January 04, 2017
"Meet a Community Art Star" is a regular feature showcasing ArtStarts' amazing group of volunteers who are passionate, enthusiastic arts champions. Read more posts in this series.
Kallie George pours her imagination onto the printed page. She is the author of many books for young readers, including The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series. Kallie regularly volunteers with ArtStarts, and has recently been helping plan our Family Literacy Week events for schools and for families, taking place January 25-29, 2017. Kallie will also be our guest artist at ArtStarts on Saturdays on January 28 and at ArtStarts at River Market on January 29, 2017, presenting a storytelling and visual arts workshop called Magical Stories and Enchanted Eggs.
Hi Kallie! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a children's book author and I teach creative writing classes for both children and adults. I do some freelance editing as well. In my free time, I love to go for hikes, watch movies, go to the theatre, swing dance and hang out with my husband.
Why do you write books for young readers?
Basically, I am a big kid myself. I love reading kids books, and especially magical fantasy worlds. My favourite books growing up included the Narnia series and the OZ books. I love coming up with ideas for new stories, and I also revel in the editing process. I really enjoy seeing a story improve.
How do you think young people and families benefit from being involved in the arts?
There are innumerable ways the arts help young people and families, but two major ones, I think, are that the arts can help inspire young people to express their own experiences and emotions, as well as help young people understand and empathize with experiences that they haven't had.
Why did you decide to volunteer with ArtStarts?
Writing is my passion—but sometimes it can be lonely, too! I wanted to meet more people in the arts community.
What has been your favourite aspect of volunteering so far?
I really enjoy meeting and getting to know the wonderful, creative ArtStarts staff. I had so much fun working on activities for The Big Draw event.
How do you define creativity?
To me, creativity is the expression of one's own feelings, ideas, thoughts—from big to little, in whatever form. But there are so many ways to define it, I'm sure! Creativity brings happiness and fulfillment.
Do you have any advice for people who might want to try out creative writing but aren't sure how to get started?
The first thing is to not worry about trying to write perfectly right away. Just start writing! I don't think any writer writes anything perfectly the first draft. There are lots of techniques to getting started—free-writing, brainstorming, plotting, journaling—and I also recommend looking into joining a creative writing class. Creative writing classes, and workshopping my stories with other students, really helped me.
Thank you, Kallie!
If you're interested in volunteering with ArtStarts, learn more about current opportunities at artstarts.com/volunteer
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