After a 16-year career as a secretary, Sara lost two jobs—along with most of her possessions—when the 2008 recession hit. But this life-long artist saw an opportunity to pursue her true passion despite her financial difficulties. By saving up her unemployment checks, she was able to negotiate an affordable lease on a studio space and opened Art with Sara. Now she teaches kids and adults to draw and paint with mediums ranging from oil paints and pastels to colored pencils.
Rather than focus solely on teaching technique, she blends strong craftsmanship with visual story-telling to help her students cultivate vivid imaginations. The result is a plethora of whimsical masterpieces depicting animals, mythical beasts, and the human condition. Sara also hosts art camps and parties with a featured painting and step-by-step instructions.
With schools on the shores of the United States, China, and the Philippines, the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) works to nurture the next generation of Hollywood’s elite. The academy's hands-on training, one-on-one attention, quality gear, and focus on all aspects of the craft, from writing to directing to performing, have earned it praise from the Hollywood Reporter as one of the Best Film Schools in the World. To put these means to use, IAFT hosts programs that can lead to certification or a diploma, as well as workshops that sharpen skills or introduce beginners to the world of the silver screen.
Yet for a student few things are more important than having a stolen answer key to their finals and an influential mentor. So IAFT stocks their faculty with experienced professionals such as Frederick Bailey. Bailey has directed more than 100 stage plays in theaters across the United States and has seen more than 20 of his screenplays become movies. He also holds a recurring role on the television soap Days of Our Lives and has taught acting, directing, and screenwriting in Japan and the Philippines.
At Hollywood Academy of Music, youthful exuberance mingles with experienced instruction by university-trained teachers during private and group lessons, camps, and clinics. Individual lessons in more than a dozen instruments teach students to strum a guitar's strings, tickle a piano's keys, or purée beats with a kitchen blender. In group classes such as the School of Rock Band 101, teachers help groups of kids or adults grasp band basics, and in the Recording Artist program students learn to create and release their own self-produced CD on software they can use at home. Hollywood Academy of Music also helps students and the general public to hone their tune tutelage at free monthly clinics that range from songwriting to wailing the ran-out-of-matching-socks blues on a guitar.
Sessions take place in air-conditioned studios equipped with observation windows and high-quality pianos, guitar amps, and drums. Instructors also work with aspiring entertainers to help them put together a vocal repertoire, with some students advancing to compete on shows such as American Idol and The Voice.
Photos with a "cinematic fashion feel"—that's how Jennifer Emery of PBJ Candids Photography describes her style. With a background in acting, she certainly has a grasp of the dramatic. Whether shooting headshots, weddings, or portraits, she uses that approach to infuse images with excitement. During her 20 years as a photographer, her unique style has landed her work in renowned publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings and Pasadena Magazine.
A highly adaptable photographer, she can customize her style to suit virtually any photographic opportunity. That includes live events, corporate photography, and creative pin-up girl or boudoir sessions. With her cinematic touch, she also creates art prints, photo jewelry, and photo coasters. As a photographer with a boundless passion for the art, she also leads workshops, teaching others how to operate digital cameras, compose images, and return the souls accidentally captured on film.
Led by Allen Levin, an experienced actor, producer, and writer, Lifebook Acting Class’s celebrity-extolled workshops impart budding performers with the art of dramatization. Stratified into three levels ranging from orientation to advanced, classes for aspiring professionals mix improv and character building with career coaching to prevent missteps such as starring in a western with talking tumbleweeds. Acting hobbyists develop comedic and dramatic talents in Acting for Non-Actors and First Timers, a self-confidence strengthening romp through the basics of theatrics. For those with proven celebrity or one major credit to their name, the Master Class sharpens already deadly dialogue skills into a force to be reckoned with in time for a prized audition, starring role, or first meeting with future in-laws.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.