New Beginnings

Anxious-filled or Inspiring? A New Perspective for Starting Something New.

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Starting something new can be scary. We should know- as creatives we start projects all the time- from beginning

a story to putting that first stroke of paint on a blank canvas. There is always a worry that we might mess up, that the idea isn't

good enough- that we might fail. But that is where the joy of art is found- in the messy process of figuring it out!

So maybe you are beginning your first year of kindergarten or entering middle school or starting high school or anywhere in between.

Maybe you're nervous about meeting new people, or uncertain about your class load or anxious about the million different possibilities that this school year brings.

Here is my challenge to you- find a new perspective, jump into the chaos, get excited about the unknown!

Because just like art- thats the beauty of life. If we allow ourselves to truly see the beauty of the world around us, the excitement of meeting

someone new, the joy of learning new things and the amazing adventure of everything in between- how much more fulfilling would life be?

We cannot wait for you to join us next week and begin this beautiful, messy, unknown journey together!


The Blue Cicada Team

Perfectionism and Art

Becoming a master of your craft takes years of practice, courage and strength.


It is why this year’s theme is “An Awfully Big Adventure.” Your creativity will take you on the grandest of adventures if you let it.

Art helps us find who we are.

Art helps us find who we are; it helps us discover new things about ourselves and our world. Art is the process of falling in love- in love with your craft and with yourself.

Because art is discovering love, because it is allowing yourself to be vulnerable- it is so easy for negativity to pull you down- it is so easy for your own thoughts to get the better of you.

(Check out this navigating insight on how to find confidence and self-esteem in your art and life.)

It is so easy for your own thoughts to get the better of you.


Often, I see individuals who have so much potential and love for creating- but are constantly doubting themselves- afraid that they will make a mistake, an error that is irrevocable (and let it be said that I struggle with perfectionism too). This is a dangerous place to be because it stops you from taking the next step on your adventure.

Doubt in the journey of art is like a fence (and its not a big fence mind you- more like a small, picket fence- no taller than three feet). Scurrying around, trying to find the gate, the fence has stopped your progress. That fence is usually a matter of a misplaced line or an incorrect color.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
William Shakespeare

Pieces of mastery don’t occur after the first try. That is why they are masterpieces- because you have mastered your craft- you understand it as best as humanly possible.

The master artists- Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Rafael- they became masters because they dedicated their life to discovery. Just like astronomers discovering new planets, building telescopes and observing the stars, artists are the scientists of design. The skills of observation and the time it takes to understand and gain perspective of your discoveries takes the same amount of time as astronomers gathering data on the universe. And there is still so much more to discover!

(Often in perfection we find ourselves stating “I don’t know.” This TedTalk dives into why it is so important to not always have the answer.)

Artists are the scientists of design.


In reality- the metaphorical fence (the smudge on your canvas, the incorrect proportions on a face or the squiggly line)- is not holding you back- you are. Find the gate, or heck, hop over the fence- it’s not that tall.

Create from your heart and soul.

Challenge yourself- grapple with new and exciting ideas, discover that you are strong and intuitive and smart and kind and important and so full of awesomeness! Create from your heart and soul. Do not strive for perfection- create because you love it- create and discover new perspectives because the adventure just seems too good to pass up.

~Emily Lawler
Creative Person

(PS: For Further Reading: If I can add two more cents- often perfection is the opposite of gratitude. Because in striving for perfection, you are attempting to obtain something you don’t have. Gratitude is the key to happiness and the key to letting go of tendencies of perfection.)

January Newsletter- An Awfully Big Adventure

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly,
you cease for ever to be able to do it.” 
― J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan  

2019 is here and We are so excited to begin this awfully big and brand-new adventure with you! 2019 is going to be even more creative, more inspired and more adventurous! 

This Spring, we will dive into cubism, pop art and surrealism! Not only will we be learning about art in class, but there will be a trip to the High Museum this semester! And we've added something to the schedule that I am super excited about- Studio Student's Sunday! 

We want to create an environment that feels like a home-away-from-home; we want to kindle creativity and build a culture where all creative-types are encouraged to be themselves and explore what inspires them. 

“The  purpose of life , after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”   -Eleanor Roosevelt

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

We want to be here for you- my fellow artists and artist's families. We want to be a resource, a guide, a space that you can call yours.

This year's theme is An Awfully Big Adventure. We want to pose a challenge for you as you begin the new year- parent and student alike- find what inspires you- find what 'gets' you- and run towards it with all your heart. 


Our hope and wish for you is that the next 365 days are filled with excitement, curiosity and a grand love for life and adventure. 

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” 
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan  


Emily Lawler


Our Mission

Why are we here?

  • To celebrate community

  • To spread awareness for the importance of the arts

  • To teach fine arts effectively and with passion

  • To engage kids and adults alike with creative and outside-the-box thinking

  • To constantly ask “Why”- to wonder and be inspired

  • To a create a safe space for kids and adults to be themselves

  • To encourage authenticity

  • To understand that art is the beginning of empathy

What is art?

Art is all about change. You will not and cannot be a master of your craft upon first picking up the brush or pencil or whatever your utensil of trade may be. If you fail- try again. Not harder- just again and again and again. Practice makes progress- not and never perfection.

Life and art are about change, progress; constantly meta-morphing into something new and beautiful. If your perspective changes (within the boundaries of art or life) and you discover even a modicum of the beauty and eccentricities life has to offer, then you have found the purpose of art.