Featured Artists from the Community: June 2020


For this month’s roundup of artists from our community, we meet Tina Folks, Clare Putnam, and Maria Beloshitskaya. These artists hail from all over the globe, from New England in the United States, to Moscow, Russia!

Tina Folks, Patchogue, NY

Tina Folks is an artist from New York

Tina Folks runs a wallpaper and faux finishing business with her husband by day and dabbles in a lot of art mediums outside of work. Whether it’s taking her travel sketch kit on her lunch and tea breaks while at work, or holing up in her work room after work and on weekends to create, Tina works hard to make her creative practice happen throughout the day.

Tips for a new artist

We asked Tina for advice she would give to someone just starting out on their creative journey:

One of the most important things I’ve realized as an artist is this… do not wait for inspiration to come to you. Creativity is something that is cultivated by working, regardless of how you’re feeling. It’s a muscle that you can learn to strengthen. I find even on those really tired evenings after work, I’ll manage to go upstairs to my work room and just stare at my table. Without having an idea of what I want to do, I’ll start moving things around, reading some notes I left myself about a project and before I know it, I’m working! The hardest part is getting in there!

Clare Putnam, Somerville, MA

Clare Putnam is an artist from Somerville, MA

Clare Putnam’s creative habit started with a box of Crayolas as a kid and she returned to it with some watercolor courses at an art center as an adult. She took a break from creative pursuits while in school growing up but has since found the itch to make art and it hasn’t left her.  She works at a research center for students at Harvard University and finds a lot of inspiration in the beautiful seasons and surroundings near her home, just outside of Boston, MA.

The moment your creative habit clicked

Can you recall the moment your creative habit clicked? For Clare, it was a pivotal moment in her art making and she’s taken a few great reminders with her on her creative journey…

My creative habit clicked for me when I realized that if I am willing to tackle the challenges and hurdles in art-making, though it may feel difficult, it’s going to be very rewarding! I love the magic of seeing a blank page turn into something beautiful that I created. I feel like I am entering almost a different “dimension” or a different “reality,” if that makes sense. There is a very magical feeling I get when I am immersed in a sketch or painting. Art-making can feel timeless to me because it can take me back in time or to a different location.

Maria Beloshitskaya, Moscow, Russia

Maria Beloshitskaya is an artist from Moscow, Russia

Maria Beloshitskaya loved art as a kid and visited galleries with her parents in Moscow often. She is busy raising three kids and still makes sure to fit creative time in when they’re at school, and even on excursions with them during holidays and summer vacation. Maria loves creating art with her children and being a creative role model to them.

What you can learn from your creative habit

It’s often true that a creative habit can teach you a lot about yourself, and give you some insights into other areas of your life too! When asked about what her creative habit has taught her, Maria explains:

When I struggle with something like a new tool, I’ve learned that sometimes art materials that seem hostile and complex at first become your good friends later on, and to not give up on them!

These featured artists from the Sketchbook Skool community each bring a unique perspective to making art, and sticking with a creative habit. Whether you’re just getting started, or want to dive back into your art practice, check out our courses and join our community of artists!

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