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Looking Back and Looking Forward

by Jean Van't Hul
January 6, 2016

Thank You

Sometimes I think I am the luckiest person ever to be doing what I’m doing.

I get to be creative and talk about kids’ art and creativity and try out new products and share ideas and resources with you.

And while it started out as a hobby and a creative outlet, it has turned into so much more.

The Artful Parent is my livelihood in so many senses of the word—joy, connection, service, monetary compensation, creative outlet, and more.

I feel so very fortunate!

It’s time for my annual year-in-review post* in which I talk about the past year (duh), favorite art projects, successes and failures, and new things we’ve tried. All in an effort to wrap up 2015 into a nice, neat package. And then I’ll talk a bit about what’s to come in 2016…

*I meant to post this at the end of December, but didn’t quite get it done in time. Oh well. It’s still relevant.

2015 in Review

The Artful Parent and The Artful Year Books by Jean Van't Hul


My second book, The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons & Holidays with Crafts & Recipes, came out in February and enjoyed a wonderful two-month blog tour. You can see many of the activities, blog tour posts, and interviews here and here.

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity, my first book, has continued to do well and was published in French and Russian this past year with plans for Chinese and Korean editions as well. I love thinking about families around the world using the ideas from my book as they encourage their children’s creativity!

Kids Art Videos on The Artful Parent YouTube Channel


I started making kids’ art videos in 2015, inspired by the wonderful Ana Dziengel of Babble Dabble Do, and had so much fun with them. I stopped because of some personal life stuff that was going on (see below), but would like to get back into them again this year. Here’s The Artful Parent YouTube channel if you’d like to subscribe or check out the videos I’ve made so far.

Making and Using Our Own Scratch Art Paper


We continued to do many of our favorite art activities (sometimes over and over again) and also explored quite a few new and new-to-us art activities for kids. If you’re curious about what the most popular posts and projects have been this past year, check out my Best Of 2015 list.

Beautiful Thankful Quote by Elizabeth Gilbert


This part just blows my mind. I don’t usually pay much attention to numbers, but wow, there are a lot of people who come here for kids’ art ideas and inspiration. Thank you. I will continue to do my best to share information, resources, and activities to help you be the best artful parent (or teacher!) you can be while raising creative children.

  • The Artful Parent site has more than 1 and a quarter million page views per month
  • Almost 1/2 a million peeps follow my Artful Parent facebook page
  • 10,000+ folks check out what we’re up to day to day on Instagram
  • 30,000+ of you are subscribed to my newsletter (Um, sorry that I accidentally sent the same newsletter to you two weeks in a row. Oops! It just completely slipped my mind this week. I’ve since wrote NEWSLETTER in big letters on every Monday on my calendar so I don’t forget again.)

Sending Holiday Photo Cards


On a personal level, 2015 has been a year of tremendous change and transition for me. My husband and I separated. I hadn’t mentioned this before—just hadn’t been ready to before now—but you may have wondered based on a few of the photo-based posts I’ve shared recently, such as the holiday cards and the canvas prints.

I am navigating this transition as gracefully and smoothly as I can for the kids’ sake (and mine). It hasn’t been an easy year, by any means (it’s been so freakin’ hard), but it is what it is and we are all growing through it.


It’s no secret that I love this time of year. The New Year represents so much possibility. Besides reviewing the past year, as I am here for you, and as I do on a more thorough and personal level in my morning pages, I also think about goals and directions for the new year and make a new vision board.

My main goals for The Artful Parent are to focus more and more on being as helpful and authentic as I can be. I want to help you overcome your hesitations and problems around children’s art and creativity while supporting you as you build a strong creative foundation for your kids and family. Problems such as a lack of time in this busy, overscheduled world we live in. It’s not always easy, but we’ll work together on how best to raise our kids to be a generation of rockin’ creative problem solvers.

Are you with me? Let’s do this!

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