Art at your fingertips

Jumpstart Your Playful Mind!

Do you need to get connected to your creative self again?

Do you long for the freedom of no rules?

Do you give yourself permission to play?

I am now offering ongoing weekly classes for adults that will reintroduce you to the joy of making stuff and remind you that

a) it has the power to make you incredibly happy

b) once you start, unexpected wondrous things happen and

c) it’s easy

The only skill you will need is the ability to cut with scissors.

scissors 2

Note: playing can unlock & unblock for writers, musicians, crafters & cooks. No matter if you are a professional, amateur, or have not made something since primary school, you will be completely at home.

In light of the creative tsunami that takes place in the studio, I keep the number of artistic geniuses to a maximum of six.

DATES & TIMES of upcoming weekly classes: 

Please contact me at sarapinto.com on the contact page to find out future dates!

New Blocks begin every 5 weeks

sign up at sarapinto.com– emailing through ‘contact’


Attending Sara’s workshop I discovered I could grow my own oasis. She gave us a handful of seeds and a nudge and said: ‘Go on, you can do it.’ You have permission to cut things up, take old books apart, pick what catches your imagination, play with materials, textures and colours. You can explore and try things out. If you get stuck, Sara will propose a way forward. And little by little, in the middle of what looked like a barren space of daily routine, chores and work deadlines, a wee garden started growing from my own rediscovered creativity.” – C.M.

It hadn’t occurred to me at age 46, in the middle of a hectic life that I had either the time or the talent to start any artistic pursuits. Word of mouth brought to my ear, that I was in fact, missing out because Sara Pinto was running unmissable art workshops. The atmosphere was relaxing, encouraging, creative, the ideas were fun, imaginative and best of all, I with my inherent lack of artistic talent, was able to create pieces that I loved and that my brutally honest family and friends complemented. Going to one of Sara’s workshops is a very good use of your time, however busy you are. It is also good for the soul, allowing you to relax and be creative in a way that many of us haven’t done since we were children. – S.C.

I had not taken an art class since school and any spark of creativity felt deeply buried under the pressure of a full time job and 3 young children but Sara creates an oasis of calm in her beautiful studio and with a series of delightful, fun and varied activities, all apparently simple and non-threatening, we were all amazed by what we could create. Inspired, I found ideas popping into my head as I went about my everyday life and couldn’t wait to get back to try them out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Thank you for letting my creativity out the box and for so much fun. I can’t wait to come back for another class!” –R.G.

The workshops were the best fun I’ve had in ages. This sounds weird as I enjoy myself all the time. But having the time and space to do creative things, in total freedom and without rules, made me very happy indeed. Time for a new proverb: “All play and no work makes Jack a bright boy.” – E.J.

Sara you are amazing! I have spent all my life looking and appreciating the wonderful world of art from the outside, as it were, and now I have the beginnings of a glimmer of how to view it from the inside. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are an inspirational teacher. I can’t wait for my next Workshop with you.” – J.B.


Goodnight Nanny-Cam Cake

Cake Books! Goodnight Nanny-Cam had it’s launch party in New York on Saturday and Jen & Lizzy, the authors extraordinaire, sent me this picture to cheer me up, as I couldn’t make the trip from Scotland. Honestly, it’s my exact cover illustration but done in frosting….I’m getting all kinds of crazy ideas now about rethinking my medium! How I’d love to meet the amazing froster who created this sweet, sweet treat.


The book goes on sale tomorrow (February 25th), so check it out. It’s a hilarious send up of Alpha Parenting to the tune of the beloved Goodnight Moon. It’s a book for Grown-Ups, with lots of cheeky dark humor. I had a wonderful time illustrating Jen & Lizzy’s biting, rhyming satire, which first appeared in The New Yorker’s Shouts & Murmurs. It was great fun letting my darker side out while still working in a familiar way. Too bad I used paint, not so much fun licking your fingers after you finish…..

Book Launch! Workshops!


The picture book making workshops are well under way here at the studio! The first group just celebrated their book launch, where we read their books to a very impressed audience, cupcakes flew and fun was had by all. Congratulations to all the writers & artists…their books were all FANTASTIC!

I’m now starting my third block of classes where we’ll be concentrating on collage and watercolour. This block begins Saturday the 23rd of February and runs for five weeks. There is one space left in the class for 12-14 year-olds, so drop me a line if you’d like to fill it! You can contact me through my website http://sarapinto.com

The next block of 5 weeks will begin after the Easter break and we’ll be doing collage & watercolour. These will both be for the 8-11 year-old set.

Dates & Times:

Thursdays 18th April – 16th May 3:30-5:30

Saturdays 20th April – 18th May 2:00-4:00 (if you are away May 4th, we’ll add another class) Cost: £75 (includes materials and snack, of course!)

Last Block Dates before Summer:

Tuesdays 21st May – 18th June 3:30-5:30

Thursdays 23rd May – 20th June 3:30-5:30

Age groups and creative focus to be determined by demand, closer to the date.

Watch this space for Summer Art Camp!

Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Scotland, but just look at our faces. We are looking passionately past our kilts, past our swords, daggers, shields. We are looking home. Home to a decent Burger.

The Scots have invented a lot of what America takes for granted (tires, TV, computers, telephones, the notion of History & Geography, pavement, golf, the adhesive stamp, bicycle pedals, fountain pens, lawnmowers, matches, car insurance, the decimal point, chloroform, the United States Navy, wire rope, radar, raincoats, hypnosis and cornstarch, to name but a few) but the burger has eluded them.

I had a burger last summer in Vermont (pictured on the right) that was everything a Scottish burger is NOT. The beef did not contain oatmeal. It did not have unidentifiable spices in it. It was not called ‘mince’ which is how they make hamburger meat here…by mincing things I think American’s reserve for hotdog production only. It was cooked rare rather than for six days (could they possibly be cooking them, freezing them, recooking them by boiling them, then serving them??). I was also allowed to add things to my burger, limited only by my imagination, other than just a dried out ‘bap’ which is not a bun but something else which I don’t fully understand.

My family no longer orders burgers in restaurants here. We’ve learned. Even in a restaurant famous for their American burgers, we’ll all order salmon or haggis.  Making them at home is a no-go as well, due to the nasty ‘mince’ issue. So, we just long. Long for far away shores where our desires for bacon cheese burgers with sides of mayo are fulfilled.

I’m very excited to begin offering workshops in my studio in Glasgow! I’m going to be doing lots of different programs, some for kids, some for grown-ups.

The first workshop focuses on picture book creation and is for the nine to eleven year-old set. This is a five week course where we’ll be learning how a picture book is designed, the steps involved, how to craft your idea into a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.

We’ll be making art to illustrate our stories (we’ll also be talking about how best to use illustration and graphics to enhance the story as well as trying out lots of different mediums like collage, photos and painting).

And finally, the kids will learn how to make a book out of paper (called a ‘dummy’ in the trade) that will hold up to time and many many readings! Once they can do this, they’ll be able to make countless books and will be able to make dummies to show editors when they all grow up to be illustrators and writers!!

This class is full but I’ll be setting up others soon and for different ages as well…watch this space!

Back Home



Home from the whirlwind tour of the United States. Actually, they are not feeling all that United, but that’s for someone else’s blog. Here in Glasgow, we’re united against the looming darkness and wet that we’ll all endure for the coming months. No better time to get a lot of work done!

But it is hard. It’s hard to be your own engine, your own fuel tank, your own match. Sometimes I dream of going to an office where there are plans to get things done, schedules, water coolers. Structure, obligation, responsibility. Teams. Flip charts.

But here I am. There is my big work table, cleared off and ready. There’s the paper. I’ve made myself some coffee. I can do this. I feel sort of lonely padding around here on my own, I’ve got to admit. But, I’m going to put pen to paper and trust that once I begin I’ll lose myself in The Thing. It does always happen but somehow starting is always an act of faith.

Would it be weird if I had a water cooler installed in the corner of the studio? I’d at least get to talk to the guy who delivered a fresh one each month.

Wait one second! I see that it’s already one o’clock and the kids are due home in a few hours…I’ve got to start working, enough of this musing.

Ready, Set, Go….


Yes, Please!

There is a lot to be said for saying yes to everything. As we travel around the USA visiting family (so far we have seen 46 members of our gorgeous, large and loving folk) and friends, we’ve just been saying yes to as much as we possibly can. What a delight to relax our normal bedtimes, eating habits, sleeping patterns, and ideas about what we think we should be doing. We’re happy as clams!

The other day I was telling a friend of my mother’s about my new iBook for the iPad. A dark, dark look rolled up on her face. The head began to slowly shake. The corners of her mouth drooped; she was going to give me the ‘death of the book’ talk.

It’s not like I had just said, “Have you heard? Storytelling is dead. Yep, that’s right…there are no more stories being told. We don’t need them anymore. We don’t want to hear any and we don’t want to tell any.”

The Story is alive and well. If anything, there are more stories being told now than ever before. But there is much talk and fear traveling around that if our children do not look at books made out of paper, they shall be losing precious lessons, precious sensations, emotions, tactile experiences, good old fashioned meaningful fun. Do people really think that to get the most from a story it needs to be on bound sheets of tree pulp?

As a mother, I’m a strong believer that fear is more detrimental than just about anything. If you are afraid of what the shift away from stories on paper to new mediums will do to your children, take a deep breath and just sit down and do some lego with them, or play tea party. Or, tell them a story about when you were little. Or ask them to make up a story about three socks who set out to learn how to make blueberry pie. Then, when you are refreshed, remind yourself that some paper books are awful, some apps are awful and some ebooks are awful. But you can choose what you like from so much fantastic stuff out there and if you share it with your children with love and excitement, everything will be just fine.

Things are changing and it’s ok. We still yearn to connect, to hear from our elders, to make people laugh, to give and receive advice. There’s no need to panic. Plus, panicing makes kids kind of edgy.


It’s certainly been a VERY long time since my last post…

I started this blog because I wanted to write a memoir about my working life and I wanted the pressure of having told everyone I was going to do it. I was also feeling that I needed to spark something into happening. I’ve realized that if I’m involved in a creative endeavour, it tends to unleash a creative tidal wave. This is what I live for.

Lo! I soon became so busy with projects that I had to put my memoir on the back burner (you can read an excerpt of the memoir in the on-line literary magazine, Algebra, entitled “Pounding The Pavements.”) http://tramwayalgebra.com/issue2.html

Anyway, since my last post, Luciana Frigerio and I created the animated series “Quiet Is…” for Disney Jr. (airing nightly in the USA at 8:25pm…more about this on my website).

Then I hooked up with the uber-cool iBook publisher Twistframe to make my first iBook for children, “The Color Closet.”

This little gem was released a couple of weeks ago and it is so much fun I can’t stand it! There it is, on iTunes, ready for your iPad and some small fingers to start getting VERY happy. Check it out:

For iTunes US:


 For iTunes UK:


A week ago, I was invited by The Apple Store, in Glasgow, to come and talk to the pupils from Chryston Primary School about writing books, making art and to show them The Color Closet and let them goof around with it. It was a total blast!

Twistframe and I are planning more books, Luciana and I are knee-deep in a project that is currently making us so excited it’s hard to stay seated and I’m embracing the digital age and social media with an open heart and faith that an old dog can learn new tricks.

So, I’ve found myself in the delicious place that I love so much: a million ideas and million ways to express them. Just letting that tidal wave wash over me…. 

I started this blog by inventing a benevolent horse for myself. This horse is called, “I Am Going to Write 500 Words a Day on a Memoir about My Working Life.” Let’s just call her ‘500 Words a Day.’ I have another horse in my barn called “I’m Not Going to Spend More Money than I Have.” She’s a beauty. Haven’t ridden her in a while but she’s there, a non-judgemental mare, waiting, waiting.

 I have to have these horses in my life. If there were no horse, there would be no way to get back on. And I love getting back on a horse. You’re up and you’re off, no explanations necessary.  So I did a cool 500 this morning and it felt fantastic. Simple as that.

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