Hi! I’m Meri Cherry. Yes, that’s my real name. I know it’s crazy and totally over the top. It’s my married name, which I’ve chosen to fully embrace. I am a reggio inspired atelierista and private art teacher in Los Angeles with almost…not quite…20 years experience…and I just opened an art studio in Tarzana! I have two little girls, who are growing way too fast, and an amazing husband who builds things like THIS for all of us to enjoy. My favorite things are Instagram, collecting way too many art supplies and stalking thrift stores and flea markets for the next best find.
If you’d like to contact me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.
How I got started…
Four years ago, I took a leap of faith and left a a k-2 teaching job I had for almost 15 years that I no longer felt connected to, and changed the course of my life forever. From the moment I left, the universe seemed to have a clear and definite plan for my success. It was almost as if I didn’t have to do anything but say yes. In a matter of days, my girls found a home at an amazing play based preschool 5 minutes from my house and I found a dream job as an atelierista, (check out my studio here.) Week by week I began to get requests to teach private art classes from different families at my old job, something I had never even thought of doing.
I had always wanted to be an art teacher. I grew up doing art and found creativity to be a great source of self-confidence. Plus, it was so much fun! When I started to get calls to teach classes it just felt right. I had taught art enrichment classes before and art camps, so this was something I felt like I could do. “Sure, I’d be happy to,” was my response to the first request. “Oh cool.” for the second request. By the 4th request I said to my husband, “I think this could be something real.”
I receive amazing emails from creative spirits all over the world asking me how I got started. I guess I got started when my mom encouraged me every step of my childhood to go for my dreams. She taught me to ask for what I wanted and to go for it. She always said, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Somewhere along the way I got good at asking. I think a better way to describe it is manifesting. Now, when I want something, I ask the universe, and man oh man, does it deliver. That may sound whacky to you, but to me it has always been the answer. I pray, and work hard, and journal, and ask for what I want and take the action steps to get it.
In the past several years, I have grown from doing 1 art class a week to 1o. I have hosted pop up art classes that have sold out in less than 24 hours. I have hit financial goals that I never thought possible doing what I love. I have connected with incredible moms and formed lasting friendships I treasure. And the KIDS! I have had the great fortune to create with so many wonderful children and watch them gain the confidence I so much treasured as a child.
I want to pass on to anyone reading this that there is a net waiting out there for you if you jump. If you’re not happy, you can make a change. Write down your dream job. Keep a journal with photos of you in Paris or with a loving partner, or learning photography. Whatever it is, ask for it. Ask for friends to help, ask your family, and ask the universe.
I am so grateful for this community. I am so grateful that I had the courage to start a blog 7 years ago when I had no idea what I was doing and the only people reading were my family. I am so grateful that you are reading this along with me and somewhere along the way, maybe I helped you do more art with your child.
My next dream is to open an art studio. I’ve dreamt of my own art studio for as long as I can remember. I hope and pray I can create a space that inspires young and old to be creative, think outside the box, and go for their dreams. And most of all, I hope you come visit me there when it opens! (I like to leave this paragraph in because guess what? I did it! I opened an art studio for kids in July of 2016. You can see pics of it here and it’s the most magical space on earth. Read what Red Tricycle had to say about it here.)
So thank you again for reading along with me and thank you for being a part of my journey. I go into specifics a little deeper in the post How to Open An Art Studio for Kids if you want to check that out too.
With loving gratitude, Meri Cherry
pics by Morgan Pansing