If you think little human’s art education is more than Picasso and pretty pictures,
If you want your little human to become a kind, sensitive, conscientious and independent thinking big human,
If you are looking to nurture your little human’s holistic creative development,
If you want a mentor to grow up with your little human,
If you wish to have your little human’s art teacher in your own childhood,
If you want to brag to all your friends about your little human’s art teacher,
If you want to find an art teacher who deeply cares about your little human’s well-being and development,
If you want your little human to make interdisciplinary connections as their daily cognitive process and have a deeper understanding of the world,
If you believe in persistence and work ethics to achieve any goals,
And don’t forget, of course, if you want to hang beautiful original art made by your little human in your living room or offices,
Look no further.
I promise I will open your little human’s horizon.
work in progress
I help transform little humans into kind, intelligent, conscientious global citizens through the disguise of art. We interweave interdisciplinary subjects into in-class chats, art projects and assignments. Often, our art projects are a thin disguise to develop essential life skills such as observational, analytical and critical thinking skills.
Really, we talk about anything under the sky! Abortion, child bride, child pornography, mensuration, nudity VS nakedness, wealth inequality, art commodification…
The sky is the limit…except we have talked about living on Mars.
I absolutely believe that when big humans (especially big humans our little humans trust and look up to) talk about taboo issues openly, we make these yucky tempting and mysterious topics (sex? Yuck!) so much less appealing and desirable.
Little humans are confused enough about their own bodies and mind and the world at large. Providing them with this safe space where they will never be teased for sensitive issues is something I will never compromise on.
So what do we actually do in class? Anything I can do really. That has meant contemporary/historical art studies, presentations, essays, film analysis, current/historical event research, shadow puppetry, picture book writing and illustration, printmaking, pencil, colour pencil, markers, oil/chalk pastel drawings, oil/acrylic/Chinese ink painting. The list expands as I acquire new skills in stealth mode, and I LOVE learning. I am the biggest student in Life 101.
Each class’ syllabus is heavily dependent on the student population (of four or five.) The projects and assignments are often specific to the students’ needs, interests and performance. In one-on-one sessions, the focus and attention are laser-sharp.
work in progress
Before COVID, I regularly organised field trips and events. They were as much fun for the big humans as for the little humans. For our Peng Chau field trip, a professor parent pretended to ignore her paper deadline and came onto the field trip. On our return ferry trip, she was so glad she made the correct decision. We went to the beach to clean up garbage. We collected unsold bread to donate to charity. We planted potatoes on a farm and the little humans ate their own potatoes after three months. We visited art exhibitions and sketched en-plein-air. We appreciated art at different MTR stations. We visited Sham Shui Po, the last really affordable neighbourhood within the city on the train line.
Students can also expect to have their works featured in student exhibitions. Despite COVID, we held an overwhelmingly successful exhibition at PMQ in December 2021. The exhibition theme was “What I Don’t Want to Forget in Ten Years.” Each little human wrote a letter for themselves and their parents, to be opened in ten years.
Did I mention the classes are ?
Because I am actually an oversized little human.
"[...]Michelle possesses a serious focus and playful atmosphere in her studio as she instructs on art and life. For example, Michelle has cultivated stronger awareness in my family about the dire state of plastic pollution through her exhibits, book, and studio projects, which has impacted us to change our everyday choices.
Our son Xavier is now in his fourth year studying under Michelle and we are delighted at how she has helped develop him as a young artist and as a global citizen.
Thank you so much Michelle!"
Stacey Lowre, 2021
Private student exhibition
PMQ, Hong Kong
If you are still reading and still want to find out more about my teaching philosophy, let me share a few more stories!
I really think art is a private garden in any big human’s life. I do not expect every one of my students to pursue art academically or professionally. However, I fully expect them to develop a lifelong appreciation for the arts that will make their adult lives richer and more fulfilling.
My favourite moment of teaching is when a student, maybe not the most gifted or talented, finally makes the mental connection after months or years of struggle. Watching them make that breakthrough makes all these years of teachers’ frustrations worthwhile.
My favourite kind of students are the ones with an incessant thirst for answers. Our conversations often leap from films to gender inequality to the art market to racism.
This is how I began teaching: I started teaching at 16, when I volunteered feverishly to work as an assistant in an after-school programme in North Burnaby, BC, Canada. In 2012, I had the opportunity to teach at HKU Space, one of my students Iris, longtime faculty member of PolyU, asked me about children’s art education on our Hong Kong Park field trip. One thing led to another, I began giving lessons to her daughter Amy and her friends. Fast forward to 2022, I just had class with Amy and her friend this morning. And she is still constantly checking if I will be able to help her with her Art IGCSE exam. She is in Grade 8. (IGCSE happens in Grade 10.)
"I have been attending Ms. Michelle’s classes with my friends since I was four or five, and now I’m thirteen. I am extremely thankful for everything that Ms. Michelle taught me, it is no ordinary art class, but an adventure into my creativity. She helped me build my aesthetic conception for all these years. We were not made to remember boring rules; instead, we were shown so many different techniques. We got to choose what we could do and make.
[...]In the eight years I can remember, Ms. Michelle always smiles at us, always helps us out even when we mess up badly, and is always so patient with us. I don’t know how else to put my immense gratitude into words, thank you so much, Ms. Michelle."
Amy (aged 13)
(I think...I always think she is still four)
beach clean up
Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong
If you are still reading, let’s get down to business.
Little humans should be aged 8-18. Sometimes I do take littler or bigger humans. Just ask. I teach in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. According to Amy, I often use all three languages in one sentence without missing a beat.
All classes are held on Saturdays. Right now, there is an opening for aged 12+ at 9:30-11am and an opening for aged 8-12 at 11:15am-12:45pm. If you want to open a new group session for Saturday afternoon, please find a buddy! I open a new session with a minimum of three students. One-on-one sessions are always available and more flexible.
Parents are invited to drop off and pick up their own little humans. (Please do!) Parents are not invited to stay during class. How do I say this politely? Little humans behave differently with their own sperm-and-egg-donors around.
All classes take place in my studio in Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong. Enrichment conversational online classes are available. Please go somewhere else for studio-based online classes.
These classes are really meant to be ongoing. I have seen remarkable improvement over a year, or even over a few months. (Students moved countries even though we loved each other. Sad.) However, any enrichment programmes really take years to take root.
How do you know if this works for your little human? Give it a try for a month! If it doesn’t work out, there are plenty of great art teachers out there.
Before the first class, I always ask for some previous artworks by your little human. That usually gives me enough information to gauge his/her level.
2022 rate for group lessons (max. 5 students) is HKD 750/90 minutes. Please for one-on-one rates.
Payment is due monthly. Preferred payment methods: payme or bank transfers.
There isn’t really cancellation for group lessons. I get it. Life is super busy running your own careers and a family. There are school activities and dance competitions and office Christmas parties. I do my best to arrange for make-up lessons. You value flexibility and empathy. I appreciate your understanding that this is a business for me.
Before COVID, I spent about ¼ of my year participating in lectures, international exhibitions, residencies, film festivals and other cultural exchange programmes. That means, if I am not around, you are off the hook and can spend your Saturday class time doing something else.
Don’t be TOO happy. I always assign holiday homework.