Bellevue Hospital 08/13/18
Tonight we conjured characters out of inanimate objects! The kids made bats and baseballs into brothers; tacos into tap dancers; letters and numbers and candy became a carnival of personality.
These children have faced severe, isolating challenges and are separated from their families as they receive counseling and treatment. It is deeply moving to sense them slowly shift from hesitance and wariness to laughing and playing and creating as we draw together. By the end of the night, one girl who had been very withdrawn in the beginning, ran back into her room to fetch her own artwork and put on her own little exhibit for us. She has definite talent and a signature style we’re calling “manga pointillism.” We hope that she and all these beautiful children keep drawing, keep dreaming and healing and feeling the nurturing connection between us all.
Thank you, wonderful children and staff of Bellevue, for always welcoming us with such warmth and energy, and to our beloved Ink Well volunteers for sharing your time and talent: Ray Alma, Todd Broder, Willy Hartland and Elizabeth Winter.
St. Mary’s Hospital 07/29/18
We cherish our days spent with the St. Mary’s kids. Despite serious challenges, these children always welcome us with open hearts and smiles and wonder.
This time we taught how to draw movement by using elongated poses, action lines and more. These kids have deep creative ability and they showed it as they riffed on Chilly Willy roller skating in the snow, Barney dancing a jig, and roaring dinosaurs, stomping all over the place!
Thank you, kids, for bringing so much beauty to the world. Thank you to our Event Director, Ray Alma, to our volunteers: Dennis Calero, Timothy Savage, Adrian C. Sinnott, Joe Vissichelli, Elizabeth Winter, and a special welcome to new Ink Weller, Willy Hartland of Beavis and Butthead fame! We were also honored to have Dennisia Slabakis join us from Carnival of Love Foundation! We are grateful to the St. Mary’s staff for always making this such a very special experience. Thank you all.
Mount Sinai Hospital 07/18/18
We got to draw live, in-studio with patients on our KidZone TV Show at Mount Sinai Hospital today! The kids helped our guest host, Pedro Delgado, and volunteer, Sangjun Chon, put on a show about “juxtaposition.” We drew mice and elephants, rainbows on rainbows, top hats on shapes. For the patients who couldn’t join us in the studio, we got to draw with them over closed-circuit TV. Thanks all for another wonderful show!
Mount Sinai is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States and it provides continuous activities and programs for the kids in its child-life program.
Gilda’s Club 06/28/18
The kids dove into underwater scenes tonight by first sketching out sea creature characters and backgrounds, then using watercolors to create an underwater wash effect over their drawings. They did a wonderful job, experimenting with mixed media!
Thank you to the kids and staff of Gilda’s Club and to our Ink Well volunteers: Justin Bilicki, Ellie Rahim, and Event Director, Franz Palomares!
Covenant House of L.A. 06/20/18
It was a joy to meet the young adults at Covenant House. We got to show them how to do stop motion, draw monsters, cartoons, and more. We appreciate how patient and earnestly engaged everyone was. That’s what it takes to make good stuff happen!
We are grateful for our volunteers, Jeremy Arambulo, Steve Hirt, Christian Lignan and to our guest host, Michael Daedalus Kenny, and West Coast Director, Joseph Scott.
Mount Sinai Hospital 06/20/18
If you can draw a square, a line, and a circle, then you can draw anything. Today we showed the kids how to make cartoon characters out of the simplest shapes.
A million thank yous to our dear Pedro Delgado, who stepped up to host the show today. And thank you to the strong kids who imagined and laughed and drew along with us.
New Alternatives for Children 6/14/18
We were blown away by the New Alternatives for Children kids’ sand paintings! Check out their masterful designs and inventive ways of using real sand to create summer scenes.
Thank you so much to the NAC staff and kids for having us, to our wonderful Event Director, Lisa LaBracio, and to our devoted volunteers: Pedro Delgado, Barbara Garrison, Stefano Imbert, Abby Merrill and Julia Sarcone-Roach.
After the event, we gave each child their own art kit so they can keep on creating. Go, kids, go!
St. Mary’s Hospital 5/10/18
We feel so fortunate to have come to know and love the kids at St. Mary’s over the years. Despite dealing with challenges like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, paralysis, and burns, these children bring boundless joy and creativity to every activity we do together. Today we helped the kids learn how to draw Disney cartoon characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, as well as drawing the kids’ caricatures.
Thank you, St. Mary’s staff, for always being so welcoming and professional, thanks to our Ink Well volunteers for just being the best: Howard Beckerman, Pedro Delgado, Tim Savage, Adrian Sinnott, Joe Vissichelli, and a huge shout out to Dennis Calero for leading this entire event!
Camp TLC 5/5/18
We loved making super hero self-portraits with the Camp TLC kids! We asked the campers to think of their own strengths and skills, what they’re proud of, and how they’d like to help people. Then the kids transformed wooden and paper figurines into their super-selves!
Thanks to Camp TLC, the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood, and to our Ink Well volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, John Dubiel, Chad Frye, Steve Hirt, Nora Meek, Valerie Nielsen, Ashley Simpson, Zane Yarbrough, and W. Coast Director, Joseph Scott. A huge welcome to first timers, John, Steve, Nora, Valerie and Zane! And thanks to Batman for swooping in too 🙂 The Camp TLC serves children who have experienced life or medical trauma.
NY Foundling Career Day 04/25/18
We were honored to be a part of NY Foundling’s career day that helps foster youth explore their skills and interests so that they may thrive in the professional world. This is particularly important for those nearing the 18 year-old age limit, where many support services end and they will need to support themselves.
We brought artists from the advertising, animation, and cartooning fields to teach about working at places like TED Animation, Grey Worldwide, Nickelodeon and more. The kids were thrilled to learn that you can actually make art for a living saying, “wow, I never even imagined jobs like this!” We’re happy to share insight and look forward to working for you one day, kids.
Thanks very much to NY Foundling and to our Ink Well volunteers: Lisa LaBracio, Pedro Delgado and Todd Broder.
Mount Sinai Hospital 04/18/18
On our latest live drawing show at Mount Sinai Hospital, we celebrated Earth Day by drawing animals and Superman protecting the planet! (Very appropriate since 4/18 is the date when the Kents first found Clark.)
The kids called in their requests for dragons and cats and Smurfs, drawn by volunteers Dennis Calero and Stefano Imbert. All the while everyone chatted about the ways we can stop clogging the sea with plastic, be kinder to our fellow animals, and work toward changes that will reduce our impact on this shared world!
Mount Sinai Hospital 03/28/18
Ink Well event-theme contest winner, Elizabeth Kamke, inspired our night of drawing astronauts, rockets, and a special birthday picture of Spiderman in Space for one little girl’s 9th birthday!
Lots of kids called and texted: one girl wanted to know what our favorite outer space movies were, and a little boy called in to chat with Pedro as he built a space suit out of rectangles- the boy said it reminded him of Sponge Bob in space.
Thank you, kids, for having us and for keeping your eyes up to the stars, to Pedro Delgado for your supersonic drawing skills, and to our shining star of a host, Elana Amity. ⭐⭐⭐
Mount Sinai Hospital 02/21/18
We had a wild drawing show at Mount Sinai Hospital this week! New Yorker cartoonist, Corey Pandolph, and DC/Marvel Comics artist, Dennis Calero, taught how to draw superheroes while the kids texted in advice, like “make Superman’s costume all the colors of the rainbow!” and “draw a bunch of flying fish!” Then they made Corey and Dennis have a speed draw-off, where they drew as many characters in as little time as they could, which was hilarious.
Thank you so much to Elana Amity for hosting, to Corey and Dennis for volunteering, and to all the kids at Mount Sinai who helped us put on a fantastic show.
New Alternatives for Children 02/10/18
The Valentine’s fun continued at New Alternatives over the weekend! We brought heaps of crafts for the kids and they made the most heart stopping cards and pictures to give to their loved ones. Thank you very much, NAC, for having us, to our Event Director, Lisa LaBracio, and to our loyal volunteers: Elana Amity, Sergey Aniskov, Drew Dernavich, Abby Merrill and Tim Savage.
Gilda’s Club NYC 02/08/18
We made mountains of Valentine’s with the Gilda’s Club kids! There were so many creative ideas like a pop-up bouquet, love-lorn dragons, smitten kittens and big-hearted horses. Thank you, kids and Gilda’s Club staff, for welcoming us and thank you to our volunteers: Dennis Calero, Joan Chiverton, Pedro Delgado, Dayna Gonzalez, Elizabeth Winter, and to our Director of GC events, Franz Palomares for leading such a great event.
Ronald McDonald House of L.A. 02/04/18
We were very happy to join with the children at Ronald McDonald House of Los Angeles this week to create Valentine’s Day cards. We helped the young artists make cards and gave them their own Valentine’s treats of sketch books, colored pencil sets as well as some healthy snacks. Thank you so much to our volunteers who hailed from Disney, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks and more: Jeremy Arambulo, Christian Lignan, Ashley Simpson, and of course to our trusty West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, for making it all happen.
Mt. Sinai Hospital 01/17/18
On our KidZone TV show at Mount Sinai Hospital this week, Elana Amity taught how to draw Winnie the Pooh and Piglet in honor of it being A.A. Milne’s birthday! And Dennis Calero drew Batman with a wide open mouth, asking the kids to suggest a food Batman should be eating. One patient said, “a pot of honey!” thus combining our two themes. It was adorable. ❤
New Alternatives for Children 12/07/17
We had a joyous night, making pop-up snowflake cards with the New Alternatives kids! The kids came up with beautiful designs and messages to share with their loved ones and we helped them make a big confetti, gluey mess! (We helped clean up after too).
Thank you to our Director at NAC, Lisa LaBracio, for leading this merry night, and to volunteers: Howard Beckerman, Stefano Imbert, Abby Merrill, Elizabeth Winter, Pedro Delgado and Dennis Calero, and most of all to the great kids and staff at NAC!
ChildHelp of LA 10/28/17
We face painted, bat puppeted, and scary drawinged the heck out of ChildHelp LA this weekend! The kids came up with the greatest scenes of ghouls and goblins and haunted pumpkins while we drew their caricatures and had some cackling laughs with all the wonderful care takers there.
Before we left we made sure each child received their very own colored pencil set, sketchpad and eraser. AND a few lucky devils even got a designer Ink Well t-shirt!
Thank you, parents, guardians, kids and staff at ChildHelp for welcoming us. We love being a part of your village! Thank you Ink Well Volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Chris Harmon, Christian Lignan, Joseph Scott (West Coast Director), Ashley Simpson, and Monica Tomova.
Gilda’s Club 10/27/17
We were thrilled to spend Halloween with the children and families of Gilda’s Club! We fluttered about, making bat puppets, while face painting and doing caricatures of all the fantastic little ghouls and boys.
Thank you to our Ink Well volunteers: Dayna Gonzalez, Jane Archer, Stefano Imbert, Ellie Rahim and to Franz Palomares, our fearless Gilda’s Club Events Director!
Mount Sinai Hospital 10/11/17
Hooray for our version of Hollywood! Master illustrators, Dennis Calero and Pedro Delgado put on a terrific KidZone TV show with the children being treated at Mount Sinai Hospital. They all worked together to create BatMan, Mario and owls that hoot hoot!
Bellevue Hospital 10/06/17
Check out the fantastic stop motion shorts, dreamed up by the beautiful Bellevue kids! They all collaborated on three story ideas: one space adventure, one underwater scene, where three lonely mermaids meet and become friends and one where three explorers meet in the desert during a rain storm and one gets whisked away by an eagle! The kids designed each character and prop and quickly learned how to make them animate. We are so proud of these kids for their patient attention and ability to create so much in just an hour and a half’s time!
Thank you, volunteers: Sergei Aniskov, Drew Dernavich, Corey Pandoloh (welcome first timer!) and Elizabeth Winter and to our lovely co-hosts Jane Archer and Lisa LaBracio for making this such a productive, special evening.
Mount Sinai Hospital 09/20/17
A million thanks to our guest host, Dennis Calero, who made up wild characters with the wonderful kids at Mount Sinai this week!
Mount Sinai is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States and it provides continuous activities and programs for the kids in its child-life program.
New Alternatives for Children 09/16/17
The kids at New Alternatives created the most daring, inventive animated shorts this weekend! They learned the entire process, designed characters, created stories and made them animate all in the space of an hour and a half. Our respect for these talented kids is boundless.
Thank you to our NAC Event Director, Lisa LaBracio, for bringing her TED Ed animatin’ expertise to the table and to our volunteers Ray Alma, Drew Dernavich, Stefano Imbert and Tim Savage for sharing their time and mad skills and to the wonderful staff and families of NAC for being the supportive village we all need.
New Alternatives for Children provides health and social services to children with disabilities and chronic illnesses. It focuses on children in foster care and adoptive homes.
Gilda’s Club 08/31/17
We made up stories and creatures from head to toe by folding paper and passing it around with the great Gilda’s Club kids tonight! Thank you so much to our volunteers who made this evening possible: Elana Amity, Justin Bilicki, Barbara Garrison, Stefano Imbert and to our Event Director, Franz Palomares, for setting the whole thing up.
Mount Sinai Hospital 08/16/17
We held court with two regal young artists at Mount Sinai tonight! The girls, ages 5 and 7, donned paper crowns and joined us on stage for our KidZone TV show, where Elana Amity and Dennis Calero taught how to draw owls and Smurfs and Super Woman. Thank you, noble ladies, for helping make this show such a special one!
Mount Sinai Hospital 07/20/17
Tonight we celebrated National Lollipop Day on our KidZone TV show! The lollipop was patented in 1931 by George Smith, who named the sweet after his favorite racehorse, Lolly Pop. So we drew horses and lollies and at the request of the kids, we also drew lots of unicorns!
Thank you, kids, for drawing with us, to the staff of Mount Sinai for always helping make sure that the show goes on, and to our Event Director, Elana Amity, who lovingly coordinates and hosts every one of our shows.
St. Mary’s Hospital 07/09/17
It was our great joy to draw with the kids at St. Mary’s Hospital this past weekend. Despite dealing with severe, life-limiting challenges from burns to cerebral palsy, these kids always reach out to us with warmth and enormous enthusiasm as we create together. Art truly can form a beautiful bond and we are grateful to these children for sharing that connection with us.
On this lovely day the kids helped us make super psyched super heroes, grumpy Tweety birds and great big gruff gorillas. Many of the children also got their caricatures drawn, thanks to new Ink Well member, Fred Fassberger. So happy to have you along, Fred!
Thanks to the rest of our trusty Ink Well gang: Pedro Delgado, Joyce Pedretti, Tim Savage, Joe Vissichelli and our dear Event Director, Ray Alma, for making it all possible. Thanks also to the ever reliable and kind St. Mary’s staff, and most of all to these wonderful, brave kids. Keep drawing, friends.
New Alternatives for Children 06/24/17
What a joy to make characters dance and flip and dive into our animation event with the New Alternatives kids! We made 3 sets: a theater stage, an underwater world and a sky then the kids added their own buildings, super heroes and super stars that danced, swam and flew through the scenes.
Our favorite moment of the night was when the shyest, quietest boy in the bunch pulled us aside to say, “you made me really happy today.” Many kids also asked us how they could make animations at home so we are thrilled that they caught the animation bug too and will continue to create on their own.
Thank you, kids, for your boundless imagination and energy, to the NAC staff and our Event Director, Lisa LaBracio, for organizing such an amazing time and to our trusty and beloved volunteers: Elana Amity, Pedro Delgado, Barbara Garrison, Marty Macaluso, and Tim Savage..
Mount Sinai Hospital, 06/21/17
Tonight we drew sunny beach scenes to celebrate the first day of summer!
Event Director, Elana Amity, started with beach-going SpongeBob, Snoopy and friends. Then a little girl named, Abby, called in to help volunteer, Pedro Delgado, draw a dolphin and unicorn sharing some ice-cream!
Thanks, kids, for the great collaborations. We’ll see you again next month on our KidZone TV Show!
The NY Foundling, 05/31/17
We are truly impressed by the resilient, talented teens we met at NY Foundling’s career fair. Many of these young adults have spent their whole lives in foster care, but their eyes are on the future: they spoke with us earnestly and with open minds about how they may explore their passions as they move into the working world. We discussed careers spanning from advertising and graphic art to fine art, teaching and animation. It was a joy to see our life’s work spark an interest in this next generation.
Thank you, NY Foundling teens and staff for having us and to our volunteers who brought their wide range of expertise to the table: Jane Archer, Todd Broder, Joan Chiverton, Stefano Imbert and Lisa LaBracio.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 05/17/17
Did you know that strawberries are one of the first fruits of springtime? We celebrated their return by drawing some very happy critters feasting upon them! Event Director, Elana Amity, taught how to draw hedgehogs, parakeets, and snails, all devouring delicious berry delights. One nine year-old girl called in, asking for her own personalized drawing lesson, which we were happy to provide. 🙂 We are grateful to all the kids who tuned in to our KidZone TV show today and are wishing them love, creativity and healing strength.
Covenant House of CA, 04/26/2017
Tonight was a hilarious parade of Wolverine-headed chicken horse dinosaurs, and coffee-stirring Sideshow Bob yetis sinking into quick sand as we made “collaborative drawings” at the Covenant House of California! That’s where one person starts a character from its head down to the neck, folds the paper so no one can see what he’s drawn, passes it to the next person, who draws the neck down to the hips, passes it along on and on until the character is complete.
Our artists, who hail from shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Scooby Doo, Penn Zero, 101 Dalmations and Phineas and Ferb, combined with the bursting talent of the young artists at the Covenant House created the most stupifyingly hilarious characters and we can’t wait to come back here and do it all again!
Thank you to everyone at the Covenant House, to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott and our trusty band of volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Joseph Garcia, Christian Lignan, and Ashley Simpson.
Mount Sinai Hospital 04/19/17
Tonight was all about Earth Day! We celebrated the importance and beauty of our ocean by first learning basic fish anatomy then applying that to the forms of whales, dolphins, clown fish, angel fish, and more. We also drew realistic turtles, snails, starfish, octopus, stingrays and coral and then transformed our creatures into cartoons!
I was very happy to interact with the kids, who called in with questions about my experience with seeing fish and finding references. I also got 2 text-requests to draw unicorn and helicopter fish, which resulted in some whacky drawings on my part. It was a real interaction with the kids and the 30 minutes flew by like a flying fish! ~Elana Amity, Event Director.
Bellevue Hospital 04/05/2017
Creative kid energy zapped all over the room tonight as we made movable self-portraits in dynamic backgrounds!
Our Event Director, Jane Archer, began with a calming meditation and visualization of where the kids imagined their “happy places” to be. Is it near water, crunching through leaves on a wilderness hike, or flying on the back of a beautiful bird over the rooftops of New York City?
One child, with the help of Ed Steckley, created a goofy Superman who sticks his tongue out; another child collaborated with Ray Alma on a fierce Iron Man with removable mask; Maria Scrivan created a woodland scene with an enthusiastic little girl who was busy making her powerful, colorful self-portrait. One boy created a background right out of SpongeBob, while another drew the Chicago skyline for Superman to fly against. The kids loved coloring in and designing each character’s parts, and the volunteers loved helping to conjure expressions and outfits and worlds. A wonderful time was had by all!
Afterward, we were very touched when the kids presented us with a beautiful thank you card they made in gratitude for the theater scene we painted on the wall where they project movies.
We even got a homemade trophy madefrom paper cups! We were very happy to help brighten their rec room with the painting and to be able to give out art kits to every child. Thanks to Blick Art’s support for making that possible. Thanks to our volunteers: Ed Steckley, Stefano Imbert, Maria Scrivan, Todd Broder, Ray Alma, Elana Amity and Scott Brundage, to our Event Director, Jane Archer, Tifara and the Bellevue staff and most of all to these wonderful, creative kids!
Mount Sinai Hospital 03/15/17
We had a very jolly night, drawing St. Patty’s Day characters with the kids at Mount Sinai Hospital over our live “KidZone TV” show. The kids can now text us with their requests as we draw and boy did they ever!
Elana Amity showed how to draw a leprechaun with a pot of gold and the kids instructed her on how to decorate his clothes and even how to magically transform his pot into a pumpkin! Then Pedro Delgado minted the leprechaun’s gold coins with imagery that the kids requested. It was quite touching: one child asked Pedro to draw a hospital, another asked for a mother and child. We held the drawings up close to the camera so the kids could see the details and we let them know that (as always) all the art would be left there for them to keep.
Gilda’s Club 03/09/17
It’s always a mix of laughter and quiet, moving moments when we draw with the children at Gilda’s Club. Many of these kids have recently lost a parent to cancer and you can feel the weight within them, but creating something together brings warmth and connectivity that we hope can help to heal. We want to thank these kids for being brave enough to share their art and time with us.
Thank you to Gilda’s Club NYC for this special, supportive place and to our Ink Well volunteers who helped the kids make the most fantastic character flip books in town: Lisa LaBracio, Elana Amity, Joyce Pedretti, Sergei Aniskov, Pedro Delgado, Ray Alma, Elizabeth Winter, and Peter de Seve, special thanks to our Event Director, Franz Palomares for setting everything up and running the show.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 02/22/17
Tonight’s show was for the birds! Elana Amity taught how to draw realistic bird heads, beaks, and feet and then showed how to transform those features into a cartoon style. Pedro Delgado then made a mini story book by folding paper together to make a natural binding, and filled its pages with the cartoon bird’s adventures!