In the mission to honor people who work with kids and moms with passion and dedication, Mommy me is so happy to introduce Kathy Barbro, a classroom art teacher and creator behind artprojectsforkids.org. She creates very engaging and interesting art lessons for kids. I love her work so much that I can’t wait for my little one to grow up and try them.
One day, I stumbled upon her work on Instagram and I instantly loved them. It’s so amazing that the art projects she creates can be easily learned and recreated by kids. They also seem to be very addictive as the themes of the projects are very innovative. I am certain kids will be engrossed for hours practicing them.
Let’s check out what she has to say about her experience working for kids and helping them get more creative!
Mommy Me : Tell us about you, your passion for arts and your teaching journey.
Kathy : 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 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). Weekly K-5 classes and eventually an after-school Art Enrichment program as well kept me pretty busy, to say the least.
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 now learning everything I can about how to run an online business.
Mommy Me : Where do you get inspiration for your art projects?
Kathy : When looking for new ideas, it can feel like everything has already been done before. I find that if you can combine ideas though, you can sometimes come up with a new and fresh approach to a project. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, it’s worth waiting for.
Mommy Me : What is the best thing about working with kids?
Kathy : Every once in a while, the last student you’d ever expect, will make something breathtakingly creative. It’s a reminder to never assume who is capable of what, and great motivation for staying positive so you wouldn’t miss it when it happens.
Mommy Me : Does creating arts come naturally for a person or can one excel at it by learning?
Kathy : I’ve never figured out if some people were just good at say, drawing, and then pursued it, or if they pursued it first, and then got good at it. There are probably many examples of each, so if you need inspiration for yourself, I’d just take on whatever idea is more motivating.
Mommy Me : What are your other interests apart from teaching arts?
Kathy : My new home in Henderson, NV happily has a much larger kitchen so cooking has taken on a new importance in my life. There isn’t much better than having a good homemade meal with the ones you love around you, that’s for sure.
Mommy Me : It’s so nice of you to help build a school in Haiti through your work. Can you tell us about that?
Kathy : About ten years ago, I got an email from a stranger, which ended up affecting my life in a way that I never would have expected. The message was from a woman who shared that she and her friends had used one of my murals when they went to make art with orphans in Haiti (not too long after the 2010 earthquake). Learning about this ambitious group that was actually doing something for those in need, really intrigued me. I jumped on board with them, helped raised money and supplies and joined them on their second trip. That visit was an eye opener, to say the least. I was struck by the tenacity of everyone I met — all who had difficult lives even before Mother Nature made it harder still. The children’s joy in having outside visitors come and spend time with them though, was so infectious that I was hooked. I went back on three more occasions, and have stayed in contact and tried to raise funds and awareness for them ever since.
Mommy Me : How is teaching creative arts different from teaching other subjects like Science and Math?
Kathy : I believe that the arts are all about self expression. And because science and math deal with facts and rules, those subject matters are about as different as you can get.
Mommy Me : How can parents help inculcate interest in arts and painting in young children?
Kathy : Try establishing some space where children can go to easily access art supplies, and work at their own pace. The more they discover, the more likely they are to continue with creative interests, even if they just turn into hobbies.
Mommy Me : What is your favorite piece of work so far and can you share it with us?
Kathy : I guess it would have to be Van Gogh’s work, because it just has so much life to it. “Starry Night” is probably his most famous, but the color in his Sunflower series is what I could look at all day long.
Mommy Me : Can you tell us about your blog/website and your products and how kids can benefit from them?
Kathy : 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. PDFs eventually became a standard format, and I slowly built up with my PDF Shop that now includes over 150 items.
Mommy Me : How can teachers and parents get the kids your art tutorials?
Kathy : Just visit www.artprojectsforkids.org. I have a Gallery page that shows you all my tutorials, which you can download individually for free, and then a PDF Shop with many drawing and projects ebooks for sale.
I really appreciate Kathy for her time and contribution to Mommy Me. I hope you enjoyed her interview as much as I did.
If you are someone who is passionate about working for a better lifestyle of children and moms, do write to firstname.lastname@example.org. The world needs to hear your story. For more details, read here.