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Graduate of the Year 2016


…fantasy art with Cajun flavor.

Heather McGehee decided later in life to pursue her passion for art. Her education has opened new opportunities and allowed her to grow as a professional artist. In 2015, Heather won the National Tuaca Cocktail art competition. The design is scheduled to be incorporated on napkins and glassware for the holiday season.

Heather also has a passion for helping others. She’s donated two pieces to the Louisiana Beekeepers Association to help raise money for the nation’s declining honeybee population. She’s currently working on a volunteer project to help raise money towards equestrian training for a horse so they may continue to compete.

She plans to further her education from local colleges, launch a small business with her husband, and continue to grow her client base.

“I have always wanted to better my abilities. People asked me to draw things for them and I always felt that my skill level wasn't up to a professional standard. Art Instruction Schools changed that; my abilities improved with each lesson and have continued to improve.”

“The confidence the school has given me cannot be measured, it shows within every piece of art that I finish. I'm so grateful I called and took the Draw Me test; shipping off the pirate was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself.”

Graduate of the Year 2015


...passion for growth as an artist.

At the age of 14, Ecaterina Toutok enrolled in Art Instruction Schools. Working on the Fundamentals of Art program while in high school, Ecaterina gained the knowledge needed to sharpen her artistic skills to become the outstanding artist she is today.

Since graduating from Art Instruction Schools, Ecaterina has continued her education by studying biology with the University of Rochester. She’s currently a member of the University of Rochester’s Art Club as well as the Art and Art History Undergraduate Council.

Ecaterina’s training in art has helped her gain experience as a teaching assistant, leading workshops, demonstrations, and critiques. She’s taken opportunities to create advertisements, paint murals, and design bistro menus. In 2014, she took first place in Art Instruction Schools’ 99th Annual Art Competition. Along with these accomplishments, Ecaterina aspires to be a part-time professional artist with hopes of teaching elderly HOSPIS patients how to draw and someday publishing her own book.

“Art Instruction Schools gave me the courage to keep learning and a hunger to succeed in spreading the joy of art to others less knowledgeable in it”
"Autumn Bloom"
"Boxed In"
"Cherry Blossom"
"Sailors Dream"
"Self Portrait"
"Photographers Daughter"

Graduate of the Year 2014


…a love for creating art that people enjoy.

Kristan Yadao has one true love in life and that is creating art for people to enjoy. It was this love that led her to Art Instruction Schools. Today, she is a full-time artist and has become well known for her feather paintings.

Kristan’s art work has appeared on the cover of magazines and two of her graphite drawings have been published in Amazing Pencil Portraits 2 by Platte Publishing. She has been the featured artist at art galleries and has won numerous awards in art competitions including Best of Show and grand prize. Kristan has worked as lead designer at a gaming company.

Kristan owns her own company, Artistic Reflection. It started out as a small business that featured her unique feather paintings. Today, it has evolved into both fine art and graphic design. Through live streaming tutorial sessions, she also teaches painting techniques. She has donated paintings for various foundations’ fundraisers.
Congratulations to Kristan Yadao, our Graduate of the Year!

“Art Instruction Schools has not only taught me important drawing fundamentals, but also skills like the discipline of following instructions carefully and planning a project before diving in.

These skills transfer to all forms of art.”
"Forest King"
"Copper Mine"
"Starlight Serenade"
"Turkey Trail"
"Baby Liza"
"Chief and Scout"
"Photographers Daughter"