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!
We couldn’t have had a lovelier time, making Valentine’s Day cards with the ChildHelp kids. We helped them draw roses, puppies, Pikachus and Pooh Bears then decorated the inside of the cards with thoughts of love and togetherness. We are extremely impressed with these kids’ resilient, creative sprits and are happy to encourage them to keep on making art by providing them with their own art sets of colored pencils, sketch pads, erasers and sharpeners.
Thank you to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, for setting everything up and to our volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Marla Frazee, Chad Frye, Chris Harmon, Michael Kenny, Christian Lignan, Joseph Scott and Elizabeth Winter.
New Alternatives for Children 02/06/17
Our NAC Event Director and superstar TED-Ed animator, Lisa LaBracio, taught us how to make Valentine’s Day pop-up cards tonight! The kids projected their love with beating hearts, hopping bunnies, blooming flowers and wild tigers that leapt from the page. Then they filled their cards with thoughts of togetherness and gratitude, reminding us what this holiday is truly about.
Thank you very much to our volunteer artists: Joan Chiverton, Pedro Delgado, Stefano Imbert and Joyce Pedretti!
Ronald McDonald House NY, 01/24/17
We had a ball making cartoon caps with the families at Ronald McDonald House. The children patiently helped us draw out and color in Hulks, foxes, dinos, lions and more oh my!
Thank you very much to the Ronald McDonald House staff and families and to our volunteers: Ray Alma, Elana Amity, Jane Archer, Barbara Garrison, Dayna Gonzalez, Stefano Imbert, Ellie Rahim and Maria Scrivan.
Mount Sinai Hospital 01/16/17
Happy Winnie the Pooh day! A. A. Milne’s was born on this day so we taught the kids how to draw his classic characters, Winnie, Eyeore, Piglet and Tigger.
Thank you, kids, and thank you, Elana Amity for hosting!
Mount Sinai Hospital 12/21/16
Hai yahh! Our dear friend and former Event Director, Nathan Schreiber, swooped in from Chicago to teach the kids at Mount Sinai Hospital how to draw his Science Ninja characters last night!
Elana Amity hosted our live, call-in TV show and the kids got to draw along with us from the comfort of their hospital beds.
Bellevue Hospital 12/09/16
We were honored to celebrate another year with our beloved kids at Bellevue by making holiday cards together. We are very proud of these children for drawing the many things they are grateful for, even as they feel the difficulty of being away from loved ones during this holiday time.
We got to innovate a little by making window cut outs in the cards, thanks to volunteer, Sangjun Chon’s idea: the kids drew Santa inside chimneys, elves under Christmas trees, and put just the gifts they wanted inside their presents. At the end of the night we gave each child their own sketch book and crayon set so they could continue drawing on their own.
Thank you, kids, for your earnest hard work and for bringing so much warmth to a chilly December evening. Thanks also to our Event Director, Jane Archer, who led our trusty crew of volunteers: Elana Amity, Sergei Aniskov, Sangjun Chon, Dayna Gonzalez, and Elizabeth Winter.
Covenant House 11/16/16
What a joy to meet and make comics with the bright young minds at the Covenant House in Los Angeles! These guys are serious artists and needed little instruction but we taught them a few techniques about perspective, creating pacing over panels and we got to talk shop: discussing careers in animation and illustration. We gave each young artist their own blank comic book to fill and an art set with colored pencils as well as sketch books so they could keep on keeping on with their art.
Thank you to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, who put the event together and to our trusty volunteers: Marla Frazee, Michael Kenny, Jeanette Moreno King, Christian Lignan and Monica Tomova.
Mount Sinai Hospital 11/16/16
Gobble gobble gobble! Elana Amity gave a Thanksgiving art class on our KidZone TV Show today! She showed the kids how to draw turkeys, a cornucopia filled with pumpkins, acorns, fruit, flowers, and an owl on a fence, overseeing operations. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful feast with family, friends and hearty, healthy food.
St. Mary’s Hospital 11/05/16
Time flew by as we drew caricatures of the ever-lovable kids at St. Mary’s Hospital and collaborated on superhero and cartoon character drawings with them.
The creativity flurry was surpassed only by the enthusiasm and appreciation of the donation of a vintage pinball machine! Thanks to the son of long-time Ink Well volunteer, Joan Chiverton, Peter Rose, and his Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball.
This was Joan Chiverton, John Stevens and Ellie Rahim’s first visit to St.Mary’s and they were all blown away by the wonderful interaction between artists and kids. As usual, the cry from the St. Mary’s kids as we left was, “when are you guys coming back??” We can’t wait to come back (and play you at pinball!) 🙂
Gilda’s Club Noogiefest 10/21/16
Moohaha! The Ink Well crew got to take over an entire floor at Gilda’s Club for their annual Halloween party today! We made marvelous bat puppets, creepy creature drawings, kooky caricatures and we painted many of the more than 100 faces that showed up this year.
Thank you, Gilda’s Club families for having us and to our volunteers: Elana Amity, Jane Archer, Pedro Delgado, Barbara Garrison, Stefano Imbert and to our Director, Franz Palomares!
Mount Sinai Hospital 10/12/16
Tonight, Pedro Delgado, Joan Chiverton and Elana Amity showed the kids how to spook up their rooms with Halloween art! Pedro explained how to make a big-eyed owl, sharing lots of fun facts about these wise birds as he went along. Joan showed how to create facial expressions on pumpkins, transforming them into jack-o-lanterns, and Elana taught the kids how to make haunted houses, bats and owls based on basic shapes like triangles and rectangles. Thank you, volunteers and kids, for kicking off the Halloween season right!
New Alternatives for Children 09/27/16
Our new Director at NAC, Lisa LaBracio, led us all in making leaf creatures today! Fresh Fall leaves, markers and googly eyes became birds, bears, manta rays, trees, dogs, monsters, and more. We loved imagining all the things a leaf could become, and as one young artist said, “leaves are free, so we can do this ALL THE TIME!” Happy autumn, everyone!
Thanks to volunteers: Elana Amity, Todd Broder, Barbara Garrison and Franz Palomares.
Thanks also to Blick Arts for helping us give each child their own art kit so that they can continue creating on their own.
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.
We brought our best from shows like SpongeBob, Futurama, Scooby Doo and more to create characters together with this great big wonderful group of kids. We also got to draw caricatures and do a wee bit of face painting. Huge thanks to volunteers: Jeremy Arambulo, Michael Daedalus Kenny, Dorothea Schoentag (first timer!), Ashley Simpson (first timer!), Monica Tomova and to our fearless West Coast leader, Joseph Scott.
Childhelp exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected, and at-risk children.
Bellevue Hospital 9/14/16
Thank you to this fantastic crew for brightening up this rainy evening with art! Together with the beautiful kids of Bellevue, we created portraits in tiny custom frames of our future selves and all the amazing people and things our sunny futures entail! Big thanks to volunteers Jane Archer, Todd Broder, Stefano Imbert, Ellie Rahim, and Nathan Schreiber.
Mount Sinai Hospital 08/17/16
Nathan Schreiber and Elana Amity had a blast at KidZone TV this evening! There were about 30 kids tuning into the show, all equipped with colored pencils and paper so they could draw along with us.
Elana gave a lesson on drawing dinosaurs (Brontosaurus, T. Rex and Pterodactyl): first a lesson in drawing dinosaur anatomy and then cartoon dinosaurs frolicking at the beach.
Nathan gave a lesson in drawing his Science Ninja characters, explaining how the personality traits of three characters are reflected in their facial features and hair.
08/11/16, Gilda’s Club
We were touched by the several children who shared their stories of losing a parent to cancer or about how it feels to be going through cancer as we drew together tonight. It made us even more grateful for what a special place Gilda’s Club is.
Together we drew in the zoo and lots of portraits too. The kids invented all kinds of creatures and we helped make some of their drawings into stand up 3D character cut-outs. There were lots of birthdays today and we were happy to help make birthday cards too!
After the event, we all got together to bid our beloved Director at New Alternatives, Nathan Schreiber, and long-time volunteer, Oded Naaman, farewell as they move on to Chicago and Israel respectively.
Thank you, kids and volunteers: Ray Alma, Elana Amity, Dayna Gonzales, Stefano Imbert, Lisa LaBracio, Oded Naaman, Franz Palomares (Director of GC Events), Julia Sarcone Roach and Maria Scrivan.
Ronald McDonald House of Los Angeles, 07/30/16
We were honored to draw with the families at Ronald McDonald House of Los Angeles this weekend. We’ll post more pics soon but just wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to make this such a special day.
First and foremost, thank you, kids, for working so diligently on your art, for listening and for making us laugh with your adorable jokes and wild creations. Thanks to our West Coast Director, Joseph Scott, for leading our grand troop of volunteers pictured here L to R: Monica Tomova, Frank M. Hansen (new member!), Joseph Scott, Chad Frye (new member!), Matt Diffee (first timer!) Michael Daedalus Kenney, Elizabeth Winter, Marla Frazee and Jeremy Arambulo.
New Alternatives for Children, 07/09/16
We had a blast teaching the kids how to build their very own rockets today! We also learned how to draw all the different kinds of air that surrounds us; like steam from tea kettles, the hot air radiating off of a car, and our frosty breath on a cold day. We ❤ science and the NAC kids!
Thank you to Nathan Schreiber and Lisa LaBracio for leading this event, to our volunteers: Elana Amity, Howard Beckerman, Joan Chiverton, Bil Donovan, and Tim Savage, and of course a huge thank you to the brilliant staff and kids of NAC.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 06/15/16
Time to say farewell to spring and hello, summer!
Our Event Director, Elana Amity, drew Pepe le Pew, the skunk who think love stinks in the best possible way. Our trusty volunteer, Pedro Delgado, meanwhile unleashed a merry dance of bears, pigs, and ducks, all celebrating a sunny day.
Thank you for watching our Kid Zone TV show, children of Mount Sinai Hospital! We were honored to grace your television sets and appreciate your drawing with us.
Bellevue Hospital, 05/28/16
We had double the fun with two awesome projects today! First, our Director of Bellevue Events, Jane Archer, led us on a guided visualization through the magical powerful, portal that leads into each of our imaginations. Then we created journal covers that represented those doors and what we saw behind them: puppies! Moms! Friendly T-Rexes! Furry cute love monsters! We even saw Flash, The Hulk and an R2D2 door!
After that, we painted a proscenium curtain on the wall around the area where they project movies for the kids to give it a little more theatrical flair!
Thank you, dear kids and volunteers: Ray Alma, Jane Archer, Elana Amity, Sangjun Chon, Oded Naaman, Samantha Olschan, Stefano Imbert, Tim Savage, Elizabeth Winter.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 05/18/16
We had a stupendous KidZone TV show today, drawing explorers and expeditions! Tim Savage wrote and illustrated a short story about a baby hawk learning to fly, then gave a drawing lesson where kids learned to draw a hawk using a few simple shapes. Pedro Delgado drew Erik the Explorer, who goes on adventures with a suitcase, apple and globe. Erik meets a space man and they go out to dinner.
Elana Amity was inspired to do this theme because she has just returned from her own adventures through Spain, where she painted her way through the countryside. Thank you for hosting this exciting show, Elana!
New Alternatives for Children, 05/09/16
Next stop Alpha Centauri! Our Science Ninja, Nathan Schreiber and his TEDx co-pilot, Lisa LaBracio helped the NAC kids engineer their very own spaceships today!
The kids were all cast as engineers, recreating “Breakthrough Starshot,”a Russian billionaire’s plan to build a tiny spaceship with a reflective sail, propelled by earthbound lasers. After “stretching our brains” by comparing the distances between places near (like New Jersey) and far (like Pluto), we built foil sails and calculated how to power the ships with lasers that would move our ships at one-quarter the speed of light so that we could safely reach the next star, 4.3 light years away! Congrats on completing your mission, cadets!
Thank you to our Ink Wellers for volunteering: Sangjun Chon, Lisa LaBracio, Barbara Garrison, Pedro Delgado, Ray Alma, Nathan Schreiber, Julia Sarcone-Roach, and Todd Broder.
Mount Sinai Hospital, 04/20/16
Thank you to Peter de Séve, Tim Savage and Ellie Rahim for starring in our Mount Sinai “Earth Day” Drawing Show, hosted by Elana Amity! We were very happy to draw with one child and her father in the studio, as well as with all the kids in the hospital via our live call-in show.
Ellie showed images of coral reefs and sea life, demonstrating ways that underwater life is depicted in fashion, architecture and stationery (which she designed). She also gave out drawing grids that the kids could fill in with their own creatures.
Tim showed his beautiful watercolor penguin family and taught how to draw a penguin. Then he explained how penguins live, and how climate change is affecting their lives.
And finally Peter used his wax crayon to draw forth his characters from Ice Age. Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel, is a great representation of how animals have to scramble for food when their resources are dwindling!
Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to think of small changes we can make everyday to help protect our environment and our fellow animals who live there too.
Camp TLC at Nickelodeon, 03/23/16
We had a spectacular day at Nickelodeon Studios with 24 kids from Camp TLC! Carson Smith, our point man at Nickelodeon, and Eric Brown, in charge of Public Affairs, gave the kids an inside look into how animators do their jobs, then Nick artists gave them a private drawing lesson, with a special surprise guest!
Eric taught how artists prepare and pitch ideas to Nickelodeon Creatives. We were in the big bull pen pitch room with TONS of original artwork on the walls from all the Nick show creators. The kids were asking questions about their favorite shows when a surprise guest showed up – CAM NEWTON of the Carolina Panthers and last February’s Superbowl! Cam took time to talk with all the kids, inspiring them to follow their dreams. He signed stuff and took lots of photos. It was awesome!!
Then my good friends, Darin McGowan and Miguel Puga, (both fantastic Storyboard Artists on “The Loud House”), showed the kids a short documentary on how “SpongeBob SquarePants” gets made. The kids learned first-hand how it feels to work in animation as they read lines from “The Loud House” scripts and learned about the animation process step-by-step all the way up to final color. The kids loved learning how to draw Nickelodeon characters. Much to my surprise, many many kids requested that I draw Chuckie from the “Rugrats!” I was truly impressed, as “Rugrats” finished up before most of the kids were born! -West Coast Director, Joseph Scott
Thank you to Camp TLC Director, Caroline Baumis, to Cam Newton, and everyone at Nickelodeon for helping the kids explore the world of animation! Pictures coming soon.
Gilda’s Club, 03/09/16
We had a great group of 7 kids at Gilda’s Club on Wednesday night! They were ready with some creative robots that I can’t wait to have living in the neighborhood. We made sure to give all the robots good life stories that anyone would be proud of.
These robots included a gardening robot, one that had paint brushes for arms as well as one that made chocolate.
Special thanks to our volunteers who came out: Lisa LaBracio, Stefano Imbert, Oded Naaman, and Ed Steckley. ~Franz Palomares, IWF Director
St. Mary’s Hospital 02/27/16
A HUGE crowd turned out at St. Mary’s Hospital today! Over 40 kids eagerly drew Pokemon, muppets and superheroes with us, we drew caricatures of them, the time flew by and all the sudden it was time to pack it up for the day. The kids all cried,”noooo!” and we didn’t want to go but all were happy in the end.
As a parting gift from us and with the help of Blick Arts, each kid received their own colored-pencil set and eraser so that they could continue to create on their own. We only hope we inspired them as much as they inspired us.
Special thanks to our volunteers that came out from all corners of the metropolitan area: Ray Alma, Todd Broder (new member!), Barbara Garrison, Dayna Gonzalez, Marty Macaluso, Joyce Pedretti, Tim Savage, Nathan Schreiber, Adrian Sinnott, and Joe Vissichelli.
Mount Sinai Hospital 02/17/16
Tonight Elana gave a 30 minute drawing lesson to a group of young kids who were eager to draw along! The theme was a slightly belated Valentine’s Day tribute honoring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. As usual, the time flew by so fast that there was no time for everything we wanted to draw, especially Pepe le Pew, poor guy.
Childhelp Los Angeles 02/13/16
We had a wonderful time making Valentine’s Day cards with our friends at Childhelp in Hollywood today! We had a great group of about 15 kids and all the goods for many many cards, with LOTS of accoutrement to be glued, drawn and bedazzled so each child could personalize their own card. Some had cartoon characters drawn on the front, Some created more of a collage. Colored pencils and felt pens brought the cards to life- thank you Blick Arts! We had a lot of smiling faces by the time our hour and a half was up.
Thank you so much to our trusty volunteers: Michael Daedalus Kenny, Jeanette King, Christian Lignan, Kataneh Vahdani and a huge welcome to new member, Marla Frazee! Thank you also to our W. Coast Director, Joseph Scott, who so deftly captained our love boat.
New Alternatives for Children 02/02/16
For my first event as Director of Ink Well at New Alternatives for Children, we started off with a brief conversation about shapes – which shape is strongest? Then we drew structures – strong structures! Like forts and castles – that used a chosen shape. Then I projected a Science Ninjas comic on the wall that featured an engineering challenge where our heroes needed to build a sturdy bridge with limited resources.
This led directly to our next activity – we gave the kids toothpicks and gumdrops and had them build their own structures. They had some really creative ideas!
Then I passed out some free games and we played a few rounds of Valence! As is typical, they picked it up real fast. One young man liked the game so much he had me sign his copy. It was a great event, and I’m looking forward to doing more of them! -Nathan Schreiber, IWF Director at NAC.
Mount Sinai Hospital 1/20/16
Our Mt. Sinai Director, Elana Amity, was elated to talk with loads of Looney Toons fans tonight. Together they drew the Road Runner and Wile E Coyote on our KidZone TV show. Interesting fun fact about road runners: these speedy birds prey upon poisonous snakes, running them down and body slamming them into the ground like professional wrestlers!
Mount Sinai Hospital 12/23/15
Ellie Rahim and Elana Amity got to draw along with 15 kids today! Elana helped them create an underwater holiday celebration with Sponge Bob Square Pants and friends, and Ellie drew a beautiful snow man all decked out in winter clothes and holiday baubles. Everybody was having such a ball that nobody even noticed when they ran nearly a half hour over our usual show time. We love you kids and wish you a very happy holiday season. xxohohoho
Mount Sinai Hospital 11/18/15
Tonight on our KidZone TV show, our IWF Director of Mount Sinai Events, Elana Amity, gave a lesson on drawing Winnie-the-Pooh and the ever-talented Pedro Delgado created characters built out of colored shapes! We even had a young patient, Ruby, join us in the studio. It was a lively lovely night and we are grateful to these two fab artists and to all the great kids who drew along with us.