Rebecca Nechuta started her business Maid Brigade in 2003, and it gave her the tools and knowledge to open another business — one that allowed her to express her love of art. KidzArt in Okemos teaches elementary-aged students the fundamentals of color and drawing and gets them making their very own pieces of artwork. Q: TELL ME WHAT KIDZART IS ALL ABOUT.? A: KidzArt is a national franchise. It was founded by an artist and businesswoman who found that her son needed more art experience in school. When I read about KidzArt, I had the same beliefs about art that she had. I decided to purchase the franchise for the greater Lansing area. Primarily we do afterschool programs along with summer camps and birthday parties. It’s a positive experience, there are no mistakes, and everyone can be an artist. In KidzArt we draw with Sharpie markers, so you can’t erase a line. If you draw a line you don’t like, you make it work; there’s problem solving involved. It’s a freeing experience for the students, and they’re free to express themselves. I like to teach art to my students where we’re not all making the same thing. Everybody’s work turns out unique. It’s amazing that you can have 20 students, and all of their work will look different. Q: DO YOU INVOLVE ART IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE? A: I come from a long line of artists, so I’ve always loved art. Art is who you are; I find that I’m creative in all aspects of my life. For example, I like to garden and enjoy planting lots of bright colors together. You can apply creativity to your everyday life. Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ART TEACHER? A: I love to be a teacher; I was born to be a teacher. I feel my gift is encouraging people. I love to see a student grow in art allowing them to open up. They become proud of what they do, and they feel good about themselves. My focus is to make students feel good about what they’re doing. When they can explore with art, they can go into their own schoolwork in a more positive way. They feel they’ve been successful at art, so then there’s more they can do to be successful. It really does transfer. Parents tell me their kids are so much more positive and open to trying new things after my class. All of our students do unbelievable work. Art encourages students to be more open, and I look at them as artists.