Thanks for your interest in CreARTive Sparks!
I am blessed to be an elementary school art teacher in Pleasanton, Ca. I teach K – 5th grade and our special needs children. It is the best job in the world, as I am also an artist who loves exploring art and doing it through the eyes of children is not only fulfilling, but FUN! I truly believe I have as much fun, if not more, than the students!
I built my program and curriculum with the goal of exposing students to as many different styles, mediums, and processes as possible. Within all this, I incorporate good artist habits and use of tools … always sketch with a pencil first (have a plan), place your name on the front of your art, etc.
I truly believe that art is not just about creativity. It is about improving problem solving skills, inventiveness, hand-eye coordination, and adaptation. While I love working with the students who have already discovered their artistic talents, I have a soft spot in my heart for the students who are still getting comfortable with their art skills. Many times the children who struggle for some reason in the classroom find great success in some form of art. The joy and confidence they experience when classmates and teachers alike “oooh” and “aaah” about their wonderful creations makes my day complete.
It is always exciting to see what comes out of each class and I am constantly amazed at the untapped talent. I encourage experimenting with their art and help nurture the development of their personal style. Fundamental principles are: 1. There are no mistakes! You can usually make something work and we will find a way. Sometimes they turn out better than what you originally planned – a happy mistake! 2. Never “judge” the art of others. We all interpret projects differently. Look at all the different styles of art! 3. Originality is encouraged. Sometimes I get great ideas from the original ideas coming from the students! What is art to one person may not be what you would like or would create, but we can always appreciate the perspective of the other artist. We also discuss how there is no “wrong” way to do art … sometimes the fun is in the adventure!
In my spare time, I create my own art and have explored all sorts of mediums … from watercolor and acrylic painting, to textiles, fabric dyeing/painting, sculpture, jewelry making, sewing and quilting. I believe this exploration is what makes me a successful art teacher. I am always learning too! I am a freelance graphic designer and artist and sell my creations through my company, Firefly Moon, on Etsy.com and in retail stores. I am proud to be the mother of 2 boys, as well as a wife to my husband of 29 years (!) and friend to many wonderful people. I am blessed.
I look forward to sharing CreARTive Sparks with you and hearing your thoughts and ideas!
Artfully yours, Laura Davidson