Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up?

Pablo Picasso

True authenticity is when life gets messy and you end up with a big smile on your face.

Does art have a place in your heart?


My Art – My Story

It DOES in mine. So do words and stories. For as long as I can remember I loved to create art and stories, colour in, play with clay, and make picture books. My earliest picture books were created around the age of seven from cut-up exercise books, similar to Star Bella Trixie by Debbie Clark (aka, me). The books in the photos below are not originals from when I was a budding author/illustrator. Unfortunately, my creations were lost or thrown out in my childhood house moves through the years. I miss them. I created these samples to show my students how I got started and that anyone can be an author or an artist, even a seven-year-old kid, or younger, for that matter.

Your Art - Your Story

Art and creativity have always played a significant role in my life, from creating the early versions of my picture books, majoring in art whilst completing my teaching degree, hand-making many teaching resources, attending painting courses and special effects TAFE courses and sewing classes so I could sew garments from scratch and hand paint them…the list is long. My ultimate creation is my debut children’s picture book IF YOU MEET AN ELEPHANT. I enjoy the doing of art for pure enjoyment and not the end product. My creations are quite childlike and naïve and I like that because it is who I am; my authentic self.

Throughout my years as a teacher and parent, I have always included art and craft activities and experiences for my students and children to enjoy, experiment, and explore. I know I had fun and I hope they did too.


Below are two examples of my exploration with art

So back to my question … do you have a heart for art?

If you answered yes, then you’re in the right place to start. If you found this website it’s because you were meant to. You’re here because you are looking to try and inspire your child/ren or maybe yourself. If you want to introduce your children to living artfully and you’re looking for a way to help them express their authentic selves, then maybe StoryBox Arts can help.

Making art has many benefits and some of these benefits will be addressed in a variety of future blog posts. Art is a fabulous way to tell your story, to hear others’ stories and communicate ideas, as well as connect with other like-minded creatives.

Some children experience very limited art experiences at school. The curriculum is full and teachers are busy. Maybe the art lessons are quite basic and not very stimulating, especially if teachers are not arty themselves. Many parents search for and appreciate the benefits their children receive through extra-curricular activities that suit their gifts and talents.

After hosting a number of local creative writing workshops for children in our local area, it became quite obvious that the children who participated in the workshops loved it when art was infused into the activities. Art is inspiring and a springboard to words and stories. We often use stories and literature to springboard into art. Stories and words work well together; they are the perfect match. And so … the idea of StoryBox Arts was born.

Life is messy. Art is messy. Art can help us figure out who we are. We can problem-solve through art and we can experiment and find answers.

At StoryBox Arts stories are told through art and words.





Debbie Smith is a local Sunshine Coast children’s author based in Noosa. She is a creative coach at STORYBOX ARTS, an educator, and a book reviewer who released her debut picture book, If You Meet an Elephant, in August 2019. She is currently working on a new picture book manuscript, a children’s short story collection, a middle-grade horse series and she writes the odd poem or two. Debbie enjoys hosting art workshops for children through STORYBOX ARTS. Her lifelong career as an early childhood and primary extension specialist teacher allowed her to share her passion for children’s literature and gave insight into the world of children.

Debbie is available for school visits, homeschool visits, bookshop events, writing events. Please use the CONTACT FORM to enquire. Debbie would love to hear from you.