Amy Meime’s 5 year old son Otto was undergoing treatment for cancer when coronavirus first overwhelmed the UK. The isolation brought on by the subsequent lockdown only added to the family’s anxiety and worries. So when a good friend suggested she offer zoom art classes to other kids, Amy leapt at the idea.
“As a family we’ve always used art as therapy so this was a great opportunity to share that creativity, and connect with others. The art lessons were £5 per household, with all proceeds going to GOSH. Thanks to social media and our local network, it all took off so quickly, the classes were a big hit and within weeks we had raised over £700!
My classes are all about unleashing your innate creativity. I mostly teach children from 5 to 12 years old, but all ages are invited! We start off by looking at an artist or technique for inspiration, and then we use what we’ve learned to produce a piece of art. We’ve created everything from sculptures, self-portraits, drawings, painting, printing – you just name it!
I studied Art and Design at University where I focused on Art for Mental Health and Wellbeing. These techniques are very much implemented in my lessons, which are less about the finished product, and more about the journey there. No experience is required as I really believe we’re all artists, we all have a creative side to us – we just need an opportunity to explore it!
Both my parents are teachers and have English schools in Brazil, so it was only natural for me to get into teaching too. I did a CELTA course and eventually got an MA in English Teaching for Young Learners. It came naturally to me to teach kids, I taught in schools and also one to one for many years. I enjoyed the teaching but the subject matter was never my forte. Now that I’ve combined both art and teaching, I finally feel at home!
Life a year on is very different. My son’s health is SUPER! and that’s the most important thing. He’s been in remission for almost one year and is thriving! So we couldn’t be more thankful to GOSH and the NHS, and our community for seeing us through this. My daughter and son are back at school and enjoying their friends with more playdates than ever! My husband is about to start a new job, and my classes that started with a few kids on zoom have now grown into a full on little business. We’ve got face to face lessons, Sip and Paints (for adults), parties and events, as well as weekly zoom classes!
I’m on a mission to continue to spread kindness and creativity! I plan on continuing the art classes both online and face to face on a larger scale. I hope to work in schools, at after school clubs and will upload more youtube tutorials to help people be creative in their own time. Doing charity work is also very important to me, and if there is anyway to raise money for GOSH and other charities, I’m in! My dream would be to one day open an art shop where children and their families could come and get messy and creative! So watch this space.
More importantly, though, as a family we’ve grown and have learnt so much from all these life experiences. We decided to not go back to ‘normal’ life, we now strive to live life to the fullest!!”
Follow @amymeime on Instagram to find out more, or even better, sign up to get creative.