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VMASC Scientist Hosts Weekly Stress-Free Art Workshops

Story by Sherry DiBari

Bratislav Cvijetić (BaTo), a designer, technical illustrator, visual artist and senior project scientist at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), is hosting art sessions as part of the center's outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic geared toward encouraging activity for K-12 students and their families while social distancing.

"We have more time to do things that we used to, or always wanted to do, but could never do them," Cvijetić said. "Now with time on our hands, we can dive into art."

The Stress-Free Art sessions, which are available Mondays through his YouTube channel, consist of two themed workshop-format videos, one for adults, the other for children. In each video, Cvijetić goes over everything from the supplies needed to the final execution.

Participants can use traditional art supplies or a digital format. Many of the sessions are taught with a free app called SketchBook.

Recent sessions have included watercolor basics, visual composition and landscape painting. Workshops for children included "How to draw a T-Rex" and a session on illustrating children's books.

"The hope is for the kids and the parents to sit down and start making art together and for the adults to start expressing themselves through whatever art form they find comfortable," Cvijetić said.

Zoom meetings are held Fridays to discuss techniques and allow participants to ask questions.

Cvijetić emphasizes the workshops are stress-free.

"The sessions I create are not obligatory," he said. "they are not for a grade and are judgment-free.

"People are naturally creative, and we see it with the kids at an early age ... the problem adults usually have is the confidence in art creation. They become self-aware and judgmental of their skill and usually stop making art."

Participants can access past course videos and register to join live tutorials and Q&A sessions every Friday afternoon. To register, visit the Eventbrite link.

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