Meet Kathleen (Ms Artastic)
I am Kathleen McGiveron & I am Ms Artastic.
And there was once a time I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I almost walked away from it all.
Ever since I could remember, I loved Art. Whether it was obsessively drawing cartoons with books or T.V. as a kid or creating with clay in my High School Ceramics classes, I LOVED Art.
In 2007 I started my adventure at Emily Carr University of Art and Design where I dove deep into my passion for art and obtained my Bachelor of Visual Arts Degree. I focused primarily on Ceramics & Sculpture and graduated in 2011. From there I began showing my art in Commercial and Public galleries, getting my artworks into shows at modern or low-brow Art Galleries, trying to show multiple times a year.
At the same time, I went to Simon Fraser University, where I obtained my Bachelor of Education with a Secondary Minor (do we ever even end up where we think we’re going?).
I was SO energized. I was ready. I thought “This is it! This is my moment!”
Thus, I became a teacher and blended my passions of Art and Education together!
And YES, I still was making art & showing it professionally (because I am an Artist and that will never, ever change!)
However, I soon realized…
There weren't a lot of resources out there for Art Educators.
Now back then, there wasn’t a lot to get inspired by (well, it was very different from today). There were no Social Media Superstars to follow (because there was no Social Media). There were no endless resources on TeachersPayTeachers. There was no Pinterest mega-platform or Facebook Groups with communities of Educators.
What was there?
My Imagination. And offers to photocopy the photocopies in other Art Educator filing cabinets (which at the time I was thankful for as I had nothing).
But I soon realized that they were either over-photocopied with smears, out-dated, and they weren’t a reflection of my own teaching style or interests. Most importantly, they didn’t speak to the interests of my students who then became disengaged. As well, piecing all these things together only produced two things:
Disorganized art units.
So after spending the first years of my teaching practice scrambling random things from all over the place together in hopes I would engage the students and constantly feeling like I had no resources that were relevant, organized, clear, and engaging for my students…
My initial excitement and passion was depleting. My “This is it! This is my moment!” was turning to inward thoughts of failure.
I was tiring myself coming home from a long day in the classroom just to try and piece more together, to keep looking for freebies to download or get ideas from others and hope it would all fit. Afterwards, I had to mark and plan for the next day or next week or next month. I felt like I was running faster and faster and getting more and more tired but there wasn’t MORE momentum. I was stalling, I was exhausted, and not making any progress in engaging the kids.
I was missing out on all the important things. Like having time to make art, go on adventures, or even simpler: having my evenings and weekends back.
I was not making progress in the classroom. My piece-meal never inspired the kids. I felt like no matter how hard I tried to piece it all together, it was never enough. It didn’t engage the kids. I was always exhausted. I didn’t feel like I was inspiring the kids because the resources were no longer relevant and they didn’t reflect my student’s interests. I was always on the hampster wheel of trying to find art resources and lessons. I was constantly in search of art lessons and resources so I could keep up with planning.
That was exhausting. I was so tired. I felt like giving up. Maybe this wasn’t for me?
I made a decision.
I wouldn’t give up.
I would get super clear.
I would change how things were going… from constantly searching, always tired, and the endless rat-race…
And be that person with a cohesive art program. I would create Art Lessons that KIDS LOVED. That kids WANTED to make. That ENGAGED THEM. Let them EXPLORE, be CREATIVE, but also that taught them the curricular content.
I would be the person that creates new Art Resources relevant to the needs of both teachers and students.
To inspire kids with creative art lessons that THEY wanted to make and that reflected CURRENT times and interests and that were easy-to-use by other educators.
So I opened my blog, Ms Artastic, and started developing and sharing art lessons. I started making my ideas and resources available to other educators. From this I was able to get feedback from educators on their needs and wants for Art Educational Resources and Lessons and I took this feedback and developed, honed, and perfected my art lessons over the last 10 years.
And I work on refining, perfecting, and developing new art resources every. Single. Day.
I focus on developing Art Lesson ideas that are relevant to students. Art Lessons that are clear, organized, modern, and meet the needs of teachers while targeting curricular content, Artists, Art History, Themes, and the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.
And if you want to level-up your Art Ed game and dive deep, find programs, workshops, and the most comprehensive Art Curriculum…
…then begin your journey at the Artastic Collective, my collection of Art Resources that allow educators to develop their own path in Art Education.
I have transformed my own path from foggy to clear and comprehensive.
Now it is YOUR turn for a transformation.
Ready to Make some Art?
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