Teaching art and other thoughts About this blog

Art Sprouts Presents

In our studio

(the one where I tell the story of how this blog came to be)

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Hi there! I’m Valeria, welcome to Art Sprouts

Hi! I’m Valeria, thank you for stopping by.

I started teaching art to children as a part-time job to support me through my studies. After almost ten years of trials and mistakes, I thought I was onto to something and decided to share my thoughts and experience on teaching art with this blog. 

Why a blog?

Even though I enjoyed my time as a teacher, I felt like that was not my dream career: I wanted to be an artist. Unfortunately, it came to the point that I just didn’t have enough time to do both. A blog allows me to continue sharing my teaching activities while also allowing a flexible schedule to accommodate my art and research. 

On this blog, I would like to write not as a teacher, but as someone that was taught art. I believe this blog is, ultimately, a collection of everything that I wish I were thought as a student.

Who is this blog for?

This site is for art-loving parents that are looking for new ideas to engage their children. Is for teachers in search of some inspiration to fuel their classes. Is for those who believe that there is no such thing as “children art” and “grown-ups art.” For the ones that are interested in introducing new techniques and medium to empower children and foster their creativity.


If you are curious, a list of somewhat random things about me:

  1. We have two adorable (duh!) rescue dogs, Pepe and Miguel, AKA Michelino for the Italian side of the family. 
  2. My partner Andreu is Filipino and a very talented photographer. Together we funded our  “official” business, HANEP Creative Studio. 
  3. I was born in Turin, Italy, but lived in Luxemburg until the age of 7. 
  4. I am a pathological procrastinator and a methodic planner at the same time: I make very thoughtful plans and wait until the possible last minute to act upon them.
  5. At 15 I won a scholarship for a year-long exchange program. This experience completely changed how my life would be. I choose China solely to piss off my parents; 13 years later I am writing from my art studio in Beijing. 
  6. I knew I wanted to be an artist of some sort ever since elementary school. I entered art school at age 14 and finally left at age 27 with an MFA in Sculpture.
  7. I think of Duchamp a lot. Like way too much. 
  8. I love to real magic realism book, and my all time favorite author is Garcia Marquez. I was bedridden for two months in the Chinese countryside and “Love in the time of cholera” was one of the few books I had with me. Many years later I still think of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza as personal friends of mine. 
  9. I am a huge Potterhead. It’s not unlikely that I would spend a lazy Sunday rereading one of the books. 
  10. I’m cheap, and I love to make things. I will try to DIY most things I like. 
  11. I speak four languages: Italian, my mother tongue, English, Mandarin, and French. Ah, the curious case of French. Although it used to be my first language, after many years, it has been somehow archived in a remote part of my brain. I understand French effortlessly, and yet I can hardly speak it. 
  12. I would say my favorite artist is Eva Hesse. In general, I love the art of the 70s, both American as well as European. And Chinese. It was a great decade.
  13. I graduated from my MFA at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing under professor and artist Zhan Wang. As of now, I consider myself a conceptual artist. The vagueness of the term is entirely intentional.
  14. I always loved to make things by hand. Jewelry, beading, embroidery, sewing, collage, macrame, weaving… It’s hard to think of something I haven’t tried making.
  15. I make faces when I write: maybe it’s my Italian blood forcing me to physically express my thoughts and feelings; either way, it makes it impossible for me to write in public spaces. 
  16. I love Venice; surprisingly not many Italians agree with me.
  17. I am not a big fan of the sea. I love mountains, and I adore the countryside. 
  18. If I had the money to buy a famous painting, it would be a Matisse. Or a Chagall. 
  19. I have a complicated relationship with exercising: I loathe any form of exercise that doesn’t involve a game and the chance of winning. By the way, I am a sore loser. 
  20. I love playing cards. The card game culture is one of the things I miss the most about home. 
  21. I am reasonably attentive to eco-sustainability. 
  22. I am terrible with names. It took me a whole year to learn my own Chinese name. 
  23. I always knew I wanted to be some sort of an artist, but I thought I would be a fashion designer. 
  24. I am allergic to peaches and lotus.
  25. Split, Croatia is one of the most beautiful city I have visited. 
  26. I spent my 11th grade in Taiyuan, a second-tier city in China host of a local family. 
  27. I feel incredibly guilty and anxious if I stir away from art for too long. I try to make it a point to read/write/make something every day. 

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