Beck Ferguson – Little Creatures Collective
It is often said that creativity is the most underrated life skill taught in school today but at Little Creatures Collective, a Seddon art school just for kids, creativity is king! Artist and Founder Beck Ferguson shares with us the success of the school – her mission is to use her fine art skills and wealth of experience to teach creative process and fine art techniques to her students in a truly unique setting.
You obviously have a love of art, what did you do before your daughter was born?
Before my daughter was born I spent many years studying and indulging my inner geek. I spent 10 years working in health services, firstly as a nurse and then as a medical laboratory technician. My last job, at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at the Royal Children’s Hospital, was in a diagnostic laboratory specialising in genetic testing. Prior to this I spent a number of years working in medical research, which I loved.
What inspired you to start a business?
Whilst pregnant with my daughter (who is now four) I thought a great deal about what I would teach her and whether she would be creative like me. I realised that all children are instinctively creative, all they need is a little inspiration and know-how and so I started to look around for children’s activities that focus on art and the creative process. I couldn’t find a single one! This inspired me to share my passion for creativity and love for art, and so Little Creatures Collective came to be. I simply just love to plan out each session and watch as the students revel in the challenges I set each week, they all find the classes very satisfying!
What is so unique about Little Creatures Collective?
Little Creatures Collective is unique as we teach creative process, a valuable life skill with endless applications across a broad range of subjects. Working independently to come up with creative solutions to problems is a key outcome of our classes. Additionally, as an artist I have spent most of my life developing and refining my skills in fine art and I share all that I have learnt when it comes to technical skills across painting (oil and acrylic), drawing and sculpture.
My class sizes are small and we focus closely on the development of the individual students, this provides a truly unique experience. I always come up with interesting ways to get my students to analyse other artists’ work and develop an appreciation for others’ art; this in turn inspires them to try new techniques and gives them keen observation skills as artists.
How did you start out?
It’s hard to imagine but starting out I ran my little art school from my home in Seddon. I ran 3 classes a week, which quickly filled, and before I knew it the school had moved to its own dedicated, fully fitted out art studio. The school was very popular and well received by the community, without whom I simply would not be where I am today.
And how did you get from there to where you are now?
Little Creatures Collective started out with the Little Artist Program in 2013, which teaches creative process to 2-5 year olds while creating magical masterpieces and instilling confidence in both children and parents to create together. In 2014 we extended our services to the Young Artist Program (6-12 years), Teen Artist Program (12-15 years) Birthday Parties and finally our ever so popular School Holiday Program, which is consistently rated in the top 10 kids events in Melbourne across many blogs.
Is there anything that has really helped you on this journey?
Community engagement played a huge role in getting out and spreading the word. On any given weekend you could find me at a charity event, market stall or festival, running creative workshops for all ages that showcased just how unique and special the school is. This was such a valuable opportunity for me to meet the people in my community. People who ordinarily would not have given my classes a second thought found themselves enchanted by the creativity and wonder of the Little Creatures Collective. Supporting community initiatives is some of the most rewarding work I have done for the school.
What is your guilty pleasure?
As a lover of art imitating life, I would have to say my guiltiest of guilty pleasures is reality tv, most notably Survivor. Coming in a close second would have to be collecting Hello Kitty merchandise, this is something I committed to wholeheartedly as a child and I’ve never had the good sense to give it up.
And finally, what does the future hold for Little Creatures Collective?
Four years in the business of teaching fine art to kids, as well as community engagement projects, have seen us achieve the greatest of great things and our community has backed us all the way and we are beyond joyous to have what we have.
The next phase in our journey to achieve great things will see us raising $18,000 through our Pozible Campaign to go toward a new $30,000 Pottery Project. The campaign aims to raise the much-needed funds we require to see our art school offering pottery and sculpture to our students in 2017! This project will see us improve our offerings without having to increase class sizes or fees to cover the project.
Big ticket items which we need to get the classes happening are a $16,000 kiln, $5,000 of potting wheels, a similar cost for drying racks, then accessories, installation and staff training. We can think of so many awesome new experiences that this new equipment will bring to our artists.
We would love for you to show your support of our mission – to promote and develop visual arts within our community and beyond – by pledging to our campaign.
You can support Beck’s Pozible campaign here: https://pozible.com/project/lcc-pottery-project
To find out more about Beck and her Little Creatures Collective art school visit: