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About Yulia and her team

Meet Yulia and her team!
Do you want to join us?

Yulia Balobanova

I have been teaching art since 2015 and my mission has always been to inspire people to create their own art, especially if they do not have any previous art experience. I truly believe that everyone can do art with the right guidance. And with simple materials that you probably already have in your home! 


I have been painting and drawing since childhood, and completed my professional art education at a reputable Design School in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I worked in interior design for many years, and also designed custom furniture for clients. Now, my passion is teaching art to children and adults and inspiring people to be creative. Art can be relaxing, help you express yourself, and you always learn something new. I am making art accessible to people so anyone can try their hand at painting, drawing, or sewing.   


I focus on creating a friendly, cozy and supportive atmosphere for my students and explain very simply how to draw or paint. Participants come away from the workshop or art class with a beautiful final picture. I’ve taught art classes to young children of 5-6 years old, to private groups of adults, and to seniors, who all enjoyed the experience!


I am a multimedia artist. I love learning new techniques for my own practice and for teaching my students. My favorite mediums for now - watercolor and watercolor pencils  which I can draw in my sketchbooks everywhere. I also love hand sewing, crochet, embroidery, sport, yoga and travelling.  I am inspired by nature and love to share this passion with you in the pictures we create. 

My family - husband, 3 children and 2 cats are my big love and support! 

Portrait of Yulia B smiling

Art Instructor: Brynn Kirbyson

Hello, I'm Brynn, your friendly art instructor! As an artist and experienced teacher, I'm currently wrapping up my final year at the University of Waterloo, pursuing a bachelor's degree in fine arts with a teaching specialisation. Art has been a constant companion in my life, shaping my identity in unique ways. 


Sharing my love for visual arts, especially with the younger generation, brings me immense joy. I believe in making art accessible to everyone, fostering creativity, and nurturing artistic abilities. In my classes, we embark on a creative journey together, where I provide step-by-step instructions and demonstrations for each artwork. Our classroom is a warm, inviting space where students can freely express themselves through their art and make lasting friendships along the way.


Art, in my perspective, is for everyone and plays a crucial role in a child's development of identity. Beyond teaching, I'm an interdisciplinary artist with a fondness for acrylic painting and sketching. Lately, I've explored the world of performance on camera, using costumes, makeup, and face paint to transform into various characters that convey personal content.


My roots trace back to the small town of Port Carling in the scenic Muskoka region, where nature became my muse. Surrounded by landscapes, animals, and flora and fauna, I found inspiration for my art. Now, I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for art alongside the incredible team, thanks to Yulia.


Each art class is an exciting adventure for me, collaborating with bright, creative young minds. I can't wait to continue this artistic journey and inspire even more aspiring artists. Let's create art together!

Brynn 2024_edited.jpg

Art instructor: Marien de Freitas

Hello, my name is Marien, your art instructor! I am currently in my second last year of my Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Waterloo with a major in Psychology. I plan to continue my education and eventually get my PhD in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Art Therapy. From as young as I can remember I grew up around art, both my parents were artists and shared their love of creativity with me and my siblings.  

As an art instructor, I intend to share the gift of art with students and foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment where students feel empowered to explore their creativity and express themselves freely. Through a personalized demonstration, I offer hands-on guidance while also allowing students to find their unique art style.  

Art is everywhere and for everyone and I believe that artists bring a special touch to the world. With a diverse background in various artistic mediums such as drawing, painting, sewing, and mixed media, I offer a well-rounded approach to my art education. My current artistic endeavor has been sewing soft body dolls with polymer heads for my family and friends.  

Growing up in rural Manitoba on a farm with my family of 11 I quickly learned to treasure the natural art that Mother Nature creates so effortlessly. Now my family and I reside in Waterloo. Through my work with Yulia, I look forward to bringing my rich life experiences into my work and getting to know the little artists of KW.


Hello, my name is Abby. Art has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I am very excited about the opportunity to share that passion with others. I believe that art should be accessible to all people.

I have been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. I am currently in grade twelve at Bluevale Collegiate Institute, where I have taken a number of art related courses, such as Visual Arts, Clay and Glass, and Photography. After high school, I am looking to attend post secondary schooling for a degree in visual arts so that I can continue learning about my passion and developing my skills.

As an artist, my favourite mediums to work with are acrylic paints, pencils, and digital. However, I also have experience with watercolour paints, coloured pencils, pastels, and clay. Additionally, I also hold an interest in photography. People are typically the subjects of my work, as I foster a deep love for humanity and find myself inspired by those around me.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to work with Yulia. I am excited to help make art more accessible to my fellow community members and to see what new skills I will learn from this experience.


Abby Hiemstra

Co-op student / February - June, 2024

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