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Margaret Zaleski

Margaret Zaleski headshot

Margaret Zaleski

Outschool Art Teacher and Traditional/Graphic Children’s Illustrator
Xanadu Art Studio and Aquanut Handcrafted Watercolors
Arkdale, WI

Why did you become a children’s illustrator?

I love dreamlands and worlds of wonder, especially painting them and bringing them to life.

What project are you most proud of? What do children learn or understand from it? Why is that important?

The project I’m most proud of is teaching children on

A flood of families signed up their children to Outschool in record figures. Outschool has not only allowed me to work from home with a steady income, I am also able to spread my joy to children all over the world. I really help families keep their children enriched during these stay at home orders due to the outbreak.

What are you itching to draw or illustrate next?

As artists we are always learning. I have been most interested in extraordinary artists all over the world through Instagram. Studying art is not just about the old, but also about the new. We are at an important turning point as artists in that we are able to connect in a way I would have never dreamed. Learning other artists’ processes helps me to reinvent my own. I learn more as a teacher and become be able to pass on these processes to the children I teach, and perhaps, illustrate some extraordinary books in the future.

Tell us about your latest project. Where can it be purchased?

It can be purchased as a print, by sending me a direct email.

All those bits of artwork saved through the years help Margaret Zaleski develop a bit of creative play that everyone is loving. Moms, you can do this with your kids. Sorry, board games are a bit boring these days, but these puzzles are inspiring and you can create a bit of creative play every week to eventually create this mamma-jamma!

Margaret teaches a lot more these days about creative destressing. Just getting a little crafty daily helps folks to be happier people. Ooooh, especially moms. You don’t have to paint perfect sunsets, knit flawless hats, or sew meticulous quilts to enjoy the benefits of art therapy. “The actual process of making art can alleviate emotional stress and anxiety by creating a physiological response of relaxation.” Creative activity increases serotonin in your brain, which improves mood. When you’re not attached to the end result (such as a perfectly knit sweater), crafts can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and trigger feelings of calm and peace. While these are “projects” that take you out of the norm of your real world and allow you for a moment to not think about an outcome but to enjoy the process.

Margaret can think clearly when she destresses as she allows herself to play. As children, our mothers often walked away when we are crying, waiting patiently around the corner, cringing and hoping we’ll stop. And what happens, “Guess crying isn’t going to get me anywhere, Oh a toy!” We were born with a creative outlet instinct to play. We forget to play as adults. No time to play, all business, seriously, that’s one unhappy person. As well as teaching a better way to destress, Margaret began creating her own watercolor brand and she’s enjoying the process of movement, such as baking, in that it creates a sense of calm with in her and allows her to think less. Yaga for the brain, if you will.

Images © Margaret Zaleski. Used with permission.