Budding artists don’t have to work alone! You can channel your favorite artist by learning about their style, their techniques, and what influences them. Then use that knowledge to make your own art! You might even incorporate some of their artwork into you own artist-inspired project, using postcards, cut-outs, print-outs, or any other supplies and turning them into a collage, painting, drawing, or a 3-D artwork.

When my friend Sharon first showed me her book, Open Studio: Do-It-Yourself Art Projects by Contemporary Artists, I was so inspired; she’s pulled together the most incredible group of fun projects and behind the scenes images of some of my favorite contemporary artists.

One of my favorite things about the book is getting to see all the artists’ studios featured! An artist’s studio very much reflects who they are—my own studio, and my craft room at home, are filled with paints and markers, craft supplies, past projects, and photos of friends and family. As someone who spends so much time in my own studio and craft room, I find it so interesting to see where people work, whether it’s a painter in a studio or a writer in their office.

Seeing the work of so many artists collected in this book by Sharon Coplan Hurowitz and Amanda Benchley also made me want to create art! And each artist profiled in the book suggests a specific project.


I’ve always admired William Wegman, the photo artist known for incorporating photos of his beloved weimaraners into his artwork, so I chose to do his Open Studio project. Not only am I a Wegman fan, but now that we brought Groot into our family, I’ve also become a dog person!

Open Studio has materials to get you started on each project. In this case, it’s a sheet of punch-outs picturing Wegman’s dogs so that you can incorporate them into your own artwork. Following that prompt, I took a punch-out and worked it into this drawing of a puppy painter hard at work! My favorite subjects are people, so I thought it would be fitting to have the dog painting my version of William Wegman!

There are so many ideas that can be inspired by Wegman.

-Draw a scene with your own dog in an unexpected setting
-Photograph your dog with a colorful backdrop
-Dress up your pet and take portraits
-Find a friend with a dog and create your own collaborative pet portrait studio

Pick your artist, and have fun! Whether you cut out some soup can labels and channel your inner Andy Warhol, or your kids paste some of van Gogh’s sunflowers into their own painting of a garden, just get creative!