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“Reviving classical art is the most rebellious thing an artist can do today.”


In this enlightening episode of “The RebelRebel Podcast,” host Michael Dargie welcomes Mandy Theis, a passionate advocate for atelier-style art education. This conversation takes us on a journey through Mandy’s life, her discovery of Atelier training, and her dedication to bringing these classical art techniques back into the mainstream.

The episode begins with Mandy sharing her experiences in the New York City area and her involvement with the School of Atelier Arts. She enlightens listeners on the history and significance of atelier training, drawing connections to legendary artists like Da Vinci and Rembrandt. Mandy explains how this form of education, once the cornerstone of artistic training, fell out of favour and was nearly lost to modernity.

Mandy’s personal story is both inspiring and revealing. She recounts her childhood visit to the Dayton Art Institute, where she first encountered realistic paintings, igniting her passion for art. Despite years of art education, she felt a disconnect between her skills and her aspirations, which changed upon discovering atelier training. Mandy then embarked on a journey to learn and subsequently share this nearly lost art form, striving to make it accessible to people worldwide.

Throughout the conversation, Mandy highlights the relevance of atelier training in various fields, including animation and digital arts. She emphasizes the importance of visual literacy, comparing it to reading literacy, and advocates for the inclusion of realistic drawing and painting skills in modern education.

This episode is packed with insights into Mandy’s philosophy on art, her teaching methods, and her future endeavours, including potential book projects. This episode is not just a discussion about art; it’s a revelation of how traditional techniques can profoundly impact modern artistic expression and education.


“Art is not just a skill; it’s a way of seeing the world.”

“Every great artist was once a learner in an atelier.”

“Visual literacy is as crucial as reading literacy.”

“Rediscovering atelier training was like being told I could go to Hogwarts.”

“Reviving classical art is the most rebellious thing an artist can do today.”


  • Mandy Theis’s background and the mission of the School of Atelier Arts.
  • The history and near extinction of atelier training in art.
  • Personal anecdotes from Mandy’s life that led her to pursue and teach atelier-style art.
  • The impact of atelier training on modern art forms like animation and digital art.
  • Discussion on the relevance of visual literacy in today’s world.
  • Mandy’s future plans, including writing books and expanding her teaching platform.


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About the Author: Michael Dargie

Michael Dean Dargie is a sought-after international speaker and the host of the RebelRebel Podcast. He has been nominated for Outstanding Host, as well as Outstanding Business Series in the Canadian Podcast Awards numerous times. Michael is the CEO and "Creative Zealot" at Make More Creative—a branding agency serving creative rebels and businesses worldwide.