Blake Pannell was born and raised in Southern California. His first exposure to art was designing his junior high school yearbook and taking drawing classes at the Art Center in Pasadena. He earned his BA in advertising and marketing from Arizona State University and an MBA from Cal State East Bay. He has worked at Saatchi & Saatchi and J. Walter Thompson advertising agencies; Mervyn's (a division of Target), and World Markets. He and his wife have home schooled their four kids, with their eldest now studying computer science at UC Berkeley, and second eldest studying illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. Now taking the helm of Art Smart, Blake feels like he has come full circle to his roots. He looks forward to combining his love of the visual arts with his practical business experience.
Art is in Miss Howe’s blood; her Oma (grandma) still is a remarkable painter. At a young age Malia taught herself to draw by recreating Disney VHS covers. Oma taught her to oil paint when she was seven; as a teen she made the switch to acrylics and found a new love for painting. Malia’s works are based on themes of home, family life, and family vacations—painting from memories brings her close to her art, and gives viewers a glimpse into her life. She is currently working towards her BFA in Painting and Illustration at the Academy of Art University.
Lili is an artist from Tustin. Her passion and love for art developed at a young age and has blossomed in recent years. While skilled in all mediums, Lili specializes in pencil. Her work has been displayed in many art shows such as “Blink” and the “Tustin Art Walk.” Lili is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in business economics but art remains her raison d'être. Her compassionate heart and patient demeanor has made her an excellent teacher of young children.
Ms. Narimanidze received an MFA from the Art Academy in Tbilisi Republic of Georgia in 1982. She also attended several professional art courses at the Moscow State University of Ivan Fedorov in Russia. She then worked professionally as a book designer at “Merani” and “Khelovneba” publishing houses in Tbilisi. During these years, she produced more than 200 illustrations. Her glass and artworks were exhibited in countries all over the world, including Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, Egypt, United States and United Arab Emirates. Nino spent 16 years teaching art to students in Cairo, Egypt. She was the head of the Art School of Ivan Bilibin at the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Cairo and worked as a Professor of Art at the High Cinema Institute (Academy of Art, Cairo, Egypt). She taught academic drawing, painting, sculpture, figure sketching, human anatomy, landscapes, portraits and perspective basics to different age groups. In 2012, Nino Narimanidze moved to the United States, where she was granted an Extraordinary Ability Alien status for her talents and accomplishments. Up until recently relocating to California, Nino taught drawing, cartooning and jewelry design at the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center in Ohio.