Today we’d like to introduce you to Shea Knowles.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a small town girl that moved to the big city. While it’s great to come from a small town, I felt repressed and found it hard to break out of my shell. I have always been a highly sensitive girl and the only time I felt really alive was in mountains near my home. I have always had a love for nature. Many days you could find me in my bedroom drawing for countless hours, which even at a young age helped calm me and helped satisfy a craving. Moving to the big city gave me the chance to break out of my shell. It hasn’t been easy. It was a huge culture shock, but was one of THE best decisions I have ever made. I have loved living in the OC. I love the diversity we have here.
I have always been about helping other people and have found art to be a great avenue to do that. I wanted to share that with others. For me living creatively has helped me in my life and feel like it can do the same for others. Being creative can be a great form of meditation and self-reflection as well as bring great joy. That doesn’t mean it is easy…as much as I have always loved visual art, it can be really frightening to share your art with others. I had to drop out of a college art class as I couldn’t bear having my art critiqued in front of the class members.
When I became a Mother, I was able to do arts and crafts along with lots of creative activities with my children and the other students in their class. Eventually this lead to teaching and heading up Art Masters for 17 years for the school. While doing this I also continued to advance my artistic talents under the tutelage of Michael Punke at Art Space Studios where I now teach classes and hold events. I think back to the beginning and of how nervous I got as I drove to classes. It was really scary to put myself out there. However, Mike’s sensitivity, reassurance and willingness to share his talents not only helped me become the artist I am today, but gave me confidence in other areas of my life. Mike holds a student art show for his students each year. The first time I sold a painting you would have thought I had won a million dollars! A lifelong dream was to be able to illustrate a children’s book. This dream was realized last year. My cousin and I collaborated and self-published, “When I Think of Granny.”
A story about our own grandmother.
Doing commissioned artwork is always an honor. It’s wonderful when someone asks me to do a painting of a deceased pet or loved one.
Another avenue for me to share creativity with others is from doing corporate kids crafts. These are fun days. I’m usually hired by an event planner (Suzanne Beukema @Suzannes Catering) or a new home developer. I am given a theme and I come up with a fun, easy, no mess craft. I get the chance to work with up to 100 different children on these days. Even though I only get a few minutes with each child, I try to help him or her feel special about their creation.
When we access our creativity, it is an opportunity for us to learn. It is a reflection of what is inside of us at that particular moment. If we allow creativity to flow, our souls can be fed.
One of my life long dreams was to illustrate and publish a children’s book. With my growing confidence I was able to turn that dream into a reality last year.
I have taught children’s art classes at the studio for years and in recent years formed a partnership with Cheryl Loukides (who is a special ed teacher). We hold an adult art class/activity on a monthly basis called Rejuvenate Through Art (RTA). It is a fun experience where even the most novice artist will feel successful, mingle with other newbies and have some good food at the same time. One of my favorites is “wrap yourself in silk”. This involves doing your artwork on a silk scarf and then getting to take it home and wear it proudly. It is also symbolic of the nurturing and love that we want others to feel. And… maybe…even a little bit pampered. Best of all chocolate silk pie is served. We have also been able to do art parties where a friend wants to cheer up their friend, as part of a baby shower, bridal shower or Birthday party.
I believe that everyone can find joy in their lives by living creartively.
Has it been a smooth road?
One of my best and worst traits is that I’m highly sensitive so the business side of it has been tricky for me to navigate. I enjoy doing it so much sometimes I feel like I should be paying my customers to do business with me.
My business skills are improving through experience and a great mentor or two.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Livecreartively story. Tell us more about the business.
I am known for my fun corporate kids’ craft days. This is where I set up crafts for large groups.
I am known for some special commissioned art that I always feel honored to do.
First and foremost, I specialize in the people business.
I’m thrilled to pass along the joy I feel from being creative. My hope is for others to catch some for themselves too and then pass it on.
Helping others not only to create a masterpiece, but believe that THEY are a masterpiece is my mission.
Whether I am helping a child do a little craft for a few moments or teaching a group lesson, my goal is to help others enjoy the creative experience.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Yes, I will be adding kids themed Friday evening and Saturday workshops that will include art, crafts, games, and fun activities.
Along with paint with Shea nights. People will be able to work on projects they choose.
I am also getting excited about writing and illustrating, “Tales from the Garden” my next children’s book.
- Address: Art/Space Studio (Owner-Michael Punke)
17155 Newhope St. Suite i
Fountain Valley, CA
- Website: www.livecreartively.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shari Hanson Photography
Art Space Studios