The Aim of the Art Teacher ( and why art making is important!)

Dear Parents,

Sometimes I hear parents ask why art is important, sometimes I hear them wonder what career their mini-artist will be able to have. I’ve heard that art is a “fluffy” subject that has no bearing on academics. And yes, I have even had some parents ask me to explain why their mini-artist didn’t create a masterpiece in their 2 hour workshop with me…

So I wanted to tell you why I teach the way I do.

As an art teacher my main aim is not to teach your child to paint, or draw or be an artist; my aim is to give your child opportunities to develop neuron pathways that lead to analytical thinking, curiosity, design thinking and speculative thought.

These thought patterns are often referred to as creative thinking – to keep it simple. Though creative thinking is far from simple. Creative thinking is the ability to find a solution where none previously exists, it is the ability to find logical pathways to solutions through experimentation. Creative thinking is the curiosity that is responsible for every new concept or untested idea and the analytics responsible for making those ideas a reality.

Sometimes in my classes, I’ll admit students don’t end up with a piece of artwork they can show the world and be proud of (I’m not proud of 90% of my own artwork!), but I can guarantee that inside every painting there are lessons that no one will ever see. This is what your child will be learning: The ability to display their thoughts and make something that doesn’t already exist, a reality.


Why is art making so important?

“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of like anyone else.” Sydney Gurewitz Clemens

Creation requires our mind to make a string of decisions through logic and reasoning. As art is also an emotional pursuit this connection of logical reasoning and emotional reasoning develops a persuasive intellect, which we use to defend and express our decisions to others.

This ability to express our thoughts and feelings to others in a logical manner is a major factor in our individuality, not to mention the mental health benefits that come with the freedom of speaking our thoughts!

How will art help my child’s career?

Even if your child doesn’t want to be an artist, the benefits of their creative indulgence will valuable in adulthood.

When we create art we are discovering our opinions on visual beauty. An artist is able to look around them and see potential change in an environment to make it resonate more with them. This ability is the undercurrent of ideas, and the building bocks upon which careers such as engineering, designing and marketing sit.

Making art, experimenting with balance, colour, composition, line and shapes are all important parts of most careers. From business owners (advertising and media) to store clerks (window displays and signage), from Engineers (understanding lines, scale and angles) to office workers (putting together reports and proposals) – having experimented with art-making can improve your presentation skills and your ability to express your ideas, therefore increasing your chance of landing that job, or “that” client.

Also remembering that every employer LOVES innovative thinking, every business can benefit from a creative outlook. Experimenting with a varied range of art mediums as a child opens the neural pathways that make our adult brain ask the question – how can I make this work?

Where else can I get these benefits?

Any endeavour that connects emotion and logic through decision making can help build these skills. Creating music, acting out our own plays, creative writing, imagination role playing games, building from our own plans, cooking without a recipe, developing computer games – all of these activities encourages us to think logically, solve problems and justify decisions based upon our own opinions.

Creation is the key.

Following along to recipes or instructions, analysing other’s artworks, even knowing every single art technique in the history book sit in a different category of learning. Yes, these skills are incredibly important and should be given adequate attention and time to hone them – but by giving your child materials and opportunities to simply create the benefits will stretch far beyond the academic realm.

Therefore, when you bring your mini-artist to my classes we will create. Sure, we will learn technique too, but in our studio we don’t aim for perfection. We aim for understanding why it didn’t turn out quite as we expected. In my studio – We like mistakes.

And if your mini-artist proudly presents you with a soggy, grey piece of paper at the end of their lesson, know that there are all sorts of colour lessons within that grey. Know that the canvas stuck with crepe paper and dripping with glitter has taught them valuable lessons about adhesives, texture, balance and composition.

And know that in every messy piece of artwork, a little piece of your child’s individuality has been cemented.

Thankyou for indulging your child’s creative side, and thankyou for giving them the opportunity to experiment. One day their grey, soggy artworks may just surprise you. 

All my love

your child’s art teacher.



Be a part of Artlis Studios School Holiday Art Competition this September!

artlis studios, art class, art, workshop

The rules are simple:

  1. Create your own artwork – it can be of anything you like! The more imaginative the better! Or find a creative way of colouring in our free printable Mandala
  2. Sign your drawing with an original signature!
  3. Make sure the following details are on the back of your artwork: Name, Age, Contact phone number, email address.
  4. Get your entry to us in one of the following ways:
    1. DROP IN TO OUR STUDIO at 30 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
    2. POST TO OUR STUDIO at 1A, 30 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin, QLD, 4223
    4. UPLOAD YOUR PHOTO TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE including your name and age. Then send us a message via PM with all your other details.
  5. Our 5 teachers will each get to vote on the winners! 5 winners in different age groups will be sent an Artlis Studios art pack (your choice of dreamcatchers, calming jars, or suncatchers) and one winner will get a $50 voucher to use on classes and workshops in our studio! (Art packs can be sent by mail anywhere in Australia, however the gift voucher winner will have to be local, or be able to use their voucher in our Currumbin Studio in the next 12 months)

Entries can be sent to us between 18th September – 1st October, 2017. Winners will be notified 2nd October, 2017.

We do not charge any entry fee to this competition, you can enter as many times as you like.

All competition entries agree to Artlis Studios using your artwork on public forums for advertising purposes, and to announce our winners.

Winners will be judged on their imagination, creativity and artistic style!

We can not accept traced or printed pictures (other than our free colouring page) as they may infringe on copywrite laws.

FINALLY! we are having a social workshop for any local mini-artists who would like to finish their artwork in the studio. Our teachers are happy to give advice but WILL NOT draw on your artwork, or suggest any changes. All work must be your own original work.

More information on our social competition workshop here.

Get your free colouring in entry here!


street art lesson, competition, art class



Tiny-Artists Preschool Group is BACK!!

Our preschool group is making a return.

Our new studio is awesome enough and big enough to accommodate students of all ages – and we have a front yard to create in!!!

Our newest artist, Jo, will be helping your Tiny-artists create masterpieces using watercolours, collage, pencils and markers, concentrating on fine motor skills, shapes, colours and exercising their imagination.

Feel like dropping your tinies of for an hour or so and getting something done? Maybe you’d like a coffee and lemon myrtle cake from Sumptous Fine Foods next door, maybe you want to drop in to the post office, or Cutters Art Yard, or the hairdresser in the adjacent complex without your Tiny asking you to look at the stick they found, or throwing their shoes across the room.

Bookings essential, but no commitment to the full term is required. Wednesdays 9.30-10.30, for $15 a sessions (pay an extra $5 to leave your tiny with us for an extra 30 minutes.)

Contact to make your booking.

preschool; art; class; toddler



Saturday Morning Drop in Art – New to the studio!


Thanks to our new studio being so easily accessible for every one we’ve decided to open up on Saturday mornings so you can come and have a sticky beak! Our Saturday morning sessions are a drop in style class with no actual direction – so your mini-artist can let their imagination fly and create whatever project their creative little heart desires.

Each day we will have a different medium available for your mini-artist to play with – it may be acrylic paints, watercolour paints, paint markers, collage materials, glass/ceramic painting or craft materials. In addition there will always be sketching materials, coloured pencils and access to all our reference materials available every morning.

What’s super cool about this class is that no one needs to follow set orders. If your mini-artist wants to create a burger dancing in a pink tutu wearing a mohawk they can (yes that’s been done before in our class while the rest of us were painting the sea), if they want to create themselves a vision board, or a card for Nanna, or just paint their own hands and smear it all over a canvas… they can!

Sessions will be $10 for an hour, and include a 30×40 canvas, larger canvasses are available for a few extra dollars. If you’d like something a little more structured you can purchase an art pack from our little front store and one of our artists can help your child with the project while you have a coffee next door!

The amazing Bella, will be available every Saturday for any questions or help your mini-artist needs with their creations, and I will be there personally for many of the sessions as well!

For those who already know Bella, you’ll know she is an amazing cartoonist and the kids LOVE her. For those who haven’t met Bella yet, come along one Saturday morning and get to know her!

Can’t wait to see what our mini-artists create once they are given full access to their imagination!!!







Street Art, Homeschool and Term 2 at Artlis Studios!

This set of school holidays has been completely amazing! Our new street artist Gilly has joined the Artlis Team and spent an entire day running workshops with our mini-artists helping them develop their individual styles with a graffiti flair!

Gilly will be running workshops throughout the term on Sundays from 9.30-11.30, and still has some spaces left! Workshops will be run over the course of three weekend, two hours each costing a total of $95 for the set. Mini-artists will be experimenting with posca markers, sharpies and paint to create vinyl stickers and canvasses using Gilly’s signature graffiti layering techniques!

We still have spaces available in our homeschool sessions on Wednesdays at 1.15. Our homeschool term runs for 8 weeks and is $120 for the term. Small classes means our teacher, Sacha can give your mini-artist lots of attention.

Sacha Beverley, Homeschool and afterschool classes


MORE EXCITING NEWS!!! Our very own Sacha Beverley is getting ready for her solo exhibition with 19Karen Gallery. Check out more of her work and the exhibition information here.  This is one super talented lady and we feel so lucky to have her be part of the Artlis Team 🙂 Sacha teaches afterschool with Artlis Mondays and Wednesdays (5-12 years) and also runs her own abstract classes for 12-16 year olds on Saturday mornings.




Keep an eye out for Artlis Studios online shop! We will be showcasing work from our mini-artists and our teachers for sale, plus art packs to help you make our most popular workshop projects in your own home!

Enjoy the rest of the school break and be careful on the roads over the Easter long weekend!! I an’t wait to see you all back in the studio in term 2.

Lis xo



Starting term 4.


This week will mark the 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my studio opening it’s doors on a mission to nurture the oddball creative genius that lurks inside so many of us. From picnics under tables, to arty boot camp, from inventing new ways to use watercolours, to developing whole new worlds inside our minds, the mini-artists who have graced the studio with their imaginations so far have made my world shine!

Each mini-artist has a unique way of looking at life and art. I’ve watched so many mini-artists developing their own style over the last couple of years, taking the skills they learn in class and creating masterpieces that rival anything they have ever created before.

This term we will be concentrating on our relationships with others and our own selves. We will be exploring how to hold our own whilst still being a valuable collaborator on team project. Our team work project will involve all students, across every class, contributing their own little piece of individuality to a tiny clay world, a world where their quirkiness will be celebrated and their personal style loved as an important part of something bigger  – a mash up of styles from all skill levels, and many different pools of imagination.

I’m trying my best to imagine what this world will look like… but your mini-artists surprise me so often I can’t even begin to guess what they will create.

Amongst all of this we will be playing with clay, acrylics, watercolours, pencils, paper and Christmas ideas. I’ll introduce the mini-artists to the odd artform of quilling, and experiment with many of the same media that mini-artists are already becoming familiar with in the studio.


So here’s to a whole new term of unicorns, making friends with monsters, working together and sending the occasional child home blue (or rainbow coloured, or painted like a lizard), here’s to opening the studio to new ideas, and turning every task into an opportunity to think outside the box or paint outside the lines.

I can’t wait!

Painting without paper.

Students experimenting with painting on things other than paper in our Wednesday Expression Session.

Creative Education – How art affects your child’s learning?

This report shows research that details how being exposed to the arts can affect your child in regards to learning, critical thinking and social engagement.

When I stumbled across this report I was researching creative education in children and how and encouraging creativity in our youngsters can affect their life in other areas. So I had to share it.

Although this research was done in America, it can really adapt itself to any country. Art is beautiful in any language and the underlying concept of the arts helping to increase capability in so many other areas is

This is a very easy to read 5 page report which perhaps your kids will even understand if they care to read – although most kids I know are willing to create, just for the fun of creating.

You can read the report here and find out for yourself!!

Happy reading xx

King Triton’s Throne – Water and Wax Sculptures

I love this project as it’s a cross between science and art – and it fit in well with the Surrealism projects we had been doing this term. This is a version of automatic art – where the artist is not completely in control of the media used or the final result.

A forewarning – this project DOES involve hot wax, so there are some age groups that it won’t be suitable for. I would recommend it for 6 years and up. They are also a very fragile sculpture, so make sure you have something suitable for your students to carry them home in!


Here’s what you will need:

  1. About 3-4 tealights worth of wax for each sculpture – you can use old burned out candles, or new ones, or even just plain candle wax (if you can get it.)
  2. Foil Pie tins (I got 50 for $2 at the dollar shop)
  3. A deep bucket of icy water (I put 5kg ice into a bucket that was about 50cm deep)
  4. A jam jar or other glass jar (I used four in a one saucepan to melt the wax faster)
  5. A saucepan with about 4cm of water in it.
  6. A stove top.


Here’s how we did it:

Set the jam jars in the saucepan with water, and allow to boil until the wax melts. By setting it up like this (like a double boiler) you wont burn the wax, you reduce fire hazards and you save your saucepan from needing to be thrown out.

We tried candle wax and crayon wax – the crayon wax did not work well, it’s was too soft and didn’t hold the sculpture structure very well.

Once the wax is completely melted, use oven mitts to carry it outside to your bucket of iced water.

Let the child hold the pie dish over the water while an adult pours in wax to about half way full.

Immediately – but gently – plunge the pie dish and melted wax into the water. They might take a few sculptures to get this technique right, but I found if you make them count to five as they plunge the dish in, they get at about the right speed. The wax tries to float, but is solidified so quickly it cannot escape the pie dish and ends up in a spiky “King Triton’s Throne” shape.

When they get to the bottom, get them to hold the dish on the bottom for about 5 seconds to solidify the wax properly, then they can pull their sculpture out and empty off the water.

We tried to make some with less wax, and some with more wax – we found the results were much more striking for the ones with more wax, but that the wax was also more likely to touch the kids hands as it escapes the dish.

This project uses hot wax – I put some plastic gloves on my kids so if the wax did touch their hands underwater it wouldn’t stick to their skin. The icy water is cold enough that it protects them from the heat, but I didn’t want to damage their skin by trying to pick off wax!

Some pie dishes have little holes in the bottom – get the students to put some little bits of sticky tape over their holes first so the wax doesn’t just drip out.

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