I wanted to share something personal with you today, kind of a secret that I’m a little nervous to tell. Here it is: I don’t consider myself an artist.

Now, I have certainly created some drawings and paintings that I’m proud of, but all of those were completed some time ago. My primary artistic focus for the past 20 years has been inventing interesting and educational projects for my elementary school-aged students, but I never actually finished those since I was busy making sure my students finished theirs. When my family and I were setting up artwithmisslinda.com and the corresponding social media accounts, I was very uncomfortable with my daughter listing “artist” alongside the much more comfortable label of “art teacher” in my bio. I didn’t feel I had the right to claim it. Recently, all that has changed.

Teaching virtually has been the most interesting journey for me. My desire to bring the arts to my students through this time when we can’t be together in a physical classroom has made me think, and rethink, about how to teach effectively. Discovering new ways to educate (and hopefully entertain) has opened up my artistic eyes once again and reminded me that I, too, am still a student. I had forgotten that I can create visually appealing artwork just for the fun of it; purely for the joy that making something beautiful or interesting gives me. I’ve been learning by trying new techniques and methods, and by seeing the work of other artists. I look at all the things around me, as I advise my students to do, and my imagination goes wild! I see a new lesson, or simply something that inspires my own artwork, in everything and I’m completing my own projects again.

By striving to bring art into your world, I have brought it back into mine as well. I’m grateful to you for giving me a reason to embrace the artist within me, and the chance to realize it’s wasn’t too late to get back to the creative outlet I love. So thank you very much.