Kira Brant knew she wanted to go to art school in fifth grade.
Infatuated with cartoons and sketching, she wanted to be a Disney animator one day.
So Brant, who has always lived in Franklin, shipped herself off to the Ohio School of Art and Design on the promise of an internship with Disney.
But the school ended its internship program with the company, and Brant fell out of love with animation altogether. She said it just wasn’t being done how it used to be.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she said. “I just missed home a lot.”
She moved back to Indiana, started her own greeting card line and graduated from the Herron School of Art at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
As soon as she graduated from art school, she hosted one-on-one and small group private lessons from time-to-time inside a Christian bookstore she opened in downtown Franklin.
The store closed nearly five years ago — a move she didn’t want to make.
“But if it wouldn’t have been for that business, I don’t think my business now would be thriving like it is,” she said.
In the summer of 2012, Brant opened her second business venture — The Art of Kira, a group-art class business that she owns and operates in Franklin today.
At the time of her initial studio opening, Brant was the only employee. She now has three instructors and various helpers and has since upgraded her studio space multiple times.
Outside of teaching classes inside her studio and out, as well as managing her two children, Brant said she doesn’t make any of her own art.
“I have a desire, but I don’t have time,” she said. “It’s just not going to happen.”
Between adult classes, kid classes, kid parties, private parties, gigs at the city’s recreation center and preschool events, Brant said she has “a lot of different things going on” at least five days a week.
There are weeks when Art of Kira has something going on every day, Monday through Saturday.
In the summer, Brant adds student summer art camps to her schedule.
But despite the busy schedule year-round, Brant said she likes being able to teach a wide range of students, from toddlers to the elderly.
“What I like the most is just the people, really,” she said. “I love being around different kinds of people. I like being able to show people how to have fun and realize art is not a stressful thing. They have fun. They can be with their friends, family, make memories together.”
She said the funniest part of teaching is when someone mistakes their paint water for their drink—something that happens more often than one would think.
“I think it’s hysterical,” she said. “The adults do it more than the kids.”
Although she can rarely be found in one place, Brant was recently at the college hosting a cookies and canvas event. The college hires her during this time of year to teach a class that’s free of charge to students and lets them sign up on a first come, first serve basis.
“I try to make it fun,” she said. “Most kids have had class that day. I try to make it so it’s not like going to a normal classroom.”
Most of her classes deal with acrylic on canvas, but she’s been doing more and more wood sign art, as well. She said her older students are harder on themselves than the children, who are very free spirited about their art.
“Most of the time people leave happy, even if theirs don’t look great,” she said. “It’s just fun for them to get out with their friends for an evening and do something new.”
The Art of Kira is located at 154 E. Jefferson St. in downtown Franklin, next to Middle Davids Artisan Candles. Find upcoming classes on www.theartofkira.com.