All Hands Art was created by Pam Consear in 2014. It’s a refocused, new-and-improved version of HandyGal, the creative services company she founded in Oakland in 2008.
The mission of All Hands Art is three-fold:
to engage a wide variety of people in the joyous act of art-making;
to leave a sparkling path of beauty in our wake; and
to salvage, reuse, and avoid wasting materials whenever possible.
The Face Behind the Hands: about Pam
» At my core, I am a teacher. By age 16, I was coaching gymnastics, working in a preschool, and tutoring math. After serving in the Peace Corps as a teacher, I returned and earned my credential and master’s degree in Education. For nearly 20 years I was a classroom teacher, mostly at the kindergarten level. Once you’ve taught kindergarten, you can pretty much teach anything, to anyone!
» I used to be very self-critical and embarrassed to show my artwork. You could say I was “in the closet” as an artist until my first cafe show in 2003. Before that, most of my friends didn’t even know I was interested in art!
» I have a problem with the word talent. I’d rather focus on finding what we’re interested in, and then practicing it. Be persistent. Make the effort. Don’t make excuses. To quote Macklemore, “The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great because they painted a lot.” I love working with folks who are tired of feeling uncreative, and ready to do something about it… like take risks, experiment, and practice!
- born and raised in the Great Northwest: Idaho, Oregon, Washington
- BA Linguistics, Stanford University, 1987
- Peace Corps Volunteer, Kenya ’87-89
- MA Education, San Francisco State University, 1995
- elementary school teacher, 1991-2007
- proud mother of two daughters, born in ’93 and ’98
- began training in martial arts in 2006; earned black belt in 2012
How the title Full-time Artist evolved:
- 2000: took first mosaic class; had a creative re-awakening (“Wow, I forgot what it feels like to spend a whole afternoon in the zone… I need to do more of this!”)
- 2003: started co-leading mosaic and collage workshops in a friend’s studio
- 2008: resigned from Oakland Unified Schoo District and started HandyGal
- 2011: opened an online shop on Etsy.com to sell handmade, up cycled crafts, vintage items, art supplies and more
- 2007 – present: led the creation of over 60 murals and tile installations
- 2008 – present: completed too many Visiting Artist in the Classroom gigs to count
- working on creative projects for 2017 and beyond!
Why the detailed timeline? Because when people find out I’m a full-time artist, their responses range from worried to incredulous. I want hopeful artists to know that you CAN make a living doing what you love.