By Simon Raskina
As an artist, I feel it is my duty to spread and share my love of art with others. I still remember painting in my garage as a teenager and hosting painting classes for my neighbor’s younger kids. The joy and excitement that I saw in their faces gave me such confidence in my painting and made me realize the importance of art teachers. Since then, it has been my mission to ignite the fire and passion in our youth today for creating art. Art gives the introverted child a home and place to be themselves. It gives a voice to those who are too shy to share their opinions. Art will forever save the misfits, the broken, and the scarred. And now as an art teacher and creative director for a private studio, I have the pleasure of watching kids, who can barely hold a pencil at first, create beautiful works of art.
Pencil Studio is a children’s art studio. Its goal is to create a judgment-free atmosphere for children to discover who they are and what they love. Started in 2013 by Joyce Ng in Markham, Ontario, Pencil Studio has become a favorite among local families for its limitless ideas and projects. When children come to Pencil Studio, they walk into a world of endless possibilities. They see colorful drawings and paintings displayed around the room, bundles of art supplies, and teachers with big smiles on their faces.
I believe that feeling vibrant and young begins with not taking yourself too seriously and finding that inner child inside of you. Pencil Studio puts my belief into practice. Take one look at any Pencil Studio Art Camp, and you will be amazed by the imaginative planning and outcome for each activity. Whether it be building a 6-foot dragon out of newspaper and cardboard or rebuilding Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter series out of toilet paper rolls, Pencil Studio makes sure that its students have fun.
But it is not all fun and games at Pencil. The studio holds itself to a high standard of art education. Everyday, I teach the kids about new mediums and we explore different themes each week.
The biggest reward is when I see a child transform from knowing nothing to aspiring to become an artist one day. Art is not dead, nor is the artist. At Pencil, we want all kids to know that if they work hard enough, they can accomplish anything they put their mind to.
I look forward to my future with Pencil, how the studio will grow, and what we can do to continue encouraging art in the youth today. Teaching children art and seeing the joy that it gives them reconfirms that my dream of being a great artist is within reach.