What Does an Art Professional Do? Interview With Kathy Barbro

Today we give a warm welcome to Kathy Barbro, the founder and creator of Art Projects for Kids. 

Check out what Kathy has to say about her exciting career!

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself?

A. I first earned my B.F.A. at Minneapolis College of Arts and Design, and then enjoyed a 20-year career in graphic design. When my son entered kindergarten, my career path took a turn.

I started as a volunteer art docent in his kindergarten class, and eventually became my school’s Professional Art Expert (a title for those with skills, but not a teaching degree).

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I taught weekly K-5 classes and eventually added an after-school Art Enrichment program as well. After 15 years of teaching by day and blogging by night, I left the classroom to pursue my online art website at Art Projects for Kids

I currently work from home in Henderson, NV and love learning everything I can about the intersection of art and business.

Q. Have you always been interested in art?

A. Yes, I’ve been drawing and making things as long as I can remember. I have to credit a simple farm life upbringing, 4-H club and all, and mother who encouraged lots of interests for all her children.

Q. Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?animated-painter-image-0037

A. When looking for new ideas, it can sometimes feel like everything has already been done before.

I find that if you can combine the things though, you can sometimes come up with a new and fresh approach. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, it’s worth waiting for.

Q. What was your favorite part of teaching art?

A. Every once in a while, the last student you would ever expect, would make something breathtakingly good, or creative. It was always a reminder to never assume who was capable of what, and great motivation for staying positive, so you wouldn’t miss it when it happened.

Q. When did you start your site Art Projects for Kids? Tell us about the site and what you offer.

A. I started blogging way back in 2006, before it was a common thing, purely as a way to keep my growing collection of art projects organized.

In time, I started making my own teaching aids, thanks to my graphics background, but I couldn’t figure out how to market them. I had no interest in doing anything risky, like sell actual printed goods, and no money to invest in them even if I wanted to.

Eventually PDFs became a standard format, buying them online became a standard thing, and I slowly built up with my PDF Shop that now includes over 150 items.

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Q. What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you and who was it?

A. If my schedule or projects ever start feeling like they are becoming too much, or overly fussy, I stop and ask myself if I am making things harder than they need be? 

I don’t know where I heard it or read it, but my mantra is just that. It’s the idea that puts a lot of the pressure on ourselves, which is totally self-inflicted, so why do it?

Q. What would you tell a young person about following their dreams?

A. It sounds cliche, but if you follow your heart, double down on the work needed to excel, and stay patient, something good is bound to come of it. I’ll always believe that.

Q. Anything else you would like to add?

615NW8-uY2L._SX423_BO1,204,203,200_I published a book a few years ago called “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids” which is available now on Amazon.

It has 31 art and craft projects that you can do with all the many varieties of Sharpie markers.

I’m really proud of it as my first venture into the world of publishing.

Thank you, Kathy, for this awesome interview. And, of course, for all the many wonderful tutorials we’ve borrowed from your site!

If you want to see more of Kathy’s creations, check out her sites;

Kathy has also generously donated a copy of her How to Draw Art Projects with 200 tutorials for our Let’s Get Bugged Art Contest.

Categories: Careers, Interviews

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