Drawing with Children with Mona Brookes: AME 100

I wondered how to make this milestone episode special. When I thought back to all the episodes, there is one thread that runs through them. And that is that no matter where you teach art, how you teach art, or what stage you are at in your teaching journey…you are not alone.

We’re here for you.

When I began teaching art in 2004, and had no idea how to teach kids, there was someone there for me, too. An hour after I was offered the job, I went to borders and bought Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes. I knew I struck gold. I flipped through the pages and chapter headings caught my eye…

Giving the artist the permission to unfold

Creating a Supportive Climate

Talk like an adult, with non judgment

How we see…

The book didn’t focus on standards or academic tie-ins, it shared a strong philosophy on how to teach children to draw. It was about what was possible.

I read the book in a few nights and felt so confident about teaching that I literally didn’t plan any lessons other than drawing with the kids for the first few weeks. That was then, and I still refer to Mona’s instructions every now and again.

When we finally secured an interview time, I was giddy with excitement. I wasn’t sure how the interview would go. We talked about the evolution of the book, Drawing with Children, and how it was created…the publicity, the backlash, and how it ended up a franchise. It’s a fascinating story of how one idea channels into so many directions until in the end, it circles back to the origins.

I hope it inspires you to push, dream and circle back.


– How Mona began her journey teaching, and why she says her first attempt as a teacher was a “failure”

– Mona’s philosophy for teaching young children to draw and how the ability to draw can be learned

– How Mona went from teaching art to branding her own methodology and selling franchises

– How technology has changed everything for Mona and her business

– Where the battle between art philosophies stems from

– How Mona is still impacting the world at the age of 80





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  • Esse

    I was so excited to see/hear with Mona Brookes! Oh, may this book was my anchor as a first year art teacher. I was nodding my hearing the part about things did not like in art schools.
    Very thankful and grateful, I have any go art education so I didn’t know anything. This book really helped. Students would drawing skills grow from leaps and bounds.

  • Fran Baldwin

    Thank you for this fascinating and inspiring conversation which has got me determined to try again and to revise drawing lessons, which haven’t always worked out so well in my art room. This is. Y all time favorite podcast, and I have listened to most all for over a year. Congratulations Patty!

  • Linda DeMello

    I was absolutely riveted listening to this episode with Mona Brooks. What a story she has to share! Listening to Mona describe in her own words her philosophy and method for teaching drawing skills to children gave me a kind of clarity I thought I already had. I will most definitely be hopping over to her website…and going back to re read chapters of my own very worn copy of her book. I’m feeling that I often get so busy just keeping up with the daily expectations that come with teaching art to children, and this episode has made me want to slow down a bit, go back and really set my intentions more clearly. Thank you again Patty, for sharing these amazing podcasts! Mona Brooks’ story and how her teaching life evolved is truly fascinating!

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