Dar James

Website: www.darsworld.com

Area of Operation: New Hope

Dar (Hosta) James is an artist who does many things. She is a collage artist, a painter of trees, a writer and illustrator of children's picture books, a creative project manager, a designer, a teacher of both children and adults, a speaker on creativity and education, and a creativity life coach. Dar is the daughter of an artist with an exploration in visual arts that has been life long, self-motivated and self-taught. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Contemporary Literature and Creative Writing with graduate work that included secondary education certification in Language Arts. After a brief stint as a high school teacher, she became a stay at home mom in rural Ohio where she discovered a love of collage while spending days at home with her two, young sons though, later, she would continue working in education through writing and art as a visiting author, an artist in residence and a national speaker on creativity in education. In 2003, after a move to central New Jersey, Dar started an independent publishing company, Brown Dog Books (named after her chocolate labrador retriever, Ezra), which became a platform for her own illustrated children’s books. To date, she has independently published six books, which have received a variety of awards, unanimous acclaim through mainstream critics such as Kirkus and Booklist, national placement in both major book chains and two spots on Children’s Book of the Month Club’s featured member selection. Most recently, her 2008 title, If I Were A Tree, was chosen by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to be included in an upcoming anthology for elementary classrooms in both English as well as Spanish translation. As a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Dar counsels people from all walks of life in order to help them connect with their own creativity and live an authentic life in which they feel they are the best versions of them selves. This life philosophy creeps right into her work as a workshop instructor through the facilitation of playful art classes for both children and adults. Of her life as an artist, she says, “Art has become a metaphor for my life… my life has become a metaphor for my art… in both areas, I try to look for what is working and how to make it all more fun. The two feed each other." She is the mother of two grown sons and lives with a sweet guy named Jeff, her life partner, in the river town of New Hope, Pennsylvania in a quaint, old house, surrounded by many beautiful trees and lots and lots of frogs. Dar’s favorite mediums are cut paper collage and acrylic on canvas or board, and you can find a portfolio of her work, her exhibit/event calendar, as well as her new line of artful clothing, at her site, www.darsworld.com. When she is not busy creating art, Dar is an avid runner, a regular yoga practitioner and an amateur student of tarot.