Professional Practice

Creating Time for Yourself (Ep. 153)

As art teachers, the demands on our time right now are as great as ever. But those demands do not lessen the importance of making time for ourselves and making time for art. In this episode, Nic talks to art teacher Kara Aina about balancing work life, family life, and everything else while still finding time for yourself. Full Episode Transcript Below.

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Nic: Many months ago, I did a podcast on something called the welcome wall. The welcome wall is a wall in my house that has a collection of art from artists on Instagram or friends of mine, either online friends or in-person friends, even some local artists as well. I have a format of eight by eight frame, and I ask artists to create on that and then I hang them all together on this welcome wall. One of the artists that I collected a long time ago, because I adore her process and her art, is Kara Aina.

Kara is an artist and art teacher, and she’s going to talk to us about wearing both of those hats, including being a wife and a mother of four boys. You heard me. This is Nic Hahn, and this is Everyday Art Room. Hello. Thank you so much for joining us today. I’m going to let you, in your own words, introduce yourself and tell us your background in education and teaching and arts, and all the things you are part of. Go ahead, please.

Kara: Hi. Thanks Nic. I’m really excited to talk with you today. My name is Kara Aina. I’m an artist and an art educator, and a mother of four teenage boys. Please send your prayers.

Nic: Yeah. No joke.

Kara: I’m originally from New Brunswick, Canada, just northeast of Maine, born and raised there. Now I live outside of Salt Lake City. I’ve been here for a little over 20 years with my husband and our four boys. I have a bachelor of fine arts degree in visual arts with a major in intaglio and lithography printmaking. I currently teach for an online middle school and high school. I have a teaching endorsement for K-12 certification, and I’m currently teaching seventh grade art foundations and then a painting explorations class for grades 10-12. That’s a bit about me.

Nic: Yeah. Awesome. Now, we’re going to get started today in our conversation a little bit more about the art that has brought me to you, I think mostly. I think then we’ll eventually get into talking about your education endeavors as a teacher. Let’s get started with art first. I am a huge fan of your art and everything that you create, everything you create. Every time that you have-

Kara: Oh. Thank you.

Nic: Yeah. When you switch gears and whatever on your Instagram and posts, I’m like, “Oh, I love this too.” Let’s talk about that first. Let’s talk about the art that you create on your own.

Kara: Okay.

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: Well, I think that it’s important to establish that it’s a relatively new endeavor for me. I think that, at least for me. I don’t know about everybody else that’s graduated with a BFA degree. When you graduate in BFA, at least in my case, it really felt like if you weren’t gainfully employed by your art, if you weren’t in galleries and shows and being a breadwinner with your art, then you really didn’t have the right to call yourself an artist. That was back when I graduated, which was a while ago, but I’ve now since learned that’s not the case.

Nic: Okay.

Kara: I’ve had to struggle with that or wrestle with that a little bit in terms of learning how to embrace the word artist and identify with it. I think that the more that I’ve allowed it to infiltrate my life and identify with it, then it’s unlocked more creative juices, if you will, or ideas, or even a deeper ability to find my own personal style. I graduated in 2003 and since then had a whole bunch of different random jobs. Everything from working for JetBlue as a technical writer, to being a lactation specialist for the health department.

Nic: Wow. Okay.

Kara: Teaching private French lessons, just a whole bunch of stuff while I had my little babies. It wasn’t until 2011 that the economy was not super strong. A little bit prior to that, my husband decided he needed … Well, we decided he needed to go back to school and he decided to go get a law degree. He went back to law school. When you do law school, you can’t work the first year. You’re completely out of income, health insurance.

Nic: All the things. Yeah.

Kara: All the things. Miraculously, I got offered a job to teach art at the school that my boys were attending. It was a charter school, K-8 charter school. The teacher that was teaching there, her and I graduated together in our BFA degrees and she was leaving. She mentioned that this job was coming open and I applied and got it. While he was in law school, I was teaching full-time and all my kids were at the school with me. It was three out of four at the time. One had to go to daycare.

Then after school, I would rush home with all the boys, make dinner or shuttle them off to soccer practice, or what have you. Then I would go to school in the evenings to get my teaching certification.

Nic: My, my.

Kara: We did that for a year and a half. I don’t really know how we did it looking back on it, but it seemed to be fine at the time.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. You just do. Yeah.

Kara: It’s just one of those things that you’re just like, “Well, I have no choice.” I just suck it up and get to work. I taught at that school for about nine years and I really loved it. It wasn’t until like probably 2016 that my administration made a whole bunch of changes, and as you know as a teacher yourself, when the administration makes changes, the teachers often don’t have any say over it.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. That’s true.

Kara: It sometimes ends up affecting them in adverse ways, in ways that the administration could never have foreseen. In this case, it took two and a half hours of prep time away from me per week. It ended up changing what I was going to be teaching in the fall nine times between April and August. Everything I had prepared for, the rug got pulled out from underneath my feet.

Nic: Yikes.

Kara: I felt like I was just one step ahead of the students and just praying that the parents and these kids didn’t find out that I was a fraud, that I didn’t really have a stable curriculum for these couple courses that were tossed into my lap, that I’d never taught before. It ended up being fine. I had the skills. I had the knowledge, but I just hadn’t had the time to really plan out the curriculum and the scaffolding tightly enough.

Nic: Yeah. The way that you would like to.

Kara: The way that I would like to. Yeah.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah.

Kara: I just started burning out and burning out and burning out more and more and more. A close friend of mine lovingly suggested that maybe I need to see a therapist.

Nic: Okay. Yeah. That’s an okay thing.

Kara: As only a best friend can, right?

Nic: Yeah. Yeah.

Kara: I met with a therapist, I don’t know, maybe four times. She wasn’t that great, but she did help me to realize that I was spending all this energy teaching everybody else how to be creative. Encouraging my students to keep sketch journals and documenting and practicing, but I wasn’t doing any of that in my own practice.

Nic: Wow.

Kara: I wasn’t doing any of it for myself. It was really in retrospect, quite hypocritical.

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: I mean, I practiced a lot with my students in terms of doing demonstrations or working ahead on a project so I would know how to teach it properly, but I wasn’t doing anything for me.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. I think that a lot of people are probably nodding their head right now saying, “Yep. I get it. That sounds familiar.”

Kara: Absolutely. Yeah.

Nic: Okay. What changed that?

Kara: I made a goal that in 2017, I would carve out time each week to paint. My degree is in printmaking, but of course I have training in painting as well, and I don’t have access to a $30,000 press-

Nic: You don’t.

Kara: … on a regular basis, or an acid room in my house.

Nic: Oh, weird. Okay.

Kara: I know it’s so crazy. It would just be next to the living? I mean.

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: Who needs ventilation, right?

Nic: Yeah. No. That’s a luxury.

Kara: I just decided that I would just use what I had and I would start painting and drawing on a regular basis. I created something called MTO and it’s not something I’ve invented. It was invented by … I don’t know. I can’t remember his name, but some guru that is all about strategic organization.

Nic: Okay.

Kara: It stands for Minimum, Target, Outrageous. I set a minimum goal of painting or drawing 20 minutes a day and a target goal of an hour and a half and an outrageous goal of six hours-

Nic: Wow. Okay.

Kara: … of studio time.

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: Now, you can imagine that that outrageous goal maybe get achieved once, maybe twice in the course of a year, but it was just in the back of my head. Like, “Can I actually do this? Could I actually find a six-hour stretch to spend in the studio? What would I make if I were there?” You know?

Nic: Yeah. Yeah.

Kara: Because sometimes it looked like two full-time working parents with four children that are in competitive sports and have homework and all the things, you don’t have a ton of time. You have to literally prioritize it. It does mean that maybe the dinner dishes aren’t getting done up that night. It does look like the laundry is clean and folded, but it’s sitting at the end of my bed in baskets, and that’s just how it’s going to have to be tonight.

Nic: Right. Right.

Kara: Or maybe it looks like I have a bottle of water and a paint palette on my nightstand, and I’m sitting cross-legged on the bed painting while I’m watching a movie with my husband, just to connect with him at the end of the day.

Nic: Yes. Okay. Finding a balance.

Kara: Which is more often what it looked like than anything, but it is what it is. In 2017, I ended up having a major surgery that took me out of work for seven weeks and I was in a recliner chair and I could barely walk. I used that time to just paint. I created my Instagram account, Kara_Aina_Art just to keep myself accountable with that goal that I had made to carve out time for art. At the end of the seven weeks, I was just painting and posting, just putting myself out there just to have an art journey basically.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah.

Kara: At the end of like the seven weeks, I think I had sold like 20 paintings.

Nic: Wow.

Kara: Friends and family were like, “Well, it’s about time.”

Nic: Oh good.

Kara: That kind of thing. Like, “Well, I was wondering when you were going to finally figure out that you should start painting.”

Nic: That this is it. Yeah. There it is. Oh, that feels good.

Kara: Yeah. It filled me up in a way that I never thought I would. It’s been something that I’ve constantly juggled and tried to balance with teaching as well. I’ve had a few mentor students, like student teachers that I’ve mentored, like five or six. One of the people that came to observe one of the student teachers, she asked me like, “How are you doing your own studio practice and teaching?”

She said, “My observation is that often high school art teachers are much more adept at having an active studio practice simultaneously to teaching than what elementary and middle school art teachers are.” That there’s almost a bit of a stereotype there like, “Oh, you teach elementary art. Isn’t that cute?” Kind of a thing.

Nic: Yes. Oh, yes. Yeah.

Kara: As opposed to like you’re a specialist in your field and you have skills and abilities. Anyway, I just thought that was really interesting. She was actually publishing an article about it and doing some research for it about art teachers and having a studio practice on the side. I got to collaborate with her on that. That was quite fascinating just the information that she told me about.

Nic: Truly.

Kara: Anyway, that is basically how it all started. Now, I teach part-time and I have my studio practice the other half of the time.

Nic: Yeah. Okay. Well that brings us into your current job. I think, especially right now, with so many of us teaching online and-

Kara: Oh, yeah.

Nic: … being thrown into that, your position, it can bring some positive perspective to what we’re all being asked to do, but you are currently doing on a regular basis. Can we talk about your current job right now?

Kara: Yeah. I would love that. It’s interesting because I got an email from our principal just a couple days ago. She said a resounding thank you to all the teachers at our school because she’s had so much feedback that brick and mortar school teachers have been reaching out to us as individuals like, “Save me, help me-

Nic: Save me.

Kara: … teach me your resources.” You know?

Nic: Help. Yeah. Exactly.

Kara: “What programs are you using? How do you do this?” I get asked that question a lot. Like, “How do you possibly teach art online?” I will say that, number one, it’s not perfect, but no situation really is.

Nic: Right.

Kara: Currently in the pandemic that we’re facing, it’s certainly not a perfect-

Nic: No.

Kara: … a perfect situation to be in. It’s harder to connect with my students. I have to make a very concerted effort to reach out and video chat with them or to connect with them or learn more about them. I think that’s the most challenging thing, is it’s more difficult to connect with them on a more meaningful level.

Nic: Right. You’re working at an online charter school, is that correct?

Kara: Yes. An online charter school.

Nic: Okay.

Kara: It’s seventh through 12th grade.

Nic: Okay.

Kara: That having been said, it’s not impossible for me to connect with them. It’s just harder when you’re not seeing them face-to-face four days a week. You know what I mean?

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: Five days a week or whatever the case may be. It just takes more effort in that regard. I’m teaching, like I said, a seventh-grade art foundations class, and then a painting class for 10th to 12th grade. How it works is it’s broken into quarters, into grading quarters, like any brick or mortar school would be.

Nic: Sure.

Kara: Two semesters, four quarters. Each quarter has the dates segmented just like we would in a brick and mortar school. Then we schedule in weekly assignments and we number them and we put them into a weekly calendar so every student can click on every class and know on Monday I have to do this, on Tuesday I have to do that, on Wednesday I have to do that. All the work is due on Friday by 6:00 PM.

Nic: Okay. All right.

Kara: All the students can work ahead. They can work weeks ahead if they want, because all the curriculum is right there. It’s all in. Oh, they can work behind-

Nic: Oh, they can?

Kara: … for 80% credit.

Nic: Okay. All right. There is a little grace that way as well.

Kara: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. That’s basically how it works in a nutshell. I do a lot of demonstration videos, videotape myself and give instruction and then I post the videos. We do a lot of live sessions and students have the opportunity to choose to attend the live session. I can give more realtime instruction. If a student is struggling on something, they can just reach out to me and I’ll set up a one-on-one chat with them, video chat.

I have a document camera and I’ll demonstrate, through technology, how to do this technique or that technique, or you’re missing this step or that step or whatever the case may be in the process.

Nic: Wow. That’s amazing. Who are your students that come to this school?

Kara: Yeah. It’s kind of a niche school. It’s kind of a school that kind of catches a lot of different students that maybe public school wasn’t really working for them. For example, we have a lot of students that, let’s see, live in really remote areas of Utah. We only serve the state of Utah.

Nic: Okay. Okay.

Kara: You have to be a resident of Utah. Not all the students that are in our school live in Utah, but they are residents of Utah, if that makes sense.

Nic: Yeah. It does. Yeah.

Kara: Some of them may live in really remote areas of Utah where maybe their community school is either far away or it doesn’t have many electives or AP courses or honors courses or concurrent enrollment or anything like that. We can offer that. Many of our students are homeschooled students and the parents are really grateful that our school provides so much structure and just stellar curriculum. Takes the pressure off the parents. Then some are just super duper ambitious kids that want to work school around their extracurriculars.

We have some that are studying with Ballet West. We’ve had a couple that have studied with The London … Is at The London Royal Ballet? I’m not sure of the exact title, but super great ballet company in London.

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: We’ve had some that have competed in Latin dancing around the world and snowboarding and archery, just all the things. We’ve had some students that have volunteered in orphanages in China, others that have parents that have been stationed either through military or through church assignment or through being a diplomat for the U.S. or something like that, elsewhere, like in Ecuador or Chile or something like that. It allows the students to take their work with them and still maintain the standards of Utah and be able to graduate within that curriculum.

Nic: Sure.

Kara: Then we have a lot of students that are really sick, that are struggling with some severe health issues such as cancer or kidney disease, or maybe some chronic OCD and anxiety and depression. Just things of that nature and really our school is able to provide them with support, especially on those really rough days. We have students that haven’t really found much success in a public school system, and maybe they don’t feel like they belong or they’ve been really bullied or ostracized in some way, or struggling some personal issues and our school has provided a safe haven for them.

Then of course we have a lot of students that are members of the LGBTQ+ community and some of them have felt more at home at our school. It’s given them some grace to work through some very personal struggles or just things that they’re coming to terms with on their own as well, and we can offer that support.

Nic: That’s the amazing thing. You can be a public school teacher, I’m a public school teacher. However, I appreciate the private schools and the charter schools and the online schools so very much because we have so many different needs of learners, right?

Kara: Yeah. True.

Nic: You guys are definitely catching a good handful and quite a variety of students at your school. That’s really interesting.

Kara: Yeah. Sure. It also gives some people an opportunity to graduate early if they want to do that. I will say that online school is not for everybody.

Nic: No.

Kara: That’s the difficult thing is that in the middle of a pandemic, I think that that’s what parents are really struggling with, is maybe their children are not online learners. I have one in particular out of my four boys that is definitely not an online learner. That he’s more kinesthetic, hands-on kind of a learner.

Nic: In person.

Kara: Online, yeah, is really, really struggling for him. It’s not for everybody, but right now in the midst of a pandemic, it is for everybody.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. It is for everybody. You’re right.

Kara: It’s going to have to be.

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: Yeah.

Nic: That’s right.

Kara: It is tough. It takes some intrinsic motivation that not all teenagers possess for sure. For sure. It has been a really positive thing. I’m amazed by our teachers and our administration. I just have been so impressed with them. They continue to inspire me and amaze me on a regular basis. It’s pretty awesome.

Nic: Yeah. Well, speaking of inspiring and pushing yourself to be online, you recently … Well, I mean, this pandemic seems to have lasted forever, so maybe not so recently.

Kara: Yeah.

Nic: You have pushed yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit. You’ve gone online wearing that teacher hat, as well as that artist hat. Can you talk about your Instagram lives that you’re doing?

Kara: Yeah. Sure. That just kind of fell into my lap, which it wasn’t really something I planned. I just noticed during the pandemic that a lot of people are really struggling, just having a hard time not being able to connect with others, cooped up in their house. I had a lot of friends on group chats or things like that. They were just expressing how cooped up they felt, how they were just going crazy trying to help their kids with their homework and just feeling just really down, really low. No mental energy.

Just couldn’t catch a breath, just really struggling. I noticed a friend of mine, an artist friend of mine in Canada, her name is Amy Dickson. She did an Instagram live where she did a step by step painting and did a paint along. I was like, “Oh, Amy, that’s a great idea. Maybe I’ll do one.” Maybe that will help some of my followers have something to look forward to like a bright spot. You know?

Nic: Right. Right.

Kara: I taught a workshop, painting watercolor postcards so that they could send it to friends.

Nic: Oh, smart. Yeah.

Kara: Through the mail system, since we were all social distancing and in lockdown, and we’re still social distancing and in lockdown.

Nic: Yeah. That’s right. Wear your masks.

Kara: Especially here in Utah we’re kind of a hot spot right now. I taught them how to also finish them so they could waterproof them so that the water or ice or rain, because this was back in March, wouldn’t affect them when they were going through the postal system. I did an Instagram live workshop and I taught them how to do that. I just got a flood of messages like, “Thank you so much. I needed this so badly. Oh my goodness. It’s been the highlight of the past two months.” I was like, “Oh my goodness.”

Nic: That’s awesome.

Kara: I decided to just start offering them weekly, once a week. I was teaching at the time. We were still in school. I was like, “Okay. I’ll fit this in to my schedule every Wednesday at 11 o’clock. I think I can fit that in and I’ll do a different kind of project.” I was really only expecting it to last like four weeks.

I was like, “Okay. This is a bit of a sacrifice if it’s going to take time.” Also, it’s a sacrifice because my boys are in the other room doing their homework and bickering with each other. You know?

Nic: Yes. Be quiet.

Kara: It’s not like we’ve got a perfect love at home situation going on here. It’s like Lord of the Flies in the other room. I’m trying to keep everybody on task and like, “You sit on that couch. You sit on that couch. Don’t touch your brother. Stay focused. You’ve got a physics test. Just focus on that.”

Nic: Just do that.

Kara: Yeah. Exactly. Meanwhile, I’m trying to sequester myself in the studio and have perfect quiet and be like, “Hi, welcome to my live workshop.” I don’t mean to be hypocritical, but sometimes it’s good to hide your dirty laundry.

Nic: Not at all. That’s life. Yeah.

Kara: It’s life, right?

Nic: Yes.

Kara: That’s life. I think I talked about that on the live workshops too. Like, “Hey, sorry if you can hear my kids in the other room. They’re probably eating each other,” kind of thing. I thought it was really only going to last four weeks, but it ended up I did 18 weeks straight. Last week, this past Wednesday was my last one. I just said, “Okay. This is going to be my last one in the creative quarantine series and then I need to take a break because I’ve got to get this curriculum written for the fall.”

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because I also have another job. Yes. Okay.

Kara: School starts in four weeks and I’m losing my marbles. Yeah. I will continue to do some live workshops because I realize that it really fills people up. As long as people were coming and really participating in it, as opposed to like, if it was meeting a need, then I was happy to do it as long as it was serving a significant number of people, not like two.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. What was your number? What were you reaching?

Kara: The one time when I was doing … So, at first, when I started doing the lives before the Instagram update, I could only save the video for 24 hours.

Nic: Okay. I was kind of wondering-

Kara: People could rewatch this.

Nic: Yeah.

Kara: Yeah. It was only available for 24 hours and so people were scrambling. I think when there’s a sense of urgency people will clear their schedules and make that time. You know?

Nic: Yep. Yeah.

Kara: I had like 350 people attend a live session at once and then I can tell that 800 have viewed it later.

Nic: Okay. Yeah. By that time.

Kara: That kind of a thing. Some of them were over a thousand, 1200, 1500, that kind of a thing.

Nic: Powerful.

Kara: Not all at once. Not all during the live, but as the course of the live was saved. Then after the Instagram update, it allowed me to save it more than 15 minutes to Instagram TV, to IGTV, and which I would record it on a Wednesday and I would tell everybody, “This is available until Saturday at 3:00 PM. You have until Saturday to watch it.” Then I would delete it.

Nic: Oh, you delete it.

Kara: I delete it.

Nic: Okay. Yeah.

Kara: I’ve had several people say like, “Well, why would you delete it? Can’t you just leave it up indefinitely?” My answer is this, is like, it’s a sacrifice for me to create the workshop and it also needs to be something that you prioritize so that it will be a benefit and a blessing to your life.

Nic: Interesting. Yeah.

Kara: If you’re not sacrificing time to create art-

Nic: Oh, interesting.

Kara: … then you’re not going to see in your life as well. The other thing of it is that it’s part of my livelihood. I teach a lot of watercolor workshops and painting and art workshops in my community through life in different places, West Elm, the Natural History Museum, different coffee shops around. They’ve all been canceled with the pandemic, but teaching is my livelihood and so I do have some workshops that I sell online. If I keep them up indefinitely, I’m initially putting myself-

Nic: Shooting your-

Kara: … out of business as well.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Kara: I’m happy to provide a service, but I also need to feed a family and four teenage boys eat more than what we pay in a mortgage payment let me tell you.

Nic: Is that right? Is that right? I would imagine.

Kara: Anyway, so it’s trying to strike a balance between trying to grow a business and be a professional, but also giving to the community.

Nic: Right. Giving. You’re still giving a ton. That’s amazing. Okay. After talking about all the different facets of your life, what is the thing that you want our listeners to walk away with in this conversation?

Kara: Oh boy. I don’t want it to be misconstrued that I have everything figured out and that I just have this perfectly balanced life or what have you. It’s not. It’s messy and it’s sometimes stressful and I’m learning every day how to juggle things for sure. I guess the biggest thing for me is that I had to give myself permission to make my own art, permission to be creative and to be an artist. That has unlocked so many positive elements in my life.

Things that I would never have anticipated. It’s unlocked more creativity in my children. I’ve seen them connect with me in a different way than they did before. They’re so proud of me when I sell a painting and I’ve had a few licensing agreements recently and they’ve just been really excited for me. That’s really been meaningful to me. It’s helped me to strike a greater balance. I don’t think that there really ever is a balance, if you will.

Nic: No. No.

Kara: Something is always out of whack, but it has helped. It has helped me to weather some very difficult storms in the process. My oldest son was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. He’s okay but it certainly unlocked a lot of health issues that have trickled down over the past three years. My husband has had a lot. I’ve talked to you about this personally.

Nic: Yes. Yeah.

Kara: He’s had a lot of health issues that we’ve been really struggling with as well. Having a regular art practice and a studio practice has been something that’s filled me up and boosted my spirits and rejuvenated me, and enabled me to have a greater capability of strength to give to my family and also to my students. It helps me to dig a little deeper and to put things in perspective. The laundry is going to be there. The dishes are going to be there. There’s things that just are always going to be there.

Yes, those things do need to get done but my sanity and my health and wellbeing are just as important as the health and wellbeing of my students and my children and my husband. That requires some priority.

Nic: Awesome.

Kara: Some prioritizing, I guess. I guess it would be to give yourself permission to be creative. Maybe it’s not an art practice for you. Maybe it’s writing or, I don’t know, some hobby. Maybe it’s like electric trains in the basement, I don’t know. Whatever it is.

Nic: It could be electric trains. Yeah. Whatever it is.

Kara: Whatever it is that floats your boat.

Nic: You got it.

Kara: Whatever it is that you find yourself you can’t wait to get back to, or can’t wait to look into more or research about more. Even if it’s like spending hours a week planning a trip that you don’t even know when you’re going to go.

Nic: Yes.

Kara: That is life-giving and it requires prioritizing. It’s necessary for our health and wellbeing. I think that the minimum, target, outrageous is doable. It’s doable, and to give yourself that grace. If you happen to miss a day, you don’t necessarily beat yourself up. You don’t. “Oh, I’m so bad. I didn’t get in 20 minutes yesterday. It means I have to do 40 today.” No. It doesn’t-

Nic: No. No. You let that-

Kara: It doesn’t work that way. Well, cut my losses and move on.

Nic: Yep. Beautiful messages for us today. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your art and your experience in teaching. Thank you so much.

Kara: Oh, my pleasure. Thanks for having me Nic.

Nic: Carving out time for you to be a creative. That message from Kara, just resonates with me. I think so often … We’ve been talking quite a bit personally, outside of this podcast, and just hearing Kara talk about how to carve out time yourself and why that’s important on this podcast and in our personal conversations, resonates with me. We all wear lots of hats. We all have lots of jobs, but filling your own bucket, filling yourself and making sure you’re healthy inside your soul is going to allow you to be a better everything else.

A better teacher, a better mother, a better friend, a better wife or husband, or significant. You need to take care of you before you can take care of others. I think that was very clear in the message that Kara had to share with us. I also love that she gave grace to faults. She’s not living a perfect life. This isn’t easy street for anyone, but you can still make your dreams come true and your passions come to life.

We are watching that firsthand in Ms. Kara Aina’s life on Instagram and in her personal life. Thanks again for joining us today. I hope to chat with you again next week on Everyday Art Room.

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.