23ABC Community Connection


Local woman opens an art studio to encourage art therapy

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 19:39:23-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Mae Brooks started drawing when she was around five years old. Her mom gave her a sketch book and coloring pencils but didn’t expect the love for art that would flourish in Mae.

She drew so much that she ended up tracing the drawings and teaching herself how to be creative with it.

This is the start of a long healing journey Mae has with art.

Now, you can enter her very own studio ‘Sketch N Studio’ in the southwest side of town. The first thing you notice is the vibrant colors splattered across the walls, the second thing is the welcoming atmosphere.

Mae has pieces of her artwork littered across the walls of the studio without it somehow not taking the focus off the healing nature of her place.

In one corner, there’s a painting of a woman turned around with the spine of a violin replacing her actual spine, and on the wall across from it, is a series of caricatures that captures the duality of what the studio is about.

Mae believes art is healing and the reason she is where she is today: “I started my business based on the philosophy that art heals because when I’m creating, I’m hoping, I’m using certain elements that are happening in my body.”

To show others how healing art is, Mae opened the studio to prove that you can put away any hardships you’re facing in your life for just a moment and enjoy the art of being creative.

When asked what art means to Mae she says quite bluntly, “art means life.”

“Every time I’m in front of a canvas, or a piece of paper, I’m able to pour my soul into it. I’m able to release, I can trust the canvas will hold my secrets and I can trust that the canvas will talk back to me. It lets me know what step to take next, it’s like a constant communication back-and-forth between me and the canvas.”

Mae opens up about her own struggles in life and how her art is a representation of what she’s been through. The first charcoal drawing she released to the world was during a time in her life where she was going through unbearable pain due to back injuries.

To this day, Mae loves that drawing the most out of everything she’s created.

Her experience working in group homes and being a mother of nine children, shows throughout her studio.

Mae uniquely designed it to where all ages can come and be a part of the experience without worrying about the mess and cleanup of painting.

Her studio has a playpen for small children, where a staff member will be supervising at all times, and then a station for the bigger kids to actually draw and even tie dye shirts.

In the center, there’s a place for more advanced artists to be able to paint and express themselves. There’s even an iPad in the corner for any digital artists.

‘Sketch N Studio’ opened just this month and offers a variety of classes that range from beginner to advanced.

Sketch N Studio
7850 White Ln, Ste B, Bakersfield