New Children’s art classes start at Roma’s Art Corner via YouTube
Parents and kids can learn new skills from home at the Channel ‘Roma’s Art Corner’ on YouTube. The show has lots of fun elements to keep children occupied. There are four episodes so far and host Roma Harvey, adds a vibrant approach to learning. She believes this is a good opportunity for kids to learn from home.
“During the first lockdown I was really bored, I’m sure everybody was. I was really fed up of looking at the screen all the time. Whether it was a TV or the phone,” she said.
“I did a 30 day art challenge where I drew something everyday for 30 days. After a while I thought this could be great for kids. They are sitting off school and probably sat in front of the TV most of the time. I loved Art Attack when I was young. I looked at shows like that for inspiration.”
In the latest episode, kids are given a space theme. Here they are shown how to paint an outer-space picture onto a canvas, how to draw an astronaut and the chance of designing their own UFO.
“I think a lot of kids nowadays are into their technology and stuff. I have two nephews and they always go on their Nintendo Switch or Playstation,” she said.“It’s just nice to encourage children to get away from the TV and their games for a while. To try and get creative and put their hands to some use.”
A fun feature at the Art Corner is the opportunity for children to submit their finished art pieces into the show. At the end of every episode, Roma showcases children’s artwork from the previous lesson, and offers them words of praise. “To encourage kids to draw, we show their drawings at the end. We like showing them on the episodes to make children feel more included and to get into art more,” she said.
Parents can submit their children’s artwork into the show by sending a picture to the following email address [email protected]
“Because you cannot do actual workshops around schools and community centres at the minute; children are not getting any feedback. It’s nice to make them feel interactive in some way. Parents are finding it really hard to find activities for their children to do. Especially when the swimming pools, parks and cinemas are all closed. It can be hard to find things for kids to do in the house.”
Roma’s Art Corner is a production you would think involves many, but in actual fact, the entire team consists of just three people. Local filmmaker Sean Coyle operates the camera. He adds a playful feel to the videos with his careful editing. The first step for Roma was to design a set for the show.
“I got my team together and we had to work on making the living room look like a studio. I got massive bits of card and made the backdrop. I painted my hands and put handprints all over it. To dress it up a little bit, I ordered cloth online and began working on a logo,” she said.
Roma studied Drama at the Ulster University and has previously delivered summer school workshops through ‘Bright Young Things Drama’. She has also worked in America as part of a circus department. Her friend and fellow Drama graduate composes the soundtrack specifically for the show.
“The fella who wrote the music is Joshua Findon Magee. He is writing the music from Belfast, recording it himself and then sending it over,” she said.
“He is working on Christmas music at the minute, as we’re going to release a Christmas episode before the end of the month. There will be tutorials on how to draw Santa, how to make a reindeer from paper plates and how to make a snowman Christmas tree decoration.”
Roma’s Art Corner is a unique concept with a strong educational format. Roma is hopeful that the Arts Council NI can acknowledge their work so far and fund more projects. “We’re hoping in the new year, when the first season is done, we will have a full series to show to funders. Then hopefully we can get funding for a second season. At the minute we’re doing this for the love of it,” she said.
Children also have the chance to enter a competition. There is a huge prize up for grabs, which includes all the tools they need to create artwork. The big giveaway consists of items such as a jumbo art box, a 55-piece art set, a Play Doh set and a huge crayon tub. For a chance to win, all parents have to do is subscribe to Roma’s Art Corner on YouTube, or simply follow the page at Instagram or Facebook. Roma has some words of advice, and an important message for all the young artists out there: “Let your imagination take you away, just have some fun with it. Let your hand run freely when you are drawing. Don’t limit yourself.”