Skilly-do ♥ Creative Early Educators - Toni-Lyn Keller

21 August 2018

teaching artist toni keller

Meet Toni-Lyn Keller, an upcoming art educator and emerging artist, working in and around Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina. Here’s Toni’s advice for supporting your child’s creativity through art activities, “Let go of some of the structure and let it be an area where they bend the rules. … release the boundaries. Banish “I can’t.” Let’s find out more about Toni, her classes, art and passion for teaching ...

Toni has taught with the North Carolina Museum of Art since 2008 and has been an art educator for primary and high schools in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System since 2015. She earned a Master of Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and her BA in Graphic Design & Studio Art from Campbell University. You can find Toni teaching with the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Summer Art Camps and check out her artwork @laureldrivestudio here on Instagram and Facebook. Go, Toni, go!

Why did you want to teach young children about art?

I’ve always loved art and it’s something that I enjoy sharing with others. It’s wonderful to see the joy on a student’s face when they make something they are proud of or some new concept clicks for them.

What’s your favorite type of media or art form that you like to make with children? And why?

The type of art I make with kids varies on age group. With younger kids I love making Fibers projects or papier-mâché! Especially Pop Art or anything larger than life! With older students I love digging in to an artist or movement and incorporate study to inform projects that are more self-directed.

What kind of art do you make for yourself?

I’m primarily a Photographer. I do this professionally but also create projects for myself involving both digital and experimental film photography. I paint for my own self-meditation but don’t share it except in the classroom from time to time.

What is the most rewarding part of your work with children?

It’s fascinating to myself and to the students to see what comes out of their imagination once they trust their creative intuition.

What advice would you give parents on how to encourage their creativity in art activities?

Let go of some of the structure and let it be an area where they bend the rules. For younger ones they still need some boundaries depending on the medium or location. Wherever you can though, release the boundaries. Banish “I can’t.”

Feeling inspired? 

Explore a new way to mix colors with our Shaving Cream Finger Painting activity.  Then check out our article, Kid’s Creativity: It’s a Love-hate Thing to get more ideas to support your little one’s growing creativity!

Know an amazing creative educator that works with children ages 2 to 4 years old?

Please do send us your recommendations:! And we're always glad to know what you think-- you can give us your feedback right here.