Interesting in hosting your own art classes at home or starting a summer art camp? This episode is your call-to-action! Download the guide and start planning today.

Summer Camp Start-Up Advice: AME 051



Interesting in hosting your own art classes at home or starting a summer art camp? This episode is your call-to-action! Download the guide and start planning today.

As the school year starts to wind down, now is a good time to consider your summer plans. I hope they involve a deck and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc but if your mind is wandering towards earning some extra money, this episode is for you.

I want to give you permission to finally say YES to your dreams of hosting a summer camp, starting your own studio or paint party class. Whatever it is, operating a small, part-time business that features your talents can be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.

This is not a checklist of how-to items: this is your call to action. To dig deep and figure out why you want to teach kids art in your off hours and why now is your time.

Ready to dive in?


  • How anyone can start a business with the right motivation!
  • Why you shouldn’t give your stuff away for free and how even getting paid minimally for your work gives you the capacity to do more
  • What is beta testing and how it works
  • Why you should always consider what fills you up and gives you energy
  • How to promote your camp without spending money
  • Why setting expectations is the most important thing that you can do


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Episode 018: Host Your Own Art Workshop

Episode 002: Painting Parties and Overcoming Obstacles with Heidi Easley

Episode 039: Success Secrets of a Process Based Art Studio with Meri Cherry

What do you think?

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    Hi Patty,
    Once again thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us! It always helps me to reflect on where I am at. I started my very small art studio about two years ago on a very part time basis while I was home with my son after teaching preschool for many years. I now cover all my rent, all the supplies, my deep space sparkle membership and some more. My three classes a week generally fill up now. So I see about 20 kids a week.
    Once my son starts Kindergarten this summer I will be able to offer more classes and grow my studio.
    I agree with you on setting expectations. This might be one of the hardest but also most beneficial things you can do for your business.
    Thanks for making reflect on how far I have come 🙂


    • Patty

      You are so welcome, Heike. And I love hearing your story. You need to be on the show! I’ll have Shannon reach out to you. 🙂

  • Karen

    I’m glad you put this out there. Here’s my story: I started a camp 15 years ago almost exactly the way you described: 1st summer a few kids in my house. I think I charged $25 for the week but I gave them a supply list and then I made a deal with the local Hobby Lobby manager to give the students a small discount. I think I taught 2 – 4 at a time and taught maybe 12 – 15 kids that summer. The next year, I moved to my church and now I have between 56 and 70 students each summer (depending on if I want to teach 4 or 5 sessions) and I always have a waiting list. If I don’t have my summer camp information available by March 1, the moms find me!!

    I started the camp with only one college art class under my belt (I have a BS in Finance and originally worked as a Banker!). I was a fairly young mom with 2 children at the time. The neighboring school district was undergoing huge budget cuts and the art program was being cut in half. Art classes were being cut from 1x/week to maybe 2x/month. I was always involved in the arts, just not educated in the arts. I decided that ANY art was better than NO art so I jumped in and offered a camp to my friends’ kids who lived in that district. It was an immediate success.

    Parents are LOOKING for quality art camps. The camp has grown by word of mouth and publicity at the church where it’s held. I don’t do any advertising on my own. And I always have past campers working as helpers so my camper : staff ratio is very low. LMK if you want any specific information on camp structure etc. I think I have it pretty well defined after this many years! The cherry on top? Now I have a part-time position teaching art at a private school 2 days a week and I love it.

  • Linda Tvedt

    I love your podcasts! This one is so timely, my art camps are June 5-8; mornings are K-2; afternoons are grades 3-5 and June 19-22 is grades 6-8. 15 kids each session. Thank you so much for your inspiration and guidance. I never would have attempted art classes this year until I found Deep Space Sparkle!

    • Patty

      That just makes my day! We are so much more capable than what we think…rock on with your art camp!

  • Heidi

    Thank you so much for calling me a friend on your episode! I remember when I contacted you for an interview… I felt like I had won the lottery when you said yes! I have always loved Deep Space Sparkle and felt like you were holding my hand as I taught art to kids! Thanks again for all you do! You deserve ALL the success in the world!

    Heidi Easley

    • Patty

      Of course you’re my friend, Heidi! You are the best. I love what you have built and can’t wait to see all the amazing things ahead of you. xo

  • Angela

    You are such an inspiration! I hosted a fun spring break art camp and am now planning my first set of summer art camps! This was such a perfectly timed podcast. Thank you!!!

  • Christine Eggert

    Thank you for this podcast and the earlier ones you referred to. I’m a “new” Sparkler but have been a huge fan for several years.
    I’m a retired art therapist , but now teach art to my young nieces. Your encouraging words and resources have given me confidence to host summer art camps this year.
    I’m new on your website and hope to connect to other independent art teachers to share our experiences.
    You’re very encouraging and generous with sharing your wisdom and fantastic resources.

    • Patty

      Thanks Christine! So happy you are doing what you love. Make sure to join the Sparkler Facebook group if you haven’t already. There are many art studio owners on board!

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