How to design your retirement after teaching art and how to get started writing a children's book: Art Made Easy interviews Gloria Mathews

Retirement Dreams & Children’s Books with Sparkler Gloria Mathews: AME 050



How to design your retirement after teaching art and how to get started writing a children's book: Art Made Easy interviews Gloria Mathews

Today’s episode is special. Deep Space Sparkle member, Gloria Mathews is the quintessential Sparkler: creative, sharing, and kind. She is always the first one to comment, cheer on and celebrate other’s success in their journey as an art teacher.

Gloria is a retired classroom teacher who transitioned to teaching art a couple of days per week to her group of students in grades K-2.  Hear how she designed an art program that suited her lifestyle and goals and how you can do it, too.

Gloria and I chat about what makes a children’s book successful, how to get started writing your own children’s book and how letting go of one dream allows you to find the space to achieve another dream.


  • How Gloria designed her life after retirement and how you can, too.
  • How text and illustrations play off each other when writing children’s books
  • What is SCBWI and how it serves people who have an interest in writing children’s literature
  • Why it is so hard to publish a picture book
  • How having a tribe of like-minded people fills you up




Gloria’s Facebook Page 

Eric Carl Website

Peter Reynolds Website

Oliver Jeffers

Peter Brown

Chris Silas Neal

Draw with Joan Miro

Rachelle  Doorley & Tinkerlab

It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond by Julia Cameron (affiliate link)

What do you think?

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  • heikerael@gmail.com

    I love the name the kids gave you M&M! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with all of us. You are an inspiration on just following your dreams! Thanks you both for the podcast 🙂

    • Gloria Mathews

      Thank you so much! M&M is indeed a gem of a name. And I’ve been known to pass out a few of them to my students!

  • Melissa

    Gloria is truly a “Sparkle” to all of the kids she comes in contact with!!!
    She is amazing!!!

    • Patty

      I agree! She is a wonderful lady and a source of endless encouragement.

  • Pam Anderson

    This podcast really energized me. Thank you Gloria and Patty. I also am a retired teacher with no formal art training just a love of art. When I taught 4th grade I had to fight to get to teach art and went head to head with my principal at the time. But finally California came around and have put the arts back in the classroom. The teachers knew I did art and when I told them I was going to sub they asked if I would teach art. I, of course, said yes. It as been a wonderful year. I have learned a great deal( and am still learning) I know what you mean about the joy the students give me. I am the one substitute they love to see coming. I have had students tell me they told their teacher to get sick so I could come. My happiest moment was going around to all the classes on Open House and see the art students had done with me on the walls. It made it all worthwhile.
    I have begun to think about how I want to change up next year and Gloria you gave me a couple of ideas. I think most of my teachers would love not having to make sub plans. And it would give me more time to read and learn about art during the day. I am going to broach it with them soon. Sorry this is so long winded but this was a great podcast and I can’t wait to meet you both this summer.

  • Gloria Mathews

    Loved your comments Pam! I can’t wait to meet you too! I know that feeling- seeing the projects you did with kids displayed on the walls. It’s just the best! One thing I did at the start of the year was to make a little brochure for my teachers. I just used the templates on my Mac. It offered different experiences I could offer for the day and featured some of my favorite DSS lessons Patty created. I’ll try to remember to bring one for you when we all meet up in June! Best of luck to you!

  • Pat Rohland

    Hello Patty
    I loved listening to Gloria! What an inspiring lady she is! I’m thinking of teaching small group classes for children in my garage/studio. What do you think the optimum number should be? Mixed age groups or littlies versus biggies? How long should the class be timewise? What should I charge? My friends and family keep nagging me to get started. I am a retired teacher, having taught Art for 39 years whether I was a class teacher or Art teacher with ages 8 to 14. I can’t wait for your book in 2018!

  • Kara Sabatella

    I really loved this podcast!!! thank you… I reinvented myself 16 yrs ago to pursue an art teaching career and now just finished my art degree at 49!!! I love how many art teaching opportunities have come my way or just about land in my lap. Gloria’s story validates my ideas of how I can keep going strong with art teaching at mid life and beyond.

    • Gloria Mathews

      Kara, you go girl! I have a feeling you are one of those people who will always be learning and growing! Thanks for the kind words.

  • Vicky Freeman

    I feel like this podcast was created just for me! Thank you, Patty and Gloria, for your ideas and inspiration! I am a recently retired Art teacher (just over a year). I have been working on my own art work, taking classes, and doing Art for a store. But something has been missing from my life, and you both helped me see what it is. I still have the desire to share doing art with others. Not sure what my next step is, but I know the direction. Thank you both so much!

  • Susan Dognaux

    What were the two art supplies that you both mentioned? I tried to listen and look them up, but I’m having trouble finding them. They both sounded great! Thanks!

    • Patty

      Ack! I’m not sure what we talked about but here is a list of art products I like: https://www.deepspacesparkle.com/resources/

      • Gloria Mathews

        I think we talked about two that I can remember. One is the Maxon Chalk Marker and the other one were the Faber Castel Gel Sticks. Hope that helps!

        • Susan

          I was spelling Maxon wrong – thank you!

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