With the onslaught of the COVID-19 crisis, one art teacher is capitalizing on time lost by offering her services to little children online, in the comfort of their own home.
Owner of Artist Made Barbados and Artist Made Bags Shanika Grimes has ten children under her wing in the virtual community and meets with them weekly to teach them new techniques in brush control and to spur creativity.
For these little ones five years and older, it’s as simple as signing on to a WhatsApp call and having their parents select a corner of the house for them to operate as Shanika teaches remotely.
“I had an immediate response from some customers I already had and then there were a few new customers. The children complete the work based on a video link and then they send photographs back based on a WhatsApp picture, text or voice note. I would send texts or voice notes back to tell them how to correct the work. The video links are private so once they have paid for the links then I send them the information to correct.”
Artist Made Barbados is on YouTube, and there is one free link for the public. The 29-year-old said that her online classes were going a lot better than she expected. She explained the online class provided convenience and allowed for an automatic repeat of lesson plans.
“Those students who didn’t do an adequate job the first time can do an automatic repeat of the lessons. I had students who were not happy with their work and they have instructions in their lessons to press ‘play’ or ‘stop’ or ‘pause’ as needed and to their pace.”
The studio space in Oxnard Crescent, St James, is quiet but the virtual world is busy. Shanika said the children who are keen about the art have access to her teaching and undivided attention and that’s really good for those who sometimes get easily distracted.
“Being in a personalized class has its advantages, but online classes have their benefits too. My personality is charming. I do have an interesting personality so I try to keep them interested in the lesson,” she said.
“Even in a physical classroom, the attention spans are challenged but the kids who opt for art, they like it.”
Artist Made Barbados can be found on Instagram @ArtistMade. Psychology says that art, especially painting and drawing, is good for your mental and emotional health. (MR)
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