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STAFF SPOTLIGHT: CHERYL

By | Lifestyle

To say that Cheryl’s role at Art Mania is simply admin, is a huge understatement. She is one of the rarely seen, but crucial members of the Art Mania team. It’s Cheryl who does all the fiddly stuff!

In her own words, Cheryl describes her role as: “in administration- training admin staff; back-up if front desk needs manning; creating the flyer; and overseeing the rolls and organising paperwork.”

Cheryl believes in Art Mania’s motto “this is your happy place” and believes that it is possible to see this in action for both our students and staff.

To Cheryl, Art Mania is a warm, caring and supportive place for all. Cheryl is a great example of this. She is always smiling and offering happy and genuine words to both staff and students.

Cheryl has a background in admin and enjoys making organised and efficient admin systems to help with the day to day running of organisations. We were lucky enough to gain her services when her daughter Jen first joined the Art Mania team. Cheryl had retired and was looking for some volunteer work. She decided to come work at Art Mania with her daughter. And even though Jen has moved on, Cheryl has chosen to stay on.

Until recently, Cheryl’s grand-daughter Ellie was also a regular part of the Art Mania family. She took part in our weekly kids class. Cheryl also works with her grand-daughter, helping her collect cans for cash. They have a box set up at the studio, where you can put your cans knowing that they are helping a resourceful girl to make a bit of money.

When asked how she felt about Art Mania’s ethos, she replied: “These are also my values, so I enjoy ‘walking my talk’.”

Digital Accessibility Day

By | Disability, Lifestyle

This week on the 20th May, we celebrated Global Accessibility Day. A day to focus on the digital access world for people with disabilities.

It would be easy to assume that the digital world has made it easier to access resources, information etc for those with a disability. And in many ways it has been a big improvement. When Apple started building accessibility features into their products, it revolutionised the way various disability groups communicated with one another and the world. As a person with a vision impairment, for the first time I didn’t have to pay an extra $500 to make my phone talk and read the various screens and information.

Abstract digital image- a picture of a face with hands held together to make the shape of the face. Light is coming out from the face and a rainbow of colours striped across the image.

Similarly, until recently, to be able to use a pc, I had to pay several thousand dollars for a “text to speech” screen reader. In the last couple of years, a couple of guys who are blind themselves created a screen reading program and made it available to everyone. They only ask for a donation of however much you can afford. NVDA is the program and I love it.

Between my phone and my laptop, I have pretty good access to the digital world. The only major ongoing issue, is when material is put in electronic format as an image. Screen reading software reads text, hence the name text to speech.

If material has been uploaded as an image, my screen reader will see the page as blank.

Sam looking at the camera, wearing a black beret and dark coloured cardigan.

We have definitely come a long way. And all of this technology has made it possible for me to get work. It is because of the technology I have, that I can write these posts and other content for Art Mania. I even have software on my phone that will describe photos, scan and read hard copy printed material and help me identify products by reading the qr codes.

I still get frustrated at times. It can be exhausting having to convert materials. I do however, realise that I’m very lucky.

The digital world is making life easier and allowing me to participate even more in the everyday world.

Mosaics & Bling

By | Art, Lifestyle

Mosaics & Bling

Mosaics is an ancient art form that dates back to 3000 B.C. and beyond – yet mosaics are still just a popular, if not more so, in the creative arts arena today.

As a lover of texture, colour and bling, Art Mania Studio has so many options to take this art form further than where we’ve gone before with Mosaics…

Does the word Mosaics make you think of chopped up tiles?

Yes, most of us do.

It is only when we are exposed to the many creative options available in the world of mosaics, it then tweaks interest.  For many of us, we don’t feel we are creative or artistic in any way, however this is merely a confidence barrier. Most art or creative options are ‘learned techniques’, similar to that of learning to drive a car, or cooking!  Yes some of us are gifted and have the vision that makes it somewhat easier, however with instruction it is achievable for anyone to embark on the creative journey.

So, as we embark on our latest mosaic course, tiles are certainly one of the first things we look at, however it doesn’t end there! We call this class ‘Mosaics and Bling’ purely because we use so many different options to make our mosaic art work come to life, creating that WOW factor.

How good does it feel when you make something you love?

What does it do for you, the individual? A sense of pride and achievement!

Once the initial hurdle of making your first project has been  completed, the urge to move onto the next challenge is fueled by the self-satisfying feeling being creative offers. Taking a chance on the unknown and not only doing well, but making something beautiful, gets the happy endorphins kicking in and there is no stopping you! The way you look at everything changes…– ‘wow, I could mosaic that’… and that is really how it all begins.

A favourite reference material is a book by Tracy Graiver Bell called ‘Crazy Mosaics’, which transforms shattered treasures into inspired creations. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, however it demonstrates a number of options in the mosaic arena that really inspire.  I especially like the recycled options, given the disposable world we live in today. The thing about most creative adventures is they are continually evolving, coming in and out of vogue, and the next new extension of how you can push the traditional or contemporary boundaries is what makes it exciting!

I’ve been teaching mosaics for over 20 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how addictive the creative endorphins are!

So, tiles are generally first on the agenda for newbies, however in our studio there are many completed mosaics to offer inspiration.  Throughout the course we look at beautiful coloured stained glass inclusions, recycled jewellery, mirror, crockery, fused glass petals and leaves, buttons and other blingy bits to add spark and a point of interest into the artwork.

We also look at different options for project bases, metal shovels, totem poles, types of woods and how to prepare them, grouting options and sealing. We can continue down the rabbit hole and explore different techniques, such as micro-mosaics and using a huge range of resources to bring texture, colour and life to just about anything you can think of.

Mosaics may be an ancient art form, but here at Art Mania Studio we give it a new lease on life, with lots of fun, laughter and imagination along the way.

AVAILABLE MOSAICS CLASSES

The Art Of Team Building

By | Art, Corporate, Lifestyle

Top 5 reasons why art is going to make your workplace better.

We spend a lot of our lives at work and often we are too busy to really get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere. Rarely do we have time to catch up on a social level with management or people on the other side of the office, or in different departments and teams may be separate due to their various work duties.

Employees and managers can feel distant, and without a satisfying, cohesive working environment, morale can soon dip low. However, the solution is easy! Team building days can save the day! Working together as a colleagues, as equals, as a team, breaks down barriers and can set the foundation for trusting relationships. The better people know each other, the better they can deal with problems, and the likelier they are to support each other during tough or trying times.

So, where does art come into the equation, and why should you use art in your team building event?

Enjoyment

Laughter is the best medicine. When we laugh, have fun and feel enjoyment in what we are doing, it releases hormones in our body that have long term benefits to our overall well being, as well as having the immediate effect of relaxation, which reduces stress. The feeling of enjoyment raises the energy of people and allows them to connect to others more readily.

Interpersonal Skills

Working together to create art requires communication skills to be utilised. What colours does everyone like, how do you decide on which ones to choose, who will do what as you create your piece? Building the interpersonal skills between team members in a fun and non-threatening environment helps them to develop their ability to communicate in new ways.

Diplomacy

Negotiation is key in workplace relations and just as important when working towards shared goals. As the team must work together to design and generate a shared creation they will sharpen those skills and take them back to your organisation.

Strategy and problem solving

Planning is part of creating as much as it is part of productivity. The team will need to develop a strategy to reach your shared goal, which is exactly what is needed in a workplace too. Strategic thinking and planning enables people to contribute effectively at work.

Competition (the good kind)

Friendly competition can be a great motivator to boost people to work and try harder. Why not create some healthy rivalry over the day? Perhaps create a competition for the best artwork to be placed in the company’s foyer or on the company’s Christmas card? Winning as a team gives more of your staff the opportunity to share in the esteem, so why not choose a team design!

The artwork created can be a great reminder of the fun had and camaraderie created. Displaying it at your workplace continues to encourage that sense of team building they experienced on the day.

Art and team building go hand in hand, so get your troop together and add some colour into your world with creativity.

AVAILABLE CORPORATE WORKSHOPS – Let us help you to improve the well being in your workplace through our variety of creative approaches.

  • Glass Fusing Corporate Package – Up to 6 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $300.00

    or 4 payments of $75.00 with Afterpay

  • Glass Fusing Corporate Package – Up to 12 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $600.00

    or 4 payments of $150.00 with Afterpay

  • Alcohol Inks Corporate Package – Up to 12 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $600.00

    or 4 payments of $150.00 with Afterpay

  • Alcohol Inks Corporate Package – Up to 6 PPL – DEPOSIT PRICE

    $300.00

    or 4 payments of $75.00 with Afterpay