• Grainne Roche

Zooming Amazing!!

Well who'd have thought that concept would take off and sky rocket?!

As we were suddenly thrown into lock down at the end of March , my heart sank saying goodbye to my wonderful students. The children I see every Saturday at my studio, some for years, as well as the lovely ladies I see weekly on Monday mornings, for painting and putting the world to rights.

Determined to use the time off effectively, I got to work on my own painting redeveloping my website. When it was apparent things were not going to resume after the Easter hols a couple of clients suggested Zoom Art. I shyed away at the beginning, convinced it wouldn't work and that the public would gravitate to You tube rather than pay for online art classes. How wrong was I !

The idea was simple, I would offer an art webinar for children combining the educational side they were missing out on whilst being away from school, with a a fun and interactive tutorial based on a chosen artist. I kept my costs low, making sure the sessions were accessible to all and increased my Zoom capacity to three hundred. Within two weeks I was reaching full capacity. At first my stress levels went through the roof as this was all new territory for me and the admin attached to each session was overwhelming. However things did eventually become easier as I got into the swing.I offered four sessions per week for children in lock down, and one adult evening session 'Paint and Sip at Home'; an easy acrylic painting tutorial. I also ran various Corporate Team Building Events, as companies now seek alternative ways to offer stress busting breaks for their workers.

As restrictions eased and children returned to school in July, my numbers started to decrease, but to a level that was more manageable, at a consistent 40-50 per session. I soon realised I had a regular following and the feedback was fantastic. The general consensus is now to keep this going alongside my studio sessions and offer quality art lessons to those far away. I am now zooming into families all over the world! I have also been asked on numerous occasions to record the sessions and offer them on my website to use at leisure. This task is now at hand, as I continue to build my video library.

Going Forward...my plan for August is to offer adhoc virtual holiday sessions and come September; I will run an After School Art Club every Monday at 4.30, as well as Sunday Mornings at 10.30.Thursday Night 'Paint and Sip at Home', will continue on Zoom. The studio will resume as normal with social distancing measures in place.

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