Hello my lovely friends! Today I thought I’d share with you a little bit about WHO I am. Now before I do, I’ll give you a brief introduction about who I am and then… I’ll go DEEP!
Hey there, I’m Kathleen McGiveron and I’m a professional artist, teacher, and the creator of Ms Artastic. As an artist, I create lowbrow artworks and have shown my work in both commercial and public galleries. I’m also Ms Artastic and I create art teaching resources and art lessons for Artastic Nation. I have two cats named Audrey and Russell and I live in Canada.
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I love creating art lessons that engage kids and ask them to experiment with a range of mediums and materials. I like to make lives easier for teachers by offering fully planned art lessons with ALL the resources they need to teach confidently and free their lives from endless lesson planning. I spend a lot of time thinking about what kids are INTERESTED in and use that as an inspiration for a lot of my artworks. You can find my art resources in my TpT Store, Ms Artastic, or get them as part of your membership in the Artastic Collective (which opens twice a year, once in January and once in August). Links to the Artastic Collective and my TpT store will be in the description of this episode.
Let’s Go Deep… The Start of my Story!
Now, let’s go deep. My story starts at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia. I spent a lot of time in High School making creepy ceramic sculptures. I fell in love with clay there. By grade 12 I decided that I would go to art school to find myself instead of pursuing a “typical career”. I wanted… to be an artist! I graduated high school, full of optimism. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up but I KNEW that I loved making art.
The chatter started!
Why did you go to art school?
What are you going to do with an art degree?
Have you ever heard of a starving artist?
What do you even do at art school?
An Art Degree isn’t even a real degree…
You’re not going to make money being an artist.
You won’t make money till you’re dead.
Well, I learned a lot at Emily Carr University and made extraordinary memories. I grew and changed as a person and developed the passions in my life. I made it to the final year at Emily Carr, and I remember my professors asking me… What are you going to do once you graduate?
I honestly had not thought about it. I knew that I wanted to make art. Suddenly, all that negative chatter came back again, swirling around my head… “What are you going to do with a Visual Art Degree?!”
I remember clearly as though it were yesterday, when I was in the Senior Ceramics Studio, working away on a sculpture when one professor told me to consider being an art teacher. So I did. The first use of my Bachelor of Visual Arts was to get into the second University where I got my Bachelor of Education with a minor in Secondary Teaching. So…. I became a High School Art Teacher.
Then… it began to evolve!
However, during my time attending art school and the years after leaving Emily Carr University, MORE things happened that ALL had to do with having an “art degree”.
I began to participate in multiple art shows a year all over Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. 2020 is the first year I haven’t been in a show because of the Pandemic. My “useless” degree was being put into use! Not only was I teaching kids in High School and Elementary, but was showing, and SELLING my art Professionally too!
During my first year of teaching, I also started Ms Artastic. TeachersPayTeachers was just a BABY back in 2011… And so was Ms Artastic. I didn’t take it as seriously then as I do now because… I was ALL about making art! I was using that “useless art degree” because… what would anyone do with an Art Education anyway?
Download Free Art Worksheets for Kids
Click here to download free art worksheets that you can print to allow kids to explore art at home!
Here is the brutal honest truth.
Now here is where it gets brutally honest and painful.
Being a teacher isn’t the same in my district as it is elsewhere. We don’t have “Specials”. All our teachers are teachers and we all fight for the same jobs with the same seniority (although experience does come into play!). We don’t typically have full-time Elementary Art Teachers. Everyone becomes a teacher and then, because we’re ALL in a union, you get a position by seniority. The only schools left that have full-time art positions are High Schools. After 5 years of working multiple schools teaching art some days in Elementary and subbing art in High School on the other days, I realized that in order to build seniority I had to get a “Continuing Contract”. I signed on with an Elementary school as a general teacher to start get seniority. Of course, I teach a lot of art and art integrated activities in my own class and with other students. But now it has been another 5 years and few positions have opened, some have been deleted after retirements, and it’s of course, a seniority battle. This has been… All kinds of painful. My passion and dream has always been to make art professionally and teach art to kids.
I decided… ART MATTERS.
Well, I decided that Art MATTERS. I decided, when I went to that Elementary School that I was going to TEACH ART to KIDS. That forced me to make Ms Artastic BIGGER. I started madly creating art projects and resources for kids, using them with kids in my school and my own classroom, doing demos, creating more and more… I opened up a blog, started a YouTube Channel, and most recently, the Artastic Collective. All day long… I make art. Either art tutorials for kids or art for ME. Essentially, the closing of many art jobs in my district has forced me to fight harder than ever to teach art to kids, even in the non-traditional sense.
And still… I make art FOR ME, professionally, that I show in galleries. I will ALWAYS be an artist, and that I take VERY seriously.
You might be thinking… So what? What does this have to do anything?
I would not be the artist, teacher, or Ms Artastic without having gone to Art School.
I would not have gotten the mad, wild, crazy idea to invent Ms Artastic to support art teachers and create the art lessons that I LOVE to make. I simply just… enjoy creating art! I love making my own paintings and sculptures and I love making Art for art tutorials for kids. I love making art for my YouTube Channel! I just… really love art! There is nothing more magical than making art and looking at art. It is my everything.
Art Education matters. Going to Art School was TOUGH. It asked you to be creative and think critically ALWAYS. You had to experiment and make mistakes and be vulnerable and open to criticism or you would not make it. Being an artist means you’re always using Growth Mindset, and this was all happening before “Growth Mindset” was a trendy topic in schools. Going to art school taught me all of this and being an artist professionally, applying to galleries and getting constant rejection at the start made me stronger and forced me to be creative.
It showed me that when one thing doesn’t work, do something else.
It taught me to be creative and resilient.
It taught me how to teach myself, how to find knowledge, how to learn to grow a business, and to find out and learn things that I didn’t know I could do: like create a blog, create art resources, create YouTube Videos, and a membership. It taught me to never give up when being rejected from galleries and taught me to be creative and find new paths for getting to a destination.
It helped make me who I am today: a person who doesn’t take no or road blocks for an answer. If I have an idea I will find a way to make it happen no matter what.
So, that is the story of me, Kathleen McGiveron and how Ms Artastic came to be.
I would not be the artist, teacher, or Ms Artastic without having gone to Art School.
What is Ms Artastic?
So, what is Ms Artastic anyway?
Ms Artastic essentially is my brand. Under the name Ms Artastic, I create art resources for art teachers, general teachers, or homeschooling parents to use in the Elementary and Middle School Levels. I really enjoy creating artworks that will target various areas of the curriculum, encourage students to experiment with a range of mediums, and I like to work with themes and topics that are of high student interest. I’m always keeping my eye open for what is all the rage in the student world! I want to save teachers time and therefore I design high quality art lessons that will provide teachers with all the elements they need to teach and implement a lesson successfully; from the lesson plan to rubrics, reflections, and all the steps broken down into visual slides, I’ve got you covered. My Art Resources can be found in my TeachersPayTeachers store, Ms Artastic or by subscribing to my Art Resource Library for Art Teachers: the Artastic Collective. Find links to my TpT store and my Membership in my blog, msartastic.com
In addition to hosting a TpT store and an Art Teacher Membership, I also have a Ms Artastic blog where you can find lots of art teaching ideas and even the show notes to my podcasts! Think of it as the hub or directory that will take you where you need to go in Artastic Land! As well I have the Ms Artastic YouTube Channel where I post weekly How to Draw Videos or Art Lessons for Kids which are great for at home or in the classrooms! Be sure to subscribe!
Finally, I have the Artastic Collective. With the Artastic Collective, Art Resource Library membership for art teachers, my mission is to provide you with prepared art lessons, resources, and activities that will allow you to free up your time and live your life, whether that means traveling, pursuing your hobbies, or spending time with your family. You should be able to be an instructor or teacher and be able to have the time to LIVE life. With this membership, you will receive teaching ideas, inspiration, and guidance to help you navigate and problem-solve in your classroom or studio. This membership is intended for Elementary & Middle School Teachers.
It will provide you with Fully planned Art Lessons and Resources (that cover standards and include assessments and rubrics) will be given to you monthly and you will have access to a library of previously released resources. Each month I’ll release NEW Art lessons to the collective for you to use in your classroom and they’ll be available to you as long as you have your membership. The NEW resources added each month will be a combination of resources that are EXCLUSIVE to the Artastic Collective, and ones that can also be found in my TpT store. I create resources for primary, elementary, and middle school levels.
As well, you will gain access to a Private Community. By joining, you will have access to our membership community forum where you can talk with other art teachers and get my help any time. There are LIVE Q+As and Virtual Meet-ups. I’ll host monthly LIVE Q+As through Zoom events in the membership and I’ll answer your burning questions.
With the Artastic Collective Membership, you will have the freedom and energy to explore your own passions, spend time with your family, and LIVE life. Lesson planning takes a lot of time out of your personal life. Endless evenings working, weekends prepping. You need to be able to have time for YOU and I’m here to simplify things so that you CAN.
Well that’s all folks! Join me in the next episode or blog post if you read instead where I talk about Teaching Distance Learning!
Art Lessons You’ll LOVE!
Thank you for reading my blog post! I am grateful that you did and I appreciate you having took the time to read to the end. Thank you so much. Please write any questions you have in the comments section of this post.
Please help me out by subscribing to my YouTube Channel to help me reach my goal of 100,000 subscribers. I teach full art lessons and drawing tutorials for kids on my channel and I am confident you will enjoy your subscription. Click here to subscribe!
Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)
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