- What is my philosophy about art?
- Can you teach my kids to copy a picture?
- Can I change date or time for one week due to other obligations?
- (Age group 4-9) What if my student does not know how to draw a cow for his/her homework "Flying cows!" Should I get a book with cows so that he can copy it? Can I help draw the cow for them?
- (Age group 10+) What if my student does not know how to draw a cow for his/her homework "Flying cows!" Should I get a book with cows so that he can copy it? Can I help draw the cow for them?
- My student is afraid to draw in the journal because they fear it will be "messed up". What do I do?
- Why did my student just list the objects in their drawing rather than tell a story like the other students in class?
- Can I come take a look around before trying out? Can I stay during class?
- My child is a current Hongyun Art student and I would like to schedule a parent's meeting
I don't see my questions here...I will ask you a new one
- What is my philosophy about art? (back to top)
Our philosophy is to instill a desire to learn about art and other subjects in our students from the youngest age possible. We believe when they have this desire to learn and their brain develops enough, they will have what they need to advance their artistic skill. Truly learning art takes many years of dedication and practice and if we don't give our students the desire to learn, they will eventually get frustrated and give up. We believe many of my students can love to draw and improve, but this is a slow, on-going process.
That being said, We do not want my students to become artists (unless they really want to). Our goal is for them to be able to use their artistic and creative side in everything they do. For example, we have all seen boring Powerpoint slides at work. What if the person giving the presentation was more artful, more skilled with their words, more confident, more interesting? Another example is in politics. We have seen the power of creative ideas, well-organized planning, and persuasive speeches in recent years. This is truly the power of art. Dreaming up a perfect image filled with your ideas, planning the execution of the image, and using the image to persuade others about your ideas is all art. There has been increasing research (which we read a LOT of) that shows how imagination and creativity are extremely important in science, engineering, mathematics, physics, and all manner of what most people would consider not traditionally associate with art. So you see, that art is not just about pencils and paintbrushes, it really is about thinking creatively and building confidence in one's ability to deliver ideas. This is what we want to give to our students.
If you'd like to know more about who we are, please take a look at our recommended media list (we have a LOT more, but these should get your started):
- Art of Science Learning: a blog about how art aids in scientific thought and endeavor
- TED: Great talks from thought leaders in almost every field. We can't get enough of these!
- Infosthetics: How art is creating information from data.
- Can you teach my kids to copy a picture? (back to top)
Art (just like life) is not about copying a picture. To be truly successful in art and life, a person must have their own ideas and be able to convey these ideas convincingly and creatively. Some parents might think if their student can copy a picture very well, it means their student has learned art very well, but we do not believe that is the way for a proper long term attitude about art and other subjects. The problem with this idea is that it teaches the students to be a follower and not to be a leader. So, our art classes are not just about basic art skill (which they will learn here), it really is about learning life skills and channeling them through art. Also in our class plans, we encourage our students to always add more details, content, etc. This is the role of the art teacher. We will generally push our students to improve different areas and skills each class. We will not, however, push them to copy our examples exactly. Students are allowed to use them as reference, but we will push them to add their own content at the same time.
- Can I change date or time for one week due to other obligations? (back to top)
This is absolutely fine as long as you give me early notice so we can work on rescheduling at another date/time. Please use the Report Absense link.
- What if my student does not know how to draw a cow for his/her homework "Flying cows!" Should I get a book with cows so that he can copy it? (Age group 4-9). Can I help draw the cow for them? (back to top)
At this point in their development, we would recommend just letting her try to draw a cow on her own and see if she can do it. Bringing her a book to show her a cow so that she can copy it may not be the right message we want to send. She has seen a cow before and she can probably represent a cow using simple shapes or perhaps in her own way. The idea is to let her exercise her brain a little bit before letting her copy other things. Please let her know there is no right or wrong cow and that she can just try and you can be happy with whatever she makes. This will help her to build her confidence to experiment and be more comfortable trying things on her own rather than running for help every time there is a small roadblock. I have some older students who are actually quite afraid to draw without a picture or model in front of them because they were most likely pushed a bit too hard by their previous teachers and/or parents about what is "right" and "wrong." So we would like to prevent this sort of reaction in our students and try to give them some confidence and credit on their work so they are energized to keep going down this road and be better students all around. Also parents should not "help" their students by drawing the cow for them—this is not really helping anyone. If the parents draw the cow for them, the student will not learn to do things on their own. Anyway, the point of the homework is not really about if they can draw a cow or not. The point of homework is to give students a chance to explore, be creative, and get some approval from parents on their bravery for trying something new.
- What if my student does not know how to draw a cow for his/her homework "Flying cows!" Should I get a book with cows so that he can copy it? (Age group 9+). Can I help draw the cow for them? (back to top)
For this age group, we will allow references since they will be trying to draw realistically and it is impossible to remember every small detail and relation of shapes. However, we would ask that students do not copy the cow exactly and try to make the cow unique and add their own ideas to the drawing.
- My student is afraid to draw in the journal because they fear it will be "messed up". What do I do?(back to top)
We think the problem here is that your student is not confident in their skill because they may receive a lot of criticism from a parent or even a teacher. If we criticize the students, then we are effectively saying "you are not good enough so give up." We realize that no parent would want to say that to their child, but when an authority figure criticizes in a negative way, that is essentially what students hear. To remedy this, we can ask the student to just try and tell them that whatever they do, it will be OK with the parent and with their art teacher. Their journal drawings do not need to be perfect, we just want them to experiment.
Also, they can try to draw on various "scrap" paper like tissues/napkins, backs of receipts, old scrap paper etc. so they can be more comfortable with drawing first then after a few tries (or even a week or two of this), we can try the journal again.
- Why did my student just list the objects in their drawing rather than tell a story like the other students in class?(back to top)
Don't worry, this is normal for students that are new to our classes. Most other art classes really do not focus on the students' ideas so they may have never been asked to explain their artwork before! We, on the other hand, believe that ideas are just as important as the ability to create a drawing to convey them, so we like to ask! This is actually quite different for most of our students and it takes them a couple of classes generally to understand what I am looking for. Art is not just about pretty pictures, it is also about how to deliver ideas confidently. Give them a couple of weeks and you should hear a difference!
- Can I come take a look around before trying out? Can I stay during class?(back to top)
VISITS: Unfortunately, our studio is quite small and we're not staffed for tours unless you're registered for a tryout class or a regular student. We also believe that the best way to find out if a school is right or not for your student is to try it out. The tryout class is reasonably priced at $45 for a full session (includes all in-class materials and a copy of our book of stories created by our students). Keep in mind that the tryout class is a two-way street. Your student will decide if they like this class environment and we will decide if they are a good fit for one of the current student groups. We generally look for the brightest students with the most potential for this type of training. If they are not ready yet, we can try again when they get a little bit older.
PARENTAL SUPERVISION: To gauge whether your student is a good fit for our class, the student must attend tryout class without parental supervision. If your student is unable to work in a classroom environment without a parent's supervision, then they are not ready for this class at this time. In order to maintain high quality standards for all of my students, we need to ensure that each student understands classroom protocols (they usually learn this by Kindergarten). We can try again in a few months when they have had a chance to attend school without parental supervision.