About Mrs Red's

Helloooo! I'm Jane, owner of Mrs Red's art room, the multi-million colour Art Teacher and Illustrator. 

I am also a wife to one, mum to three and a lover of swimming in the ocean and drinking a glass of wine. The mug I am holding in this photo is now 29 years old. I bought 4 of these in one of the quaint side alleys of Rundall Mall, Adelaide, South Australia and they were my very first purchase of anything I knew I wanted to keep (I saved for months to buy them as I was a full time student studying Graphic Design back then). To this day, I still drink my morning cups of tea from them and not one has a chip in them - that's quality you don't see now days! This photo is now a couple of years ago, hair has grown and I'm not hiding the silver that has crept through over the years anymore.

Mrs Red in black white dress with cup of tea

If you have time, please read on......

How did the name, Mrs Red, come about? As a school teacher with a 'hard to say' surname, not to mention forgettable, I got a lot of 'Miss' which I didn't like. I would think 'call your Maths teacher 'Miss' but not your Art teacher', its very plain, common and boring (sorry Maths teachers). At a business forum I was speaking with others about this problem and someone said 'shorten it to Red' so I went from Mrs WhittRED to Mrs Red!

How did the business come about? This business found me. I have a Bachelor of Art, majoring in Graphic Design, working in the industry for 10 years and a PGDipEd (small contracts at local public & private school in art departments for 4 years). The combination of the two qualifications make a great team and back in 2009 parents from my childrens school/kindy were requesting me to do some art classes.

When did the business start and where? Mrs Red's art room began in February 2011 however I operated under an extremely boring and forgettable name for a year before this. I began running one monthly Saturday afternoon class in Currumbin, Gold Coast, above a little art shop. I then began doing a Thursday evening art class for adults in the same space on a weekly basis. As the business grew, I stumbled across Rabbit & Cocoon (better known as Miami Marketta) and leased a shed for 3 days a week. After 6 months of renting the space I took over the shed full time. A year later I moved sheds to a slightly smaller room but had the toilets right outside (safer for children). I remained there for another 2 years. By January 2014 I was feeling the squeeze, I had outgrown the space and by June 2014 began looking for something bigger. Driving home at 9pm on a Saturday night after Marketta Street Food a HUGE 'for lease' sign was in Burleigh Heads and I couldn't wait for Monday to ring the agent. Three weeks later I signed the lease on 144sqm room.

Fast forward to May 2016 - everything going well at the fabulous Burleigh Heads space and then I receive a phone call from the school my 11 year old son attends, asking me for an immediate appointment. To cut a long story short, Charlie was diagnosed with high functioning Aspergers in Nov 2015 and as soon as the school received the funding for him, the wheels fell off and they suggested he move to another school. If you know anything about Aspi Kids you will know it is not that easy and because he had a diagnosis, he was given medical clearance to begin Distance Education. My Burleigh landlords gratefully allowed me to walk away from my lease and the distance education began, with me in the background as support. At first, this news was devastating to me but once I had let my customers know, and all my wonderful students, I thought about all the things I can still do, with a few modifications. So, as of July 2016, the business was in hiatus (in regards to an actual space) and Charlie and I took the next 6 months to become comfortable at home, with him doing distance ed. In March 2017 I made the decision to become a 100% online art business and then Covid arrived and everyone knew that online learning was possible and now I have two fabulous art classes you can do, online. I am back to doing in-person paint'n'sip art classes in public as well as team building.

What does Mrs Red do all day? There is always a fair bit to do in the engine room (online) however my priority is drawing and painting so at least 4 days out of 7 I will be creating new projects or working on artworks for my side hustle, Grand Old Car.  

Family? Married to Neil who owns Smith & Son's Gold Coast Central which is a building & renovation business here on the sunny Gold Coast. We have 3 children, Will 20, Charlie 19 and Gabrielle 14. We are a very sporty family and both Charlie and Gabi are showing great art potential!

Downtime for Mrs Red? Almost all of my inspiration in art begins surrounded by water! I seem to land the best ideas in the shower! Does this happen to anyone else? I became hooked on ocean swimming back in 2014 and have competed in ocean swims on Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Noosa, Cairns, Heron Island and Auckland, NZ. I have done two 3k swims, one from Broadbeach to Surfers Paradise and around Heron Island in Oct14. I then competed in a 4.7k swim across the channel in Auckland, NZ end of March 2015 which was a great achievement. Ocean swimming is my 'chill out zone', my 'down time', my 'me time' and I love it! I also am a Lifesaver at Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park, part of the volunteer program on week-ends and public holidays through the beach season (Sept-April) along with joining Surf Communications which is the radio centre for the entire GC beaches.

Motto: Exercise and create every day!