Art for kids: developing their creativity leads to greatness

Art for kids: developing their creativity leads to greatness

Children are naturally creative on their own accord. But if their creativity isn’t fostered, they begin to lose it as they grow into adults. Pablo Picasso famously said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

One of the best ways to encourage a lifelong love of the arts is to enroll your kids in art classes. There is an ever-growing variety of art classes available for kids of all ages. If you’re thinking about enrolling your child in one, you’ll be surprised that these types of classes offer much more than an outlet for imagination and play. Here’s how kids art classes help prepare your child for success in life.

1. Art helps improve fine and gross motor skills.

One of the most basic benefits of art classes, particularly for toddlers, is the improvement of fine and gross motor skills. Because there are so many different types of art – from painting to sculpture to drawing – a variety of tools and techniques are required. For many small children, the struggle is real when it comes to using and developing their tiny muscles to hold and use objects correctly. Art classes teach children how to properly hold a paintbrush, pencils or markers and build hand muscles while playing with clay. Older students will benefit by learning proper painting or drawing techniques, and even build muscle when learning to create more physically-demanding forms of art like sculptures.

2. Creating means learning to make decisions.

During the creative process — whether it’s through visual art, writing, or other activities — we often go through a stream-of-consciousness period at the beginning of a project, then go back and strategically make decisions, revising our ideas until we are satisfied with the finished product. When young children create, they go through that same period of stream-of-consciousness and are often satisfied with the end result. As they get older, however, and their personalities develop, their ideas start to become more complicated. And so they revise, making decisions to try to match the ideas in their heads. Through this, they begin to learn the consequences of their decisions, and how those decisions affect the creative process. Art is equal parts innovation and problem-solving. Through continual art education, kids are instructed to be more strategic in their decision making, which they eventually carry over to the adult world of work, relationships and home life.

3. Art teaches children to be more aware of themselves and others.

Part of the creative process in kids art classes is learning about different artists and the variety of methods those artists use to create their art. This means your child will learn about different artistic styles originating from around the world. But art classes also help your child understand different perspectives, and what the artist was thinking when they created their piece. It helps kids appreciate the different modes of expression others may have, to form and value opinions, to appreciate the beauty around them and how others interpret it. Art feeds open-mindedness and diversity in thought and culture, helping your child to thrive in a diverse and culturally-rich world.

4. Creating art teaches focus and perseverance. 

Making art is a process. As your child gets older, their creative visions will become more complicated, requiring more time, attention and technique to fulfill their artistic quest. They will no doubt get frustrated and want to quit at times. Art classes help develop your child’s craft and manage their expectations. They will learn that the creative process is something that’s developed over time, and that honing one’s skills and techniques doesn’t happen overnight!  Your child will learn to see their ideas through to the end, which is an important lesson they will carry with themselves for the rest of their life.

5. Art helps children express their emotions in a positive way. 

Perhaps more so than anything else, art helps children express emotion in a meaningful and honest way. According to a 2015 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, art activities help kids regulate their emotions so they learn how to control themselves when they are overwhelmed by anger and frustration. Kids gain a sense of confidence as they take the emotions they are feeling, acknowledge and process them into something visual.

There are plenty more benefits that you and your child will receive from art classes but we just covered the basics. If you want to enroll your child in a virtual art class, be sure to find the ones that will fit your schedule best.

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The benefits of a leisure activity – and how some people still don’t get it

The benefits of a leisure activity – and how some people still don’t get it

We wanted to share a wonderful article from Artsy. There are several lessons to take away from what transpired.

When I first learned that Seth Rogen had taken up ceramics, I was amped. As an aspiring ceramicist, it was gratifying to see a Hollywood star spreading the gospel of ceramics. And as an editor who focuses on creativity, it was inspiring to see such a celebrity promoting creativity’s therapeutic powers. I was dismayed, but not surprised, when Twitter trolls came for Rogen, viciously attacking his sweet vases and ashtrays. But I was more dismayed that there was a need to assess whether or not his ceramics are “good.”

Rogen debuted his ceramic creations in mid-April on Instagram. An avid ashtray collector, he posted an image of small, shiny smoking receptacles he made, suggesting he’d enrolled in a ceramics class to learn to craft them. But it was in late May that his pottery started making waves.

First, GQ published a profile on the actor-comedian, in which he discussed his newfound hobby. When the writer Caroline McCloskey joined Rogen at a Los Angeles ceramics studio, he sang ceramics’ praises while throwing a pair of ashtrays. “There’s something that’s so therapeutic about it,” he told McCloskey. “It’s like yoga, if you got a thing at the end. If you were doing yoga and then some object was produced at the end of it.” The following week, he shared a tweet and Instagram post, with an image of six ceramic pots, each one adorned with dainty blooms, and the caption “I made these little vases.”

 When some of the actor and comedian’s 8 million Twitter followers caught sight of his pots, several took it as an opportunity to intone Rogen’s reputation as a stoner. One wrote “You put the pot in pottery,” while others drew comparisons between the vessel shapes and bongs. But there was also an eruption of positivity—users deemed the vessels “beautiful,” “cute,” and “pretty.” Others shared their own pottery or celeb

rated the art form; “ceramics is the greatest!” one cheered. Twitter being Twitter, there were haters, too. One of the more popular negative reactions to Rogen’s pots called them “adequate” and “tasteless.” Rogen replied to the tweet, “I’m doing my best.” And that’s exactly the point.

Making ceramics is not easy. Anyone who’s ever spent time with a lump of clay on a pottery wheel knows that the process comes with myriad challenges—from centering the clay, to getting it off the wheel intact, to finding peace with the reality that your pot could explode in the kiln.

As I’ve written before, we’re living in an age when it can feel incredibly daunting to pick up a hobby, as Rogen did. It’s no longer enough to leisurely pursue running or cooking or knitting. It can feel impossible or pointless to do something just for fun, in a mediocre way. We’re pressured to accomplish milestones, hone our skills, and document the progress on Instagram. Because of this, it’s difficult to wrap our minds around the idea of making art that’s not “good.” But you don’t have to master painting or pottery or any other hobby to reap the benefits of practicing it.

In a September 2018 op-ed in the New York Times about a recent decline of hobbies, author and Columbia University law professor Tim Wu suggested that the daunting nature of hobbies is pushing people to sink their time into social media and streaming TV and movies instead. And as a result, they’re missing out on the virtues of leisure activities; they can make us happier, calm, empathetic, and more creative.

When it comes to making art, research has suggested that such activities can improve our mental health. But even so, the fear of making something inadequate that our peers might find ugly or pathetic is very real. For many, this traces back to childhood—a teacher or classmate who poked fun at our earnest scribbles. To get over that hurdle is a matter of trying new things, landing on something you enjoy, and pursuing it regularly. That’s not to say you won’t feel vulnerable in the process—you probably will.

This is why Rogen’s “adequate” ceramics are so great. Intentionally or not, the actor was telegraphing a message to millions of people: that it’s possible to make art in a leisurely way; that trying your best is all that’s required; and that it’s therapeutic. By condemning his ceramics, or even just picking them apart, we’re making it far less likely for others to want to pick up creative hobbies of their own.

Casey Lesser is Artsy’s Lead Editor, Contemporary Art and Creativity.

Here is the article on their site





How to Decorate With Ceramics

How to Decorate With Ceramics

From The Paint Your Own Pottery staff: We were asked by Redfin to share insight into decorating your new home with pottery. Enjoy the blog and all of the wonderful ideas! 

How to Decorate With Ceramics and Bring Your Interior to the Next Level

February 10, 2021 by Julia Weaver

Dating back thousands of years, pottery has always been a popular form of artistic expression in ancient and modern societies. This art form not only creates vessels for holding liquids or serving food, but it also doubles as decoration -an increasingly popular choice for styling your space.

Decorating your home with handmade creations that tell a story and bring personality into your space means so much more. Coming in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, it can be hard to know where to even begin decorating with pottery. We’ve asked artists, from Philadelphia, PA all the way to Sacramento, CA, to share their best piece of advice on how you can easily decorate with ceramics and bring your interior to the next level.

Consider the space you’re working with

Do you need a single item or a group of items? Think about how your new piece could reflect your own style. Are you a calm, methodical, quiet being? Or, are you an adventurous, colourful, wild being? Look online and choose a reputable ceramicist that really loves each piece, feel a connection. Search for videos of the process of making pottery so you can really get to know the passion that comes from making. Once you’ve chosen your piece, remember to measure. Sometimes your vase or bowl can be a lot larger or smaller than you anticipated. I hope you enjoy your piece of pottery as much as I enjoy making it for you. – Karen Easter Ceramics

Have decoration that lasts generations

Pottery is one of the longest-lasting and greatest long-term storage of value in art’s history. This is because of the material’s unique ability to last through long periods of time. Additionally, since ceramics are oftentimes more affordable, this is a great opportunity to add something to your collection that will age well and become more valuable with each generation. – HomeMade

Learn from the artists and create your own pieces

Make your new house feel like home by displaying hand-painted decor and dinnerware. Visit your local pottery studio to create functional, personalized pieces. It’s a fun and relaxing activity – and all supplies and creative assistance are included. – Paint Your Own Pottery

Think outside the box

Begin decorating your home with handmade ceramics by finding unique objects that are not traditionally made with clay. End tables, lampshades, stools, cat toys – these can all be made out of clay and there are makers that do it. You will surprise and impress others when they find out that more than your planters are made with ceramics.  – Mouse Ceramic Studio

Ceramics tell a story about your home

Including hand-crafted ceramics is one way to add texture, character, and a story to your home’s decor. We strive to bring beauty and life to everyday tasks through timeless handcrafted creations that are modern, feminine, and refined in detail. Our aesthetic is classic at its core but purposefully ever-evolving. Elevate your space by including a signature wavy bowl on a kitchen island or coffee table, a ring dish on a bathroom vanity or next to a kitchen sink, or one of our match strikers next to your favorite candle in a guest room. – Susan Gordon Pottery

Find a piece that you connect with

Look for ceramic pieces that sing to you, those that resonate, those that are not easy to digest. You know when you have found one of these precious pieces when you continually trace its lines with your eye, when you turn it around and around in your hand, when you make a place for it to live with you. – Summer Hollow Pottery

Consider function, use, and placement

Do you want decorative or functional pieces? If functional, do you want to use the pieces every day or will they be for special occasions? How do you want to display them? On a coffee table, in a sculpture nook, or in a display cabinet? The type of clay that pieces are made from can drive your choices. For instance, stoneware is more durable than earthenware. Raku vases, while beautiful, would not function as a flower vase because the clay is porous. – Kaleidoscope Pottery

Get creative as you display the art

Regarding ceramics, I swear by white vintage stoneware with time patina. I really like to stack them on top of each other when I can, to give them height and perspective, whether pots, plates or tureens. – Brocante Ma Jolie

Begin collecting purposeful pieces

Handmade ceramics offer a unique opportunity to decorate the home with objects that are not only beautiful, but purposeful. A large platter can be enjoyed every day adorning the wall, instead of occupying valuable cupboard space between uses. A charming pitcher on the counter comes in handy for watering plants, pets, and people. – Good Earth Pottery

Accessorize with mugs

A mug can be jewelry for your home and a unique container of warmth. There is something intimate and personal about them. They are quiet witnesses of our everyday rituals and can be used as portals to nourish and connect with our senses. – From Fran

Support local artists while decorating your home

Adding handmade ceramics to your home is a unique way to elevate your space while supporting your favorite artists. When visiting galleries you can find inspired designs featuring an array of colors, shapes, and styles sure to complement your space. From modern to farmhouse, boho to minimalist, handmade pottery can add atmosphere, texture, and life to your home. – The ClayGround

Find an artist that can custom commission the perfect piece for your home

Color, shape, form, texture, you name it!! Anything from an abstract, decorative glazed bowl as a centerpiece for your coffee table, to a planter for your flowers or herbs in your backyard. From a full place setting of plates, bowls, and serving dishes for your formal dining room table, to wine glasses to fill for your guests at your housewarming party, or the perfect statement piece of wall decor for your family to admire every day. I’ll not only provide you with a gorgeous piece of ceramic pottery to decorate your home, but can give you a one-of-a-kind piece for that special space in your home. – ENF Ceramics

Treasure your pieces for years to come

Ceramics are a wonderful way to bring art into the everyday, and while pieces from big box stores come and go as we move homes and redecorate, I’d recommend searching for truly one of a kind pieces that you’ll treasure for years to come at a local or national clay-centered gallery, many of which are now online. From a serving tray displayed proudly on the kitchen table to decorative planters and vases to liven up your indoor foliage, choosing distinctive ceramic pieces and supporting your local potters will ground your decor and home in the warmth of the handmade, as well as supporting your local arts community. – Shiny Apple Studio

Add pieces with multi-purpose

With the way the world has been going we are spending a lot of our time in our homes, because of this homeowners are becoming more intentional with the items they place in their spaces. The new trend is adding elements in your home with multi-purpose. For example, decorative essential oil diffusers that purify the air but also add an attractive aesthetic to your home. Adding plants is a great way to let nature indoors. Bright and airy colors help make spaces feel bigger. When choosing decor keep in mind how the products benefit your well-being.  Your home is your personal retreat. Retreat, relax, and rejuvenate and let your home help heal you during these difficult times. – Karama

The health benefits of painting pottery with your family

The health benefits of painting pottery with your family

The benefits of spending time with family and friends is such a critical component of a full, meaningful life.

The past year has been challenging, on so many fronts. We’ve been spending a lot (A LOT) of time with the people in our households. Interestingly, that is probably the best reason why we should be planning activities either out of the house or special events in the house.

As we continue to have social limitations, it’s so easy to operate on autopilot because, well, it’s easy. But did you know that making special time for unique activities (like painting pottery!) with your family benefits everyone on many levels? What can an afternoon of painting pottery do for your family? Here are some of the top benefits: 

Improves Mental Health. Interacting with a close social network—especially face-to-face communication, as opposed to digital—significantly reduces the occurrence of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness. Being physically present with loved ones creates a strong emotional support to buoy you up through life’s challenges.

Helps children perform well academically. On average, kids who spend more time with their parents tend to do better in school. They learn communication skills and the importance of education. When needed, assisting with assignments or new concepts reinforces the fact that their success is important to you. Even just asking about their day and what they’re learning will show your children how much you care.

Lowers risk of behavioral problems. Children who spend more time with their families have shown less risk of behavioral issues, such as violence and substance abuse. When they receive positive attention for positive behaviors, it increases their desire to continue those healthy patterns. Doing activities together also provides an outlet for pent-up emotions that could otherwise lead to unhealthy decisions. If a child (or teenager) feels comfortable bringing problems to you for a listening ear and advice, they will be better equipped to cope with problems and make positive choices.

Boosts self-confidence. Spending time with family builds confidence for all of its members. Parents can teach children to build self-esteem through specific skills such as problem solving and communication. They can also model the ability to love oneself without degrading others. For parents and children, confidence grows simply with the knowledge that they are valued and appreciated by their loved ones.

Helps kids learn future parenting skills. The memories you create together will instill in children a desire to foster that same loving atmosphere in their own future homes. Through your example, your kids learn important caregiving skills that they can use one day. They may even practice now by copying your behaviors when they interact with siblings.

Teaches effective conflict resolution. Being part of a family is fun, but it can be difficult, too. When conflicts arise, you can’t just walk away for good. You’re in this together, so you have to work together to solve the issues that come up. Family time teaches interpersonal communication skills including healthy, constructive ways to discuss, debate, and solve problems.

Reduces stress. Those with healthy relationships tend to seek out healthier coping mechanisms for stress—such as confiding in friends and family—instead of other unhealthy outlets. Establish a habit of talking through problems together to relieve stress and find effective solutions. Stress also significantly affects aspects of physical health, such as fatigue, blood pressure, and heart health. The Annals of Behavioral Medicine conducted a study that found when people discussed hardships in their lives with a friend beside them (instead of alone), they had lowered pulse and blood pressure readings.

Promotes adaptability and resilience. Your ability to face life’s changes and challenges is greatly improved by a strong family bond. Knowing that you belong, you are cared for, and you are needed, provides a sense of meaning and purpose. This assurance gives motivation to push forward, grow, and succeed.

Enhances physical health. With the right kind of activities, time with family can positively impact physical well-being. For instance, families who eat home-cooked meals together tend to have a better diet than those who don’t. Participating in outdoor activities like sports games, hikes, or gardening together helps to improve fitness. There’s even evidence that time with family can boost the effects of exercise and other healthy habits. It improves heart, brain, hormonal, and immune health. And families can encourage one another to maintain healthy lifestyles.

Lengthens life expectancy. Healthy relationships could increase your lifespan up to 50%. Combine all the physical and mental health benefits discussed above, and you can see why family time has been linked to living a longer, healthier, happier life. Even those with unhealthy physical habits, but a strong social network live longer than those without these relationships.

Now it’s time to find your local studio (, pick out your projects and get creating!


Fun facts for a creative Valentine’s Day

Fun facts for a creative Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air! Here are some fun facts about love and Valentine’s Day:

* Valentine’s Day started with the Romans. There are two theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. According to, the day derives from Lupercalia, a raucous Roman festival on February 15th where men stripped naked and spanked young maidens in the hopes of increasing their fertility. The second theory is that while the Roman Emperor Claudius II was trying to bolster his army, he forbade young men to marry (because apparently single men make better soldiers). In the spirit of love, St. Valentine defied the ban and performed secret marriages, as reports. For his disobedience, Valentine was executed on February 14th.

* Passing out Valentines is a 600-year-old tradition. Each year, kids in classrooms across America hand out Valentine’s Day cards to their classmates. According to, the oldest record of a Valentine was a poem Charles Duke of Orleans wrote to his wife when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. For lack of a better phrase. the rest is history.

* Today, millions of greeting cards are purchased every year. We’re talking 144 million greeting cards being exchanged industry-wide every year for Valentine’s Day in the U.S. alone, according to Hallmark.

* Wearing your heart on your sleeve is more than just a phrase. In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names to see who their Valentine would be, the LA Times reports. According to Smithsonian, they would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for one week so that everyone would know their supposed true feelings.

* Candy hearts were originally medical lozenges. In 1847, Boston pharmacist Oliver Chase invented a machine that simplified the lozenge production process, resulting in the first candy-making machine, according to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. After identifying an opportunity to revolutionize the candy business, Chase shifted his focus to candy production with Necco wafers.

* The candies got their iconic shape much later. It wasn’t until 15 years after the creation of Necco wafers that Daniel Chase’s brother, Oliver Chase, developed a way to press words onto the candy lozenges with a felt roller pad and vegetable food coloring. According to HuffPost, the conversational candies officially became heart-shaped in 1902, and today Necco says about 100,000 of them are sold each year.

* The heart shape wasn’t always a romantic symbol. According to Time, the heart was once widely believed to be humans’ center of memory, where feelings of love were recorded. However, we have French and Italian artists from the 14th century to thank for the symbol that we know and love today, as they were the first ones to start using this motif in their work.

* Cupid’s bow and arrow weren’t just for show. In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, as Medium reports. According to CNN, he’s often depicted with a bow and arrows to pierce hearts and cast a spell of love.

* Valentine’s Day is a popular holiday to get engaged. This seems fitting: A 2017 study by diamond retailer James Allen found that 43 percent of millennials chose Valentine’s Day as their ideal day to propose or be proposed to.

* The chocolate box has been around for more than 140 years. In addition to creating arguably the richest, creamiest, and sweetest chocolate on the market, Richard Cadbury also introduced the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates in 1868, as reports.

* It’s not just for humans. People really do love their pets, because according to the National Retail Federation, 27 percent of people celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2020 say they are also buying gifts for their pets. Spending on Valentine’s Day gifts for pets has also grown significantly, going from $450 million in 2010 to more than $1.7 billion.

*Experiential gifts are on the rise. In 2017, 40 percent of consumers told the National Retail Federation they wanted an “experience gift”— aka tickets to a concert or other event, an outdoor activity, or an evening out like PAINTING POTTERY! This gift option is particularly popular with millennials: 45 percent of people ages 18-24 and 40 percent of people ages 25-34 said they planned to give experiences for Valentine’s Day.

* Galentine’s Day has become a beloved spinoff holiday. Galentine’s Day may have originally been a holiday made up by geniuses behind the hit TV show Parks and Recreation back in 2010, but that doesn’t mean it’s not 100 percent real. According to the National Retail Federation, since 2010, spending on Valentine’s Day gifts for friends has nearly tripled, going from $737 million to a whopping $2.1 billion.

* Teachers are the number one recipient of Valentines. And honestly, who else is more deserving? Oftentimes classrooms in elementary schools do fun Valentine exchanges to celebrate the holiday, which means that teachers often receive a sweet note from each of their students, making them the group of people who receive the most Valentines, according to Good Housekeeping.

* There’s more to wearing the color red than you might think. The color red has connotations of passion and sexuality, and it turns out science can actually back up those ideas. At the University of Rochester, psychologists found that men found women wearing red or standing in front of a red background to be significantly more attractive and sexually desirable than women wearing different colors. And it’s not just women who are more attractive in red. The study found that women also had the same views of men who were sporting the color. So maybe now’s the time to buy that red dress you’ve

* X’s and O’s didn’t always mean kisses and hugs. It’s believed that signing with an X comes from the Middle Ages, when an X was used in the place of a signature because many people couldn’t read or write, according to The Knot. It also was a Christian symbol that represented the cross, and the idea is that the history of Christians kissing statues of Christ or kissing the bible led to X getting its meaning as a modern-day kiss.