Art in the Community

As you know, I changed my project idea from getting my dogs certified as therapy dogs to volunteering at the arts academy, and showing the importance of art in the community. I changed my project a week before we were supposed to have a video made, advertising out idea and why it’s beneficial.

At first I was overwhelmed because I wasn’t sure how I would make a video that was meaningful and persuades people to see that art in the community is a beneficial thing. I researched the benefits and I looked at the arts academy’s website. I came up with a list of things I could put in my video. Along with that, I had the opportunity to actually go there and help out over thanksgiving break. I had the idea to interview people from the academy to put in my video. After the classes were over, I interviewed one of head staff members of the academy, and she has lots of great stuff to contribute.

Once I had all of my footage I was able, with the help of my friend, to put it all together In a video that I am personally very proud of. This was very rewarding and I can’t wait for my next opportunity to help out.

Here’s the link to my video Art in The Community:

Change of Plans

My original plan for this project was to get my dogs certified as therapy dogs. I had been emailing the local dog training facility to figure out what requirements my dogs would need to become certified. Unfortunately there are too many conflicts, at the moment, regarding my project, and I don’t think I’ll be able to move forward with it. This is not absolute, but for now it’s at a standstill.

after school art program

Luckily I have a good back-up project idea that I’m just as interested in. In some ways it’s even similar to dog therapy. This idea is to volunteer at the arts academy in my city. As you know, I’m passionate about art, and I’d love to better the community is some way through it. I’d be able to do what I love, but also help kids at schools and after school programs with art. This would give me a taste of the career field I’d like to go into, which is art therapy.

If I can help people, even just one individual, through my project, I would be satisfied and know that my project succeeded. That is my main focus throughout this 20 Time Project, and I hope I can show that in my presentation at the end of the year.

Obedience 2 Class

Line of purebred dogs in obiedience class

My project is finally starting to move forward. I’ve been emailing back and forth with a local dog training facility about the obedience classes my dogs would have to go through. The last email I sent was regarding the Home Obedience 2 class, which is most of the basics my dogs already learned from a personal trainer. I think it would be a good fit for the dogs, because they already know most of the basics, but they could definitely practice them more. She also gave me the dates for the class so I can get them signed up once the schedule is out, which should be by next week. We’ll continue emailing about other specifics regarding the class, and I would like to visit the facility soon to talk to them in person about it as well.

When I get the dogs signed up for the class I plan to also shadow or visit a school or other place that use therapy dogs. I would like to interview the people who train the dogs, as well as the students who work with the dogs.

Once I get all the details figured out, my project will be on its way, and I’ll start getting my dogs trained.

Moving Forward With My Ideas


As I wrote about in my last post, I’ve narrowed my idea down to working to get my dogs certified as therapy dogs. I am still coming up with my plans to get it started, and I’ve been reading up on what it takes to have a good therapy dog. First off I have been emailing someone from a local dog training facility. My dogs have gone through puppy obedience classes, as well as working with a personal trainer following the obedience classes. I’m hoping this will cut down the amount of training required to get them certified. I sent another email, and hope to here from them soon.

Besides getting the dogs enrolled in an obedience class I would like to shadow some therapy dogs in the classroom setting. There are some local schools that each have their own therapy dog at the school during the days. From what I’ve heard one thing the dogs are there for is to help the kids while they read. I would like to observe, as well as interview some of the kids there, to see what their experiences are like. I would eventually like to make a short documentary of the processes and benefits from real life experiences, and have other people talking about what good it is to have therapy dogs.

Therapy Dogs


This past week I narrowed my topic idea for my 20 Time Project down to Therapy Dogs. I will be taking my dogs to classes to get them certified to be therapy dogs. My vision for this idea is that (while I will be in the certifying process I won’t be able to take the dogs to visit) I will go around to different schools, and nursing homes, etc. and interview people who have interacted with therapy dogs to hear first hand what their personal views and benefits are from therapy dogs. I would like to see the impact the dogs have on the people they work with, and to see the many benefits they contribute as well.

This week I worked to come up with this plan, as well as emailing some people to get information on how to start the certification process. I mentioned in my email, to one of the local dog trainers in town, that my dogs had already gone through the puppy obedience classes. I received an email back stating that the first step to getting them certified now was to start with the Home Obedience 1 class. That’s what I plan to do. Eventually my dogs will go through the Home Obedience 2 classes, which will give the Canine Good Citizen Test, and get them on the path to being therapy dogs!
I’m not sure how much time this process will take, but for now I have a vision that will guide me through the year with my project.

20 Time Projects

I started this blog for my AP Lang class and I used it to write about my passion for art and the many different projects, artists, and forms of it. This year I’m taking perspectives as my LA class and we’re required to blog for it as well. I don’t know if I’ll stay with the art theme or end up making a new blog on a different topic, but for now I’ll use this blog.

The first project we’ve been assigned is the 20 Time Project. We take the whole school year to work on a project our choice that we’re passionate about, and at the end of the year we present our outcomes and what we accomplished. I have two ideas I would like to pitch, which would determine whether or not I continue using this blog, or create a new one.

art therapy  therapy dog

My first idea is to take classes with my dogs and get them certified to be therapy dogs.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now and I’d be able to take them to nursing homes, schools, hospitals, libraries, and care centers. I want to care for people and make a positive impact on them.

My other idea is to volunteer at the arts academy in my city. As you know, I’m passionate about art. I’d be able to do what I love, but also help kids at schools and after school programs with their art. This would give me a taste of the career field I’d like to go into.

Either project would be a great opportunity and be beneficial to me and whoever I get to work with.


henna hand

With summer coming soon I’m looking forward to the nice weather, pool days, and time! Once school gets out my schedule gets a little more flexible and i have more time to do stuff. I love doing crafts and artsy things with the extra a time i have and hope to do lots of these things this summer!

Henna tattoos are probably my favorite artsy thing to do. I do them on my friends, family, and myself. Last summer i started buying more authentic henna from an indian store in town, and it works much better than the kind i had been buying from my local art store, and it was much less expensive.

The first time i got a henna tattoo was around 2nd grade at a music festival in the summer. Every year my family takes a trip out of state to a music festival, and there’s alway a booth where they do henna tattoos. It didn’t seem too hard, so i decided i would start doing it myself, plus it would be less expensive. Now i do it whenever i want, and my friends come over and do it too.

Henna comes from a small tree. The leaves are what’s used to create the henna paste that is used to create the designs. The henna leaves themselves will not stain the skin. Instead they are dried, milled, and sifted to make a fine powder. The powder is mixed with liquid to form the paste that stains the skin a dark reddish-brown color.

henna paste

Henna has been used for many different cosmetics like hair dye and skin staining. Henna hair dye is now being commercially packaged. It has become popular in India, as well as the Middle East, Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States. Lush cosmetic company sells blocks of henna hair dye that can be melted down into a hair paste, or mixed with other dyes to get the desired color.

henna hair

Traditional Henna body art has been used for holiday celebrations, wedding ceremonies, and other festive occasions. In some countries the bride and groom get henna designs the night(s) leading up to their wedding night( henna

I bought Henna hair dye, but haven’t tried it out yet.  It comes i blocks of powder mixed with coconut oil and some other stuff, and melt it over the stove until it creates a paste. It seems really messy, so i haven’t done it yet, but i might this summer. I have stuck with just doing the normal henna designs on skin, because it’s easier and takes less time.  I can’t wait to try them both out this summer!

Letting Go of My Perfectionism

My art class this term is painting 2 and i have really been enjoying it. The only thing i don’t like about it is how much of a perfectionist i am. It get’s really frustrating when I’m working on a more abstract piece, but my focus is on making a line straight instead of just letting it “do its thing”. I’ve been choosing to use acrylics over watercolors, which gives me more control, but now i’m determined to work more with watercolors and let my talents flow in a different, less perfect, direction. I hope to work on some more abstract pieces, similar to my self-portrait i did, which i was hesitant in doing since the perfectionist side of me kept saying “stay in the lines!” Here’s a picture of it: selfportrait This is my self-portrait inspired by the artist Kwangho Shin:

Dorm Room Decor!

I’m not in college yet, but its getting closer and closer and i cannot wait! I know college is about your studies, but your dorm room plays apart in it as well, and a cute and comfy dorm room will make for an even better college experience.

Decor can be expensive and so many people don’t know what the essentials are for their room or even how to make it feel cozy. So i’ll start with the basic essentials and how to DIY.

dorm room

The essentials are the little things you need, which apparently don’t always make it on the to-bring list for dorms. Many dorm rooms don’t have good water, so getting a brita water filter and keeping it filled with water and in your fridge you’ll save a lot of money by not buying bottled water.

For guys this may not be a problem, but an extra standing clothes rod usually comes in handy for the extra clothes that doesn’t fit in the closet. It’s great to have a hamper for the dirty clothes you need to wash. It keeps it organized, out of the way, and easier to transport back and forth to the laundry room.

Towels are something most people don’t think about. They obviously won’t provide you with them, so you’ll need to buy some nice soft and cool colored ones.

A mini fridge/freezer, and microwave will really come in handy too. I personally wouldn’t want to get dinner at the dining hall every single night. Easy recipes like microwave pasta are inexpensive and don’t take much money or effort to make. If you have extras just pop them in your fridge/freezer for later and you’ll have your lunch for the next day.

Nobody likes a cluttered dorm room so cleaning and organizing are very needed in a dorm room. Make sure to have little baskets and bins to organize your stuff in. Keeping cleaning spray and wipes come in handy as well if you make a mess or need to dust.

There’s plenty more things i could list for the essentials in a dorm room, but let’s get to the fun stuff. DECORATING!!

Basically all dorm rooms look like jail cells when you first move in, but with some DIY tricks you can make it almost as cozy as your room back at home.

Bedding is huge when it comes to cozy cuteness for your dorm. Pick a fun pattern that you love and add some nice pillows and blankets to make the bed seem homier.

Homemade wall decor like cork board with pictures on it adds a lot to a boring room.

The most important thing i think makes a room cozy is the lighting. Twinkling lights hanging from the ceiling will make for a relaxing atmosphere in your previously plain white room.

Be inspired and create a dorm room you love!!

The Benefits of Arts Programs

the-arts1Art is such a wonderful thing. It’s an outlet for stress from a school day, a way to express how you’re feeling, and a nice way to just let your creativity flow. Unfortunately many schools tend to cut the creative arts classes first when their budgets get tight or the funds get cut. I think this is a problem, because for many people art classes are a way to balance their stressful schedules and give them a break from the normal studies in the classroom.

From personal experiences i know how important art classes are, whether it be writing, dancing, music, or creative arts (which is what i tend to lean towards). It gives me a nice difference in the way i use my brain during the day, and it gives me a break form my stressful classes and books i have to read.

I have learned a lot from art and how to use my talents, and i hope in the future i can major in art. I would like to incorporate art in my future career somehow, so i want to get experience now in high school. One opportunity i have looked into is an internship at the Easter Iowa Arts Academy. It’s a non-profit after school arts program for kids in kindergarten to 12th grade. This organization is so great because it allows kids to have that needed art time they lack in their normal school day. It provides opportunities for low-income families, and it gives kids a free thing to do after school, which keeps them from getting into trouble in some cases.

“Eastern Iowa Arts Academy (EIAA) is an after-school 501 c (3) arts organization created in 2007 by local educator, David Griffin. EIAA offers classes in art, music, dance, drama, cultural arts and creative writing, and are taught by professional educators and artists. EIAA’s multidisciplinary and multicultural arts programs enhance the appreciation of the arts, strengthen performance abilities, provide quality after-school activities, and celebrate the rich diversity in our community. Eastern Iowa Arts Academy programs are open to any student, male/female in grades K-12, individuals with a wide variety of special needs and seniors at assisted living communities. Particular focus is placed on providing artistic opportunities for low income families and in low-income neighborhoods across the Greater Cedar Rapids/Marion metro area.

Eastern Iowa Arts Academy’s passion and primary goal has always been to provide high quality arts opportunities for students of all ages and skill levels to explore, excel at, and develop an appreciation for the visual and performing arts. However, EIAA is more than just an arts program. EIAA was also designed to keep young people engaged in meaningful, enriching activities that prevent them from making negative choices; to support low-income families by offering classes at little or no-cost; and to improve the quality of life for young people by providing opportunities many most likely would not otherwise experience.

Many students involved in the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy have no exposure to arts outside their school environment, which is limited in scope. The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy provides youth with the ability to explore a variety of arts experiences without prior training and with no fear of failure, to perhaps spark an interest they would otherwise have missed.”

This organization makes me so pumped to one day (hopefully soon) be apart of spreading art around the community and showing people how beneficial it is to the community and that anyone can do it. Art helps a lot of people in different ways, as I’ve mentioned in my earlier posts about art therapy, and I think it needs to get more credit in schools and the community!