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“I chose to move to McKinney because of the local pottery studio,” Magda Dia began as she told me about her move from Los Angeles in January 2011, “and then I purposefully looked for a home within 2 blocks from there.” It was the pottery studio at The McKinney Art House that paved the way for Magda to open her own studio – Jump Into Art – just six years later.

It all began when Magda asked if there was a class she could teach at The Art House in exchange for taking pottery classes. She began by teaching kids’ birthday parties, then classes and camps. “I followed the breadcrumbs,” she told me. Magda named her room at The Art House “Jump Into Art”, and little by little, she made a name for herself and established her teaching style within the artistic community of McKinney.

There are many elements that make Magda’s classes unique, such as the fact she is not a technical artist. “If someone asked me to draw a horse, I couldn’t do it,” she told me, laughing. When my son, Caleb, and I took a Mommy and Me class at Jump Into Art last year, the number one theme Magda impressed on her students was, “Does it have to be perfect or does it have to be good enough?” This was such a refreshing concept to hear, not just for the students, but for us mamas as well. She wanted us to enjoy making the art, and not worry about how it measured up. “It’s all about the creative process,” she explained.

Jump Into Art is also unique thanks to an idea sparked by a conversation with Magda’s daughter. When Magda asked her daughter (a gifted artist herself) if she would like to take some extra-curricular art classes, her daughter (in true teenage style) responded with, “No. I’m tired of everyone always telling me what to do. I just want to do my art.” Magda took this as a cue on how to run her classes, and the concept behind Jump Into Art was formed. She structures each class around a particular project, gives her students a few techniques to use if they wish, and then allows them to design how they wish. In addition to providing a safe space for students to freely create, Magda also uses the classes to teach kindness and compassion to her students who then take these qualities out into the world.

After renting space in The Art House for six-and-a-half years, Magda moved Jump Into Art to the carriage house behind her home in McKinney’s Historic District. Magda has created a welcoming artist’s workshop with 600 square feet of workable space, a pottery studio, and plenty of inspiration in the beautiful ancient trees just outside the windows. She now has McKinney citizens of all ages taking lessons at Jump Into Art.

“This is all possible because of the grace and community of The Art House and its owner, Sona Knox. I wouldn’t have anything without her; she taught me everything I know.” This is not the first time we have heard how supportive the McKinney artist’s community is. I, for one, love supporting a community that shows such grace, kindness, and support for each other. If you are interested in taking classes at Jump Into Art you can visit their website www.jumpintoart.com.

-LP

this article was originally published in The Art of Living Beautifully magazine Spring 2018

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