Kate and Sam Mylin
March 31, 2015
Where are you from?
KM – I grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, in a little town called Hawley near Lake Wallenpaupack. I went to Kutztown University (Kutztown, PA) and moved to Lancaster County in 1989.
SM – (my mother, har har) Seriously, I was born in Reading, PA and grew up and lived inWillow Street, PA.
What is your teaching philosophy?
KM – A child’s work is play. Blooming happens and is fun to encourage. I look at teaching more like guided experiences where I have a project in mind but the individual children bring their bag of ideas and skills to the table and they make me say, “wow!” Discipline and practice win. Process over product. We teach principles which can be applied across the board. Individual differences are also celebrated. Why would your art look like mine?
SM – My philosophy for teaching art is that “art is simple.” Meaning that it is basically easy to grasp, control, expand, and master. People make art complex, but if we stick to basic fundamentals, the complexity comes through simplicity!
Why do you like teaching kids?
KM – I like watching them gain confidence with their own voice and creativity. Children’s artwork is valuable and records that they were here. Relationships and friendships are built when they are creating and it makes life fun.
SM – Kids keep me young. They are always amazing! When they enter the studio setting they are excited, enthusiastic, and usually ready to explore the basics of art. They really don’t have any fear about trying something new. They think in so many new fresh ways and it is exciting to see them focus, work, learn, and smile. As well as giggle at the mistakes, of course. I get a front seat in watching them overcome an artistic challenge and gain victory over something they had less confidence in before they gave it their best shot! Plus, as I teach these kids, I get to see the art of tomorrow and hope they continue down that creative road in whatever they choose to do in life! We have no children ourselves, but it so cool to get artwork from these kids to hang on our fridge!
What made you want to be an artist?
KM – I loved art class in elementary school but I compared myself to others too much and it really discouraged me from expressing myself. Then I married Sam and he encourages me to create everyday. I’ve also learned that my expression is good and valuable. I also like to experience many different types of media and that keeps me going!
SM – Survival. I began drawing as a young child when my mother was very sick. I would travel to the hospital with her and my dad and draw all the time. For me, I could control my “world” in my sketchbook more than I could the things happening around me. I drew all the time in and out of school. I painted, doodled, lettered and it was something I had fun with and even continue to do today. I believe that this is what I was born for. It is a “given” thing built into all of us to be nurtured and used on a daily basis. I learned very early that “art takes care of you” but you just have to do what comes out of your heart. I love art, I love being an artist. I look at everyday as a privilege to be able to be an artist so I can do my art!
What is your go-to tool in the studio? Why?
KM – I like pencil and paper because it is always available. I also like watercolors and a skinny brush with long bristles for swirling colors around.
SM – A pencil because I believe if one can control the pencil, they can control their world of art! The most basic tool in the artist’s toolbox is the pencil. What an artist does with a pencil they can do with a brush, palette knife, stick, cutting tool, and it is as simple that. We all build bad habits, but with a pencil, you can fix these habits into wonderful things. My definition of a pencil is basically anything that can make a mark. Ever draw with a toothpick? It can be done!
Why do you like teaching at the Delaware Art Museum?
KM – I love teaching at the Delaware Art Museum because I meet kids who are eager to create art because this is an ART MUSEUM…not just a class where they have to be there, they want to be here.
SM – Because they gave me a laminated badge to open doors (makes me feel like I am part of a team!). Seriously, I love that this museum has a studio just for young artists! It is amazing. The freedom of teaching the children how to use this space properly is a joy! I feel very honored to work here in this creative place. I enjoy the staff, the students, parents, and all who look through our windows to observe a class or camp.
What do you like about teaching art camp?
KM – I like teaching art camp because for two weeks we saturate the kids with the basic elements of art and the artwise way of doing things. The kids focus on doing the best of their ability and some of them fall in love with art. I LOVE THAT!
SM – I enjoy Art Camp since it is about reinforcing the basics in a fun way! Each camp is different, but I love the chance to take students into the museum and see their faces as we explore the artwork and look at things in different ways! Art Camp is fun because I can trade my lunch with the kids! Cheese puffs usually get me cookies!
What is your favorite work of art at the Museum?
KM – My favorite work of art at the museum is The Green Butterfly. I like the Pre-Raphaelites and Pyle galleries the best.
SM – I have many favorites, but off the top of my head I’d have to say Marooned by Howard Pyle is my favorite. I look at that piece and suddenly the waves move, the birds fly, and I am taken back to being there on a beach with a Pirate! I also love RIOT by Deborah Butterfield, as well as The Crying Giant by Tom Otterness. I could name more but this is a good start!
How would you describe your own art?
KM – My artwork is usually representational. I like painting oil landscapes and portraits and throwing clay.
SM – Whimsical. Fun. Bright. Childlike. Happy. I love cartoons! I have a lot of different characters to help me teach and tell stories. I love doing caricatures too. My goal is for the viewer to be “caught,” “drawn into,” “kept,” and to leave my artwork with a smile! The world is full of grumpy, frowny people, and if they see my art and smile at it… I consider it success! ART HAPPENS!