Meet Cathy, a dedicated visual arts volunteer, graphic designer, wrapping paper designer and member of Art Start’s Young Professionals Committee. She inspires us daily and we think that she will inspire you too.

What do you do at Art Start?

I’m on the Young Professionals Committee of the Executive Board and former art workshop volunteer.

How long have you been a volunteer?

I volunteered on a weekly basis for 2 years and recently took a break to focus more time and energy on my board member duties.

Can you talk about a special moment at Art Start?

Every time I saw a smile on a youth’s face, especially in excitement for Art Start, was a special moment for me. It feels good to know you’re a part of something that brings joy to others. It’s proof that we are making a positive impact on these youth’s lives somehow. And that’s all I’m really looking to do. Create positive space; make a lasting impression.

Perhaps my most special memories were working with one youth who had a speech deficiency. It was difficult to understand what he was saying, so it challenged me to look for cues in his tone and gestures to understand him. It was a reminder of how we all connect as humans, despite our age, language, circumstances, etc., on such a basic level. He was no less eager or able than anyone else to create and express. And it was always a pleasure to create with him.

What do you love to do?

More than anything, I love to help people. I love to affect change and bring positivity and openness and togetherness into the world. And I think a great way to do this is through art. I own a wrapping paper company and I find inspiration for my designs every day–from elaborate art installations in this great city, to the tile patterns I walk across every day to work. From a child’s drawing to a puddle of spilled milk, inspiration is everywhere. By infusing these things into my wrapping paper, I’m able to bring what inspires me into an accessible product that happens to be associated with joy and celebration. How great is that?

Has your time at Art Start influenced you or your art in any way?

Absolutely. I took over the Art Start Instagram feed on nights I volunteered, so I was constantly taking pictures of the youth’s art and their process. Doing that made me look that much closer at what they were creating. I’m always fascinated by what they come up with, the depth of their creative minds, and how skilled they are. This makes me think twice about the art I make and the patterns I create. It pushes me to step back into my youthful creative mind–when I feel it was at its freest. And it’s just so inspiring to watch these little humans create beautiful art.