Amy and kids

I’m passionate about facilitating open-ended, process-oriented art experiences for children—and for their adults. I began creating art alongside my kids when my youngest was a toddler because I couldn’t find any other time in my day to be creative myself, and I need that outlet. When I began, I figured even if I just got ten minutes in between fetching things for the kids and helping them, it was better than nothing. I didn’t anticipate the full benefits of making art alongside my kids—the conversations we’d have, the way we’d inspire and encourage one another, the way art became something we did as a family. The way we’d all grow and stretch. I created the e-zine Art Together because I want to encourage other families to do the same, to spread the word that art-making isn’t just something you set up for the kids, that there are benefits there for all of us, even if we think we aren’t artistic. Too many of us were discouraged from being creative, somewhere along the line. I want to try to reverse that.

I also want to demystify art-making and the tools and supplies used in the process. I’m always available to answer questions and love to get emails from you—whether you’ve made a purchase or not—and I do my best to be helpful.

I provide ideas that are starting points. Quite a bit of research goes into every issue of my zine; I provide resources that make it easy to expand further on the activities, if someone wants to.

My early jobs were all in environmental education. At one summer day camp, where I was the nature director, my philosophy and the camp director’s philosophy did not mesh at all. He wanted a summer full of rigid lesson plans and proof of learning. I felt kids deserved a summer exploring the woods and figuring things out for themselves. I still feel that mentoring kids—and adults—while they explore is the best way to facilitate learning, and that fun is an important part of it all. I still feel that an individual’s interests must be respected. I’m not creating art activities that provide step-by-step directions to reproduce something exactly; if that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it here. I believe in providing a starting point, a technique, an inspiration, and room for people to interpret these things in their own way.

I will sometimes talk about PTSD and my recovery on my blog, because I feel these issues will only be normalized if people discuss them. I am a writer, crafter, runner, mother, wife, artist, and I have PTSD. I want to do what I can to reduce the stigma of mental health issues.

My favorite place in the world is the beach, at the edge of where earth meets sea.

Twitter: @amyhoodarts

Instagram: @amyhoodarts

Pinterest: Amy Hood

Email: amyhood at amyhoodarts dot com.