Ti Toay Atelier – A Creative Space for Kids

Ti Toay Atelier is a place where children can show their artistic talents in the most natural way without being restricted to particular models or standards. There, children can create their own artistic world.

Artist Nguyen Thuy Trang, Creative Director of Ti Toay Atelier said about its spirit, “Ti Toay Atelier wishes to change and supplement the insufficient modern arts education, which is not conducted well by schools and families.”

Artist Nguyen Thuy Trang came back to Vietnam in 2012 after graduation from a bachelor program at Ecole superieure des Beaux-Arts d’Angers (France). Nearly a year after coming back, she worked as an instructor at different arts training centres in Hanoi. During this time she realised the shortcomings of arts education in a traditional model. As a kid lover and an artist with the desire to bring arts to kids in the most natural way, Nguyen Thuy Trang chose her own way, which was to open Ti Toay Atelier in 2013.

Two years later, Nguyen Thuy Trang and her partners in a research &development group had successfully formed a scientific and professional artistic curriculum for 4-15 year old children. The material divides the history of the arts chronologically into different courses, and the age groups have different practicing ratios.

With the motivation to build Ti Toay Atelier into a place where all kids can dream, Trang and her partners faced many obstacles at the beginning stage as most parents were not familiar with its new training format. However, with their consistency, after two years of operation, Ti Toay Atelier has become the first training facility to successfully apply this modern teaching method with ever increasing numbers of students.

A class on introduction to images and patterns for children at Ti Toay Atelier.

At Ti Toay Atelier, children can improve their mindset of arts without being restricted to particular standards.

A child uses basic straight lines to draw a car.

Forming figurines from polymer clay helps increase the sensitivity of children’s hands.

Each class has a theme to help children explore their surroundings, from nature to animals.

Children are exposed to different modern and traditional arts from different countries all over the world.

Ti Toay Atelier’s program has been regularly updated and renewed so that children can enjoy the most pleasant arts space.
Children are introduced to the art of painting on do paper.

Children are instructed how to hold their brush

Children learn how to use a brush to paint.

Children are into the creation of their own artistic works.

It is special that instructors at Ti Toay Atelier do not intervene in a child’s creativity,
they are free to create according to their own ideas.

Ti Toay Atelier’s curriculum aims at the differences when children are exposed to Western, modern and contemporary arts and to traditional Asian arts. Teachers also give lectures on art schools, figures and renowned works of different ages in order to form comprehensive background knowledge in arts for children.

“At Ti Toay Atelier we have no perspective of what is beautiful or ugly, or what is right or wrong. Every idea and expression of a child is welcomed.”

All are delivered to kids in the formats of games and visual art practice. Nguyen Thuy Trang holds firm that the establishment of an atelier is to create opportunities for children to be exposed to art from an early age so that they can gain confidence in themselves in the future.

“Ti Toay Atelier does not offer any traditional style of painting training, via lectures and practice. I hope that children can develop an artistic background and have more understanding of the historical ages of world art and comprehend artistic schools and styles. At Ti Toay Atelier we have no perspective of what is beautiful or ugly, or what is right or wrong. Every idea and expression of a child is welcomed,” said Trang.

A bamboo tree drawn on do paper by Nguyen Huu Trung.

After each class, works of each child are kept in their own portfolio.

Intriguing works by children at the class.

Besides lectures at the atelier, children can visit museums or exhibitions of domestic and foreign artists. Photo: File

Ti Toay Atelier’s artistic programs are introduced to kids from 4 to 15 years old. Each class has between 6 and 10 children, and an average course includes 36 meetings. After joining the course, most children appear to be more interested in arts and many of them have shown artistic talent and creative minds.

Ti Toay Atelier was established in June 2013. At the present time it has two facilities in Hoan Kiem and Dong Da districts, Hanoi. It is the first place in Hanoi to bring about changes in approach to artistic teaching programs for children between 4 and 15 years of age.

Story: Thuc Hien – Photos: Khanh Long& Files