Art Attack! An Interview with Leticia Powers of Dandelions Music & Arts
Leticia Powers is an award-winning artist from Villena, Spain. After moving to Canada in 2017, she began teaching art lessons as apart of her husband’s music school. Now known as Dandelions Music & Arts, Leticia is in her element as a fun and approachable art teacher as well as creating gorgeous custom designs for commissions. She spoke to Vanessa Butera, Onside Media about her journey as an artists, teacher, and co-owner of one of the most unique art schools in Mississauga.
What is your background in working with kids?
When I was in Spain, I used to conduct lessons at my home. Before teaching professionally, every sunday I taught crafts to children who lived near me. Together, we would learn, share laughs and make arts and crafts. When I landed in Canada, my husband Darren was already teaching on daily basis. I couldn’t get a job because I didn’t have a working visa. So, I taught his clients for free. Once I was able to teach professionally, I began volunteering with Darren at the day care. As I was very patient with the younger children, I would help out with everything, including changing diapers.
However I was offered a job at the Studio Paint Bar where I mostly taught adults, but we also had a kids’ program where I taught older kids around 14-15 years old. Today with Dandelions, I mostly teach online. Most of my students are between the ages of 5 and 8, and I have a few older students as well.
How did you begin your artistic journey?
I began taking my art more seriously at age 17, although I was always drawing and colouring. In school, I was always the best painter in my class. Everyone told me that I should study art. At the time, I wanted to study psychology because I’m fascinated by the human brain. I liked so many different things, so it was hard to decide what I wanted to do. I remember denying my love for painting because I thought it was too hard to make it as a painter. I thought that I needed to have a big studio, pay for a lot of supplies. I was taught to believe that art was going to give me a house or food. By the time I was 24, I wasn’t empowered and moved to a different town where I worked in regular places, like coffee shops.
I realized that these places were not nice working environments. Eventually, I came back to painting and drawing, which came most naturally to me. I realized that I connect better with younger people, so I found opportunity in all of that.
How is your approach to teaching different from other art teachers?
Basically, when I teach, I don’t want to impose that there is only one way to make art. Art isn’t a copy. Painting is a meditation, there’s a connection to something greater. It ignites a different reaction. I like to get in touch with my child self and teach in a way that I wanted to be taught as a kid. I will teach technique, but I don’t want to put my stamp on my students’ art. Darren and I agreed that we are not very academic. We don’t teach by the book.
Dandelion Music and Arts offers a variety of services and lessons. How do you like to market side of the business?
As an art teacher, I have one side of the business that’s my own. I think there is an understanding of how art works through a calm guidance. I take a relaxed approach as I offer my insights. Having our own business makes it easier to do this. We both do lessons, but I also offer artwork that people can keep. Since we changed the name, I’ve been more active on social media. I like to share my drawings, custom paintings, ukuleles, and digital portraits.
How do you and Darren work so well together as business partners?
We are very similar, but we are also different people. Darren has his specialties, and I have mine. There are some tasks that we work on together, like brainstorming our social media posts. When things were normal, we had our separate students and we travelled to their homes. Now we see each other more because of quarantine. He is still able to go to his students, while I work on my projects at home. We are under the same name and we are married, so we both benefit from this job. It is teamwork.
Get int touch: Leticia is currently offering lessons online and in-person(socially distance)during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also offering custom digital portraits and ukulele designs. For more information, visit www.dandelionsmusicandarts.com
This story authored by Vanessa Butera, Content Writer, The Onside Media, Toronto, Canada. If you have stories to share kindly email: – [email protected]