Meet Our Studio Manager: Judith Gonzales

judith-DSCN1667Like an excited kid, her hand shot straight up, “I’ll do it! I’ll do it!” That was several months ago, during an evening drawing class and I had just asked if anyone was interested in helping out part-time. I needed help coordinating my Draw to Learn program and studio activities. Ever since her enthusiastic response, Judith has steadily increased her responsibilities as studio manager and web/print production extraordinaire.

If you’re one of our regular students, you get a weekly email from Judith to confirm your spot in evening sessions. If you’re a first-time student, she will greet you with a friendly hello. Judith will be playing an important role in the expansion of our studio services as well as the development of SI digital and print publishing products in 2013.

She began Level 1 lessons last year at the Scribbles Institute. “I felt a strong motivation to express my creative side and utilize a part of my brain that doesn’t get much exercise in my work situation.” Always having enjoyed drawing, she wanted to devote more time to it. “I hadn’t ever had much formal training, and I felt something was missing – something that would let me move to a different level with drawing – and make it more a part of my everyday life.”

What expertise does Judith bring to our little drawing studio in Santa Cruz? Her background encompasses two distinctly different tracks – work in the public sector as an educator, sign language interpreter, and consultant, and her work in the private sector as a corporate executive and, later, consultant.  She says, “My Masters degree in instructional design and technology has served me well in both tracks. I have used the skills I developed as an instructional designer to research and develop curriculum and create programs in educational settings, as well as to create comprehensive training programs for corporate clients.”

Currently on the adjunct faculty in the Deaf Studies Division at Ohlone College in Fremont, Judith teaches English and other courses to deaf college students.  Along with teaching, she consults and assists with research, development, and implementation of special programs at Ohlone.  She also works part-time for the Disabilities Resource Center at UCSC.

Judith and her husband are obsessed with art and architecture, particularly the period from art deco to mid-century modern. When not working on preserving their 1939 streamline moderne house, they enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, and reading. Oh, and Judith will be spending more time drawing, too.

“My challenge with drawing seems to be a need for everything to be perfect, and my goal is to find a way to be more free and impressionistic when I put pencil to paper – just to loosen up some.  I’d like to be able to move from quick sketching that captures the essence of subjects to accurate observational drawing to completely abstract work that comes from my imagination.  I have a ways to go!”

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