Meet Teaching Artist Anna Kingsley
Meet Teaching Artist Anna Kingsley
Anna Kingsley is an artist from Oakland, California. Since 2011 she has owned and operated Brick Factory Designs, a letterpress studio and bindery, and has happily produced customs designs for even happier clients. We spoke with Anna about her work, as well as the classes and workshops she’ll be teaching at Richmond Art Center this winter.
Can you please introduce yourself to our community?
Hello! I’m Anna and I’ve been teaching adults and children for over fifteen years. I started as a teacher for students with intense learning and behavioral challenges and later moved into teaching art. During the school year I teach origami at five different schools in the East Bay. I also run a small letterpress and bindery and print custom posters, announcements, broadsides, and more. I have three young adult children. Our family is very queer / trans.
What has your artistic journey been like?
Art is a meditative process for me. I have ADD and repetitive motions help me focus.
I have always been a dabbler and creator. As a child I drew, painted, made my own books, and built magical sculptures. As an adult I do the same but with more skill and experience. I studied Photography and US History for my BA.
What projects are you currently working on?
At present I am gathering print samples to photograph. This year has been busy and I haven’t had a moment to document my projects. I am also slowly working on cataloging the pigments I produced last summer. Some via chemical reaction (laked pigment) and some purely soil and mineral based sampled from local trails.
What do you like about teaching?
To be honest, a huge flex of mine is being able to help three students out at the same time with three separate issues while five other kids are scrambling for my attention. I love almost everything about the act of teaching. The community: spending time together with a common goal. Teaching is humbling. In order to teach , you also must remember what it is like to be a student. Those moments where you reach a learner who continually refused to believe they could complete a complicated project. Keeping my brain in shape when I have to change tactics mid lesson for half the class because my original way was not working for them. Teaching has zero down time. You are always ‘on’, and while this exhausts me sometimes, I apparently enjoy the sprint.
From my understanding, you have taught at Richmond Art Center before. What is it about RAC that keeps you coming back?
I love the staff at the RAC. They haul a** to get things done. The studio spaces work nicely with my classes and the age diversity of the student population is great.
Can you tell us about your class offerings this winter quarter?
So, I’m teaching two multi-session classes and three one day workshops. All printing and book binding. The workshops are fast paced and go less in depth because more of the prep will be done for you beforehand. The bonus is that you get to take home a beautiful and functional book after just three hours. My intro to books and printing is a much more leisurely paced program. Beyond the specifics of ‘what’ and ‘how’, we will also have a chance to discuss the ‘why’ of certain techniques. This is really important for artists because we all have our own ways of getting to the same solution. Having a deeper understanding of factors such as paper grain, ink additives, and thread tension will allow a student to make better choices in future projects.
Is there anything else you would like to share? About your classes, yourself as a teacher, or as an artist?
Come take a class with me. I’m good at what I do and I love seeing the creative light turn on inside someone who has not had time to prioritize art in their lives. Also, I’ve been told I’m hella funny.