Scribbling, coloring and painting over pages in a notebook using everything from crayons to pencils might seem more fitting for a kindergarten classroom than an adult prof

But Collin College art professor Cynthia Padilla, who started the Scribble/Smash/Splash classes, says using unconventional media can help adults unleash their artistic creative side without pressure.

“You have terrified adult beginners who think they’re not good enough, so I start with a demo,” Padilla said. “I just let everybody play around with the materials with no expectation.”

Padilla has taught art classes at Collin College for 15 years and uses her art expertise to help adults who have given up on art reclaim their skills.

“Most people in the class stopped drawing because of a reason. Maybe an art teacher said something cruel, or a parent said they weren’t doing something well,” Padilla said. “Some thought they were artists but have stopped to raise a family. Most of the people have had a long period where they’ve stopped drawing.”

Interested in art since elementary school, Padilla is passionate about creating an artistic spark in others.

“I cannot imagine a life without art,” Padilla said. “People who are in my art class come because they want to be an artist.”

art photo2Padilla holds workshops throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as nationally and internationally, from Connecticut and Massachusetts to Guatemala and Canada. She specializes in introducing new art products to students.

“I bring in lots of old media and brand new materials,” Padilla said.  “For example, pencils have changed so much and the newest kinds have no wood. I am enticed by art products and bringing in the new latest and greatest.”

“Throughout the workshops, students can record techniques they’ve learned in a notebook which gives them confidence as they see how they’ve grown and progressed,” Padilla said.

“At the end, a student will come up to me and hold my hand and say, ‘You are the best teacher I’ve ever had. I feel like I’m an artist now.’”

For a complete listing of Padilla’s upcoming classes, demos and exhibitions, visit

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