Say Hello to DM Wilding, Founder and CEO of Creatively Wild Art Studio

Say Hello to DM Wilding, Founder and CEO of Creatively Wild Art Studio

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was Born in Auckland, New Zealand. DM is short for Donna Maree, my nickname was “Danger Mouse” growing up and it stuck! I have worked as an artist internationally in New Zealand, the UK, France and Italy as well as the US. I learned at Art School first hand the power of self expression. I had a difficult childhood myself but as I found ways to express myself artistically- I was able to take apart my own life, and all these feelings and emotions came up, and through creative expression I became transformed and I learned how to really let go, it awoke something in me and my dream since then was always to go deeper and to help others express themselves.

Where are you based and what areas does your business cover 

The studio is located in the heart of Dumbo in this gorgeous light filled airy space.  I am a proud Dumbo resident myself. We serve our beloved Dumbo, as well as the surrounding Brooklyn areas including Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Downtown Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan. We also cater to other areas in Manhattan, as we offer Private sessions. And of course, our online art classes- which we began during Covid that reach right across the country, we have students joining as far afield as California and Europe . We kept our programming going through Covid and we are open now daily for live in person classes. We have expanded our team and offer a huge variety of Art Classes for Adults-Drawing, Painting, Oil Painting, Watercolors, Pop Art, Landscape Painting, Abstract Art, Figure Drawing and our amazing Plein Air ( outdoor class) in Dumbo. PLUS our award winning After School Program for Kids and Teens offers comprehensive instruction in Manga, Anime, Procreate Art, Animation, Painting, Traditional Drawing, Portfolio Prep, Cartooning + more, and weekend classes and Holiday Camps. Not to mention our Toddler classes for budding artists.  We are open daily and weekends too.

Tell us a bit about your business and what inspired you to start it 

In the beginning of my career I started working with Children At Risk, it  was there that I discovered the incredible joy in helping people who were locked up, and it awoke in me this beautiful joy and this sense of feeling alive. I wanted to help nurture these kids (who were often coming from more challenging situations where  art or creative programs were not available to them). Helping them express themselves freely made me want to come up with strategies, and a more personal approach to teaching, and in a very contemporary way. Seeing these kids connect through art and creativity and how this helped shift these very profound things they were carrying shows the true power of art. I brought Creatively Wild Art Studio to Dumbo 12 years ago based on these principles to create a safe place for creative play where students can express themselves as individuals in a thoroughly non judgemental way. We expanded a few years ago and now offer a huge program for adults, kids, teens and toddlers. We have created a safe space where everyone can come and be themselves, come and play, get messy, and engage and connect, we want our students to embrace their own individuality. Now more than ever we need that in our society, to engage, as everything is leaning toward a more separated way of life. We want to celebrate uniqueness. Also do a lot of work in our community, free events with our local school in Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights, also with Farragut Houses, some churches and synagogues. We also offer free art classes to some of our local communities in need, and have worked for years with Ronald Mc Donald House and some other amazing charities to bring FREE Pop ups. Aswell as that we work closely with the amazing team at Dumbo Bid in our own community to bring FREE POP UPS to our area.

What can we expect to see from you in the future 

It was certainly challenging as a small business to  continue to offer our programs during the recent crisis, but our team pulled together, and we were able to keep our doors open, it wasn’t easy at times, I can tell you! But big thanks goes out to all our loyal students and our community who supported us. We certainly hope to reach a wider audience and continue to offer more exciting programs for the future as our hope is eventually to expand both here in NY and internationally.  And always in our minds, is that one day to become a non-profit so we will be able to offer a learning bridge to more of our surrounding low income and/ or in-need communities that might benefit from our creatively wild program. In the more immediate future, Fall is here and our fav time of the year and we have lots of fun events coming up for the Holiday season. Our Spooky Wooky Halloween Event for Kids (with free pizza + cupcakes) is coming up on October 29. PLUS we will be partnering again with the amazing team at Dumbo BID for their annual pop up Dumboween.  Our NEW Drink + Draw POP UP for Adults will be announced shortly and run through Fall, so we encourage everyone to follow us @CWASDumbo to keep up to date with our program. We’ve also got Holiday Camps running through public holidays and school breaks and we recently opened for Birthday Parties and private events too!

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