxing over lunch, alone or with friends? What makes you stop and notice public art? Would Picasso's Head in Chicago inspire your curiosity? Does Oldenberg's Bow and Arrow in San Francisco make you smile? Can Isamu Noguchi's Red Cube in New York City stimulate you to notice the stark surrounding architecture? Collect some photos of outdoor art this summer and post your favorites on our Facebook page.
Why is creativity important? Ashley loves art and science. She majored in biotech in college, but when it came to landing her dream job, the employer said it was her art background that made her stand out among the candidates. "We're looking for creative thinkers. Your art experience distinguishes you from the others," he told her. The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities recently confirmed evidence that art education improves test scores and competitiveness in the workforce. "Business leaders are looking for employees who are creative, collaborative and innovative thinkers." You can learn to think more creatively. In a recent survey, educators agreed that the Art in Action curriculum improves students' thinking, creativity, and cultural understanding. Art transforms learning by engaging students in expressing original ideas, as well as analyzing the ideas of others.
My childhood memories include fun visits to art museums. I loved seeing Gainsborough's Blue Boy stare at me from a high wall at the Huntington Art Museum near Los Angeles. I was fascinated by mummy portraits at the Getty museum, and mesmerized by the moving Calder mobiles at the LACMA. Visiting an art museum with children opens new worlds. They discover the way an artist painted, compare different artists' styles, and delight in choosing their favorite masterpieces. You can inspire your child's lifelong interest in art by exploring a museum together. Plan your visit by choosing some artworks in advance on the museum's website, or buy postcards in the museum shop. Then take a treasure hunt to find those works. Sketch a favorite painting. After your visit make a scrapbook and add to it on future visits.
Creative thinking inspires art. In the 1880s Degas was inspired by photography to add life to his painted horses by showing them galloping off the page. He had seen the action photography of Eadweard Muybridge, who had photographed Leland Stanford's horses to settle a bet. Stanford wanted to show that a horse could have all four hooves off the ground at once, a radical idea at that time. He hired Muybridge to photograph horses galloping, but in 1872, a camera could only take a single picture before being reloaded. Muybridge placed a series of large cameras in a line, each one being triggered by a thread as the horse passed. Stanford won the bet. More importantly, his innovative series of photos was the first step in the motion picture industry. Art inspires innovation. Let's inspire children through art so they can become innovators for the future.
March is Art Education Month. Make sure your child is getting a comprehensive art program, and celebrate his/her artistic accomplishments. Creating art is a private drama that becomes a public performance when the artwork is displayed. Colors and images communicate feelings, helping children associate inner feelings with their world, and bringing joy to others. Seeing student art exhibited builds confidence and self-esteem. When we display artwork at home or at a school art show, we help children connect their achievement to their creativity and to the appreciation of others. Excellent art education includes learning about artists and art styles, visiting art museums, thinking critically about works of art, creating art, and sharing it. Celebrate March with a display of your child's art.
Art education does more than let kids make pretty pictures. A good art program teaches children to think. Studies show that building critical thinking skills is the best way to improve student performance. A rigorous art program like Art in Action teaches children to analyze what they see, look for supporting evidence, communicate ideas, and create art based on their learning. Ellie didn't like art because she thought she couldn't draw. But in her fourth grade Art in Action Program, she discovered that artists like Wayne Thiebaud interpret what they see, and it doesn't have to look realistic. Ellie was inspired by Thiebaud to paint vibrant cupcakes with shadows that make her cupcakes look abstract. Through art, children can apply thinking skills that will enable them become inquisitive, open-minded, and expressive.
Maybe that's why some people don't recognize that a good art lesson teaches children to think. Educators are talking about whole brain thinking. Our children will need to be creative, critical thinkers as adults. This video by leading educator, Bernie Trilling, describes ideal learning. He is describing what happens in an Art in Action lesson. When you share an hour teaching an Art in Action lesson, you are also teaching the kids to analyze, solve problems, and innovate. What a gift you give!
Recently I stood awestruck in a room at the de Young Museum in San Francisco surrounded by paintings by Renoir, Degas, Monet and Cezanne. It has been a rare experience and one that I would wish for you and your children. In our Program Level 3 we feature The Dance Class by Degas; this painting is actually hanging at the de Young for a short while just waiting for Art in Action students to marvel at it. Viewing these paintings might be one of those amazing experiences that your children will remember forever. After all, isn't instilling the appreciation of art through art history a reason why we value art and participate in the Art in Action Program? With only a few more weeks of summer left, make time to share art experiences like this one with your family.
Transform summer with an exciting art project that will engage the whole family. Start with inspiration. Visit an art exhibit such as Impressionism at the de Young Museum or Shanghai at the Asian Art Museum. Then pick a favorite artist or style to learn about. For each artist, make a scrapbook or PowerPoint collection. Learn about their life, their art, and their world through books, websites, and visiting other museums that have "real" art by your special artists. Draw and paint in the artist's style; for example, try plein air (outdoor) painting, or Chinese brush painting. Learn a few art words from their language, and find clothing styles in the artist's time. Enjoy a celebration event to present the projects, such as cooking a French dinner or eating at a Chinese restaurant.
Congratulations on your wonderful Art in Action Art Shows! Children grow from seeing their artwork displayed. A child feels pride when she sees that you like what she has done enough to share it. Pride in performance encourages effort. He is rewarded for his achievement. He had to solve some problems such as drawing details, mixing colors, or balancing the composition in order to successfully complete his artwork. Success through hard work helps students set high standards. When her art is part of a show, a student discovers how her creative ideas bring pleasure to others. Creative art projects foster independent and resourceful thinking. Displaying student art in public places builds student pride and connects the entire community. Thanks to all the Art in Action schools for bringing quality art education and beautiful art shows to your students.
Art in the hallways is a sure sign that your school is special. It gives evidence of engaged students in an exciting learning environment. Art celebrates both the students' creative talents and the school's stimulating environment. Visit the annual art show at an Art in Action school and you will see a vibrant art community where parents have transformed a room into a museum of self-portraits, collage figures, abstract paintings, and clay sculptures. Learning through art transforms the way children think. They observe more closely, imagine other possibilities, and recognize divergent solutions. The Art in Action Program inspires all learning styles. Lessons develop creativity, problem solving skills, and critical thinking skills essential for success in the classroom and the workplace. As art transforms your school, notice how adults and children discover new possibilities and begin to think in new ways.
Remember how excited your child was to have you help in the classroom? When Mrs. Nelson taught the Art in Action lessons, her son David started to pay attention in class. He was proud of having his mom there. And she learned how David related to his classmates, how the teacher motivated him, and whom he liked to play with. Studies show that when parents are involved in school activities, their child achieves more, has a more positive attitude, and shows greater pride. The Art in Action Program is structured so anyone can teach the lessons - no experience needed. The lessons provide an art experience that enriches both children and parents. They develop skills and a love of art that families build on by visiting museums and creating art together. Parents report that they learn as much as their child when they teach Art in Action. Thank you parents for being involved.
March is Arts Education month. You and I know how important the arts are in giving a child a complete, both-sides-of-the-brain education. But sometimes art is seen as a frill, and is too easily cut from the program. How can you help get more art into our financially troubled schools? Try this: Tell your friends how art has made a difference in your life, and ask them why art is important to them. Art encourages creative thinking, problem solving, and learning through multiple intelligences. Tell other parents, teachers, and the principal how art has enriched your child, and make sure the school has a quality, sequential art program. With the current emphasis on testing and convergent thinking, we need to keep the art program active in order to develop divergent thinkers and imaginative children. Start a wave of support for the arts by sharing your own experiences as you advocate for the best possible education for your children and our future.
We are entering the Conceptual Age. Skills important in the Conceptual Age are finding creative solutions, conceptualizing ideas, and evaluating possibilities. To develop these skills, both sides of the brain need to work together. According to Daniel Pink in A Whole New Mind, "The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people...will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys." Art in Action is dedicated to making sure your students are prepared for the future by giving them the necessary skills - innovation, creativity, and imagination to ensure they are successful in the emerging Conceptual Age.
All children need an art education as part of their basic school experience. In his book Can We Rescue the Arts for America's Children? Dr. Charles Fowler states, "The need for literacy in English language, mathematics, science, and history is critical. But this objective should not allow us to overlook the importance of the arts and what they can do for the mind and spirit of every child. Educational administrators and school boards need to be reminded that schools have a fundamental obligation to provide the fuel that will ignite the mind, spark the aspirations, and illuminate the total being. The arts can often serve as that fuel." Visual art is the inspiration for writing creatively, illustrating science, documenting history, and constructing mathematical principles. The Art in Action Program helps teachers integrate the arts into their classrooms in a meaningful way. For example, history comes alive in 8th grade as students learn about the immigrant experience and then create their own mixed media personal narrative inspired by Chinese-American Artist Flo Oy Wong. Art in Action is committed to making art education a part of every child's school experience.
A great year at Art in Action is coming to fulfillment. We are so thankful to our Art in Action family and friends for all you have contributed to bringing art to children! We appreciate opportunities to work with so many wonderful parents, teachers, principals and volunteers. We are grateful for partnerships with public libraries for displaying art, to businesses for sponsoring our events, and to banks for hosting events and art shows. We thank foundations, corporations, and generous individual donors. Most of all, we are grateful for the wide-eyed wonder, curiosity, and excitement from children as they immerse themselves in Art in Action lessons. Thanks to all of you for the work you do! Your enthusiasm and thoughtful contributions bring vibrancy and quality to the Art in Action Program. We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year.
More than 10 million American children don't have access to art education. The arts are important in developing the whole brain and the whole child. Through art, children see the world around them in new ways. They think differently, and they engage in their learning with a unique energy and focus. Evidence shows that students with strong art programs do better academically and are more involved in their community. Today's students need to develop their imaginations to become tomorrow's leaders. Art in Action believes every child should have access to a quality art education. The new Online Lessons are rich with information and animations. They engage students and enable teachers to incorporate the power of art into the classroom. Help Art in Action bring art to more students by telling your friends about the program, volunteering in your child's classroom, and making a donation to Art in Action. Give a gift that grows with a child, enriching their lives and providing tools for success.
You are making a real difference in children's lives when you teach art! I believe that all children deserve to have a great art program as part of their education, because art engages their full minds, ignites their creativity, and develops their critical thinking. At Art in Action, we are changing the way art is taught with our new Online Lessons with thousands of pages on our new website to support the teaching of art appreciation, art history, and art skills. I am delighted that we can provide this amazing resource. Together, let's make sure that all children get a wonderful art education!
Art in Action is blooming. As we enter the 2009-10 school year, we have exciting new dimensions to help you bring art to your children. Inspiring workshops, empowering training, and stunning student art shows will enrich your experience. I'm thrilled to share our new website that you helped design, where the Art in Action Program has been brought to life for you online! You asked for on-demand training - here it is. You said you would like to add content - an Art in Action Wiki is in every lesson! You suggested a discussion board - please share your success stories and get ideas from others! Create your account and join us at the cutting edge of art education - illustrated to inspire your inner artist!