We had the good fortune of connecting with WOAC and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi WOAC, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Work of Art started with all the little things: a group of friends, a desire to bring a smile to people’s faces, and some squares of paper. We won’t lie—as inexperienced high school sophomores, we had no idea what we were doing. In the beginning, our ideas weren’t too far from your average art club (i.e. making crafts to take home); we just wanted to do what we loved. But, as the year went on, it came to our realization that a lot of creating (especially when it came to visual arts) was individualistic. While there’s nothing wrong with operating alone, we wanted to see what would happen if we created a space where art was collaborative, both at and beyond school. We hoped to use what made us happy to bring happiness to the communities around us. Thinking pragmatically, the reality is that our reach is still quite small, but that’s why we keep moving one step at a time! Like when one creates a work of art, Work of Art takes risks. From displays at the library highlighting elementary school art to free virtual art camps, WOAC thinks outside of the box Now, our concept has become quite simple once again: to serve through creativity.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
It’s impossible to say everything in Work of Art has always gone smoothly. Like every other startup, it was a leap of faith into the dark. Even when WOAC was just a small club at Jasper High School, there were a lot of challenges. It might sound cheesy, but one of the biggest obstacles we faced was ourselves. There were an abundance of moments where our own doubt would creep in. In the first few months, we constantly worried if anyone would show up to our meetings, if people would take us seriously, and if what we were doing was really making an impact. However, the truth is, we couldn’t expect to make a giant difference on the get-go and being stuck on those concerns wouldn’t better us in any way. So, we decided to have fun, focus on our own growth, and be persistent with our goals. Unfortunately, that resolution was only the tip of the iceberg, as we soon had to decide: persistent in which direction? Though it’s true that you miss all the shots you don’t take, it’s also important to plan those shots so you don’t take on more than you can handle. In the beginning, our miscellaneous projects were all over the place—we didn’t have a clear goal in mind and were simply doing things for the sake of it. Now, we’ve zoned into a structure including virtual art camps and drives, which works much better and aids so much in consistency. Along the way, we’ve discovered all the abundance of technical aspects involved in managing a community service organization that we really never thought that much about before, from the importance of good communication and leadership to the value of trust within teamwork. After a very successful series of virtual crafting/ art camps last year, we are excited to be offering weekly courses in drawing, crafting, design, etc. via zoom in the coming summer and fall. The goal is to make creative education accessible, and if anything, the past year has taught us how we can utilize technology to achieve it. All in all, WOAC will continue learning alongside the students that better it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Truly the Dallas Fort Worth area is so diverse it’s hard to say there’s a perfect itinerary but we’re proud of the work we’ve done around here, so Work of Art would love to show you around. We would take them around Plano to all the places we have made an impact such as where it all began: in the Haggard library. There we conducted out first projects, a collage of elementary school students’ art answering the prompt “Who Am I?”. Up next would be Hope Healthcare whom we’ve frequently partnered up with to create little bits of happiness for its residents. We truly believe that even the most simple arts and craft project can bring a smile to your face and that’s what we’re aiming for to brighten your day through one creative project at a time. Finally would be Minnie’s Food Pantry where we had our latest project to create coloring book kits for the holiday season. Another part of town we would love to show are the local businesses. After all, Work of Art started as a small club right here in Plano, and without the help of local businesses we would not have made it to where we are today.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Work of Art would like to dedicate this shoutout to Mrs. Poovey, who teaches biology at Jasper High School, and Mr. Pitts, who teaches calculus at Plano West Senior High. Thank you Mrs. Poovey, because without your help WOAC would have never gotten on its feet. You truly made our first year an amazing experience; we couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful mentor. Thank you Mr. Pitts for making possible for WOAC to continue developing in senior high. Your willingness to help during all those lunches gave us the ability to drive WOAC forward, maturing it to what it is today! We appreciate both of you amazing teachers with all our hearts.