Interview With Award Winner
The Cats Meow
Randolph Central School
When did you first discover your creative talents?
I have been creating and making things for as long as I can remember. When I was little my mom and I would read and write stories and illustrate them together. I have always loved making things. I made jewelry, Paper Mache, and things out of clay when I was in elementary school, then became obsessed with Fimo and making jewelry out of string. I had a pottery wheel and would pretend to be an Indian and make clay artifacts and jewelry out of seed beads. I think I discovered my love for drawing in the third grade. I loved practicing how to draw different things with drawing books and a cool caricature book I got from a book order at school. I went around town and took pictures and created magazines. I decided I wanted to have a career in art and making things when I was in the second grade and never changed my mind.
As an artist who has been your biggest influence?
My parents have been my biggest influence.... growing up they supported and encouraged my creative ideas. They provided me with the materials that I needed to make many different things and experiment with different mediums. They allowed me to make a mess with tye dye and all of my other art materials. My parents are both creative and artistic in different ways that helped me to think outside of the box as I was growing up. They were also "neat freaks" and perfectionists which helped me to pay attention to detail. Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Georgia O'Keeffe and Salvador Dali's styles have all influenced me over the years.
How would you describe your style?
My style is pop art meets kitschy with a vintage flair..... I love to use bright saturated colors and am constantly trying different things.
What persuaded you to be an art teacher?
My kindergarten teacher, Ms. Taylor, persuaded me to be an art teacher through the use of her creative projects in the classroom. Her creativity and enthusiasm was encouraging and inspiring. I wanted to have a job where I could share my love of art with many people.
As an artist and art teacher why do you feel art is an important part of a student’s curriculum?
As an artist and an art teacher I feel art is an important part of the student's curriculum because it promotes whole brain development, develops fundamental skills, and gives students a chance to think outside of the box or the "norm." Students always work past basic knowledge and synthesize or create a product. During the creative process students have to analyze and evaluate the materials, processes and background information going into their projects. They learn responsibility, flexibility and how to get along with peers through the shared use of materials and cleaning up. The best part about art is that it is fun!! Students love coming to art and learning in different ways. They can express themselves and their feelings through their use of line, shape, color and what they draw. Many students who are not academically successful shine in the art room. I love teaching art and cannot imagine how horribly different my life would have been without art. Creative minds are needed in every walk of life. Art is all around us, all of the time. Young artists never cease to amaze me with their imaginative projects. They are unafraid and put it all out onto their paper.