Do you have a five year old that draws for hours on end, a ten year old that has plastered the walls with paintings of horses 100 different hues, perhaps a teen that seems to do nothing else but draw Manga? Children love art but some may find it frustrating when they get it or do it “just” right. Many tweens and teens moan they don’t like to paint. One reason could be after they spent hours on a great pencil drawing, they then tried to add color smearing the pencil lines ruining their hard work.

Master Artist Thomas Cleveland like many creative children struggled to overcome many such creative obstacles. Perfectionism, Paintings left unfinished to pursue the “next big idea”, feeling unsure of his abilities, fear of failure when considered talented, all can stifle one’s desire attempt creating art. Thomas eventually found ways to overcome or manage most of these. He founded the Artist Within Studio School in 2004 to help others avoid these pitfalls while taking ownership of their fledgling talent.

Students receive personal instruction and step-by-step demonstrations of professional drawing and painting techniques presented in easy to understand analogies and everyday language that takes the anxiety out of trying new art techniques and mediums. Allowing them to relax while taking their artwork to a level they not have thought possible.

Our Aspiring Artists classes inspire, educate and encourage students in a nurturing, motivating and judgement free environment. Thomas believes allowing one self to be a perfectly flawed perfectionist, is key to enjoying the creative process and the results.

Thomas S. Cleveland

Master Artist Instructor

Thomas Cleveland wanted be an artist since he was 5 years old. He, like most children, loved to draw. He just never stopped. His passion honed by persistence and training have rewarded him with numerous awards and a contract with the United States Mint as a Master Designer in it’s Artistic Infusion Program. He founded The Artist Within Studio School to share that passion with others who feel in them selves a drive to create. His nurturing and down to earth approach puts his students at ease in their quest. Thomas has learned that creating art is a journey to be enjoyed and traveled a lifetime.

Art isn’t just hanging around on the walls it is all around us in our everyday lives. From the clothes we wear, the houses we live in to the many objects and gadgets we use. An artist had a hand in creating, designing and then marketing it to you.

~ Thomas S. Cleveland

Thomas attended Texas A&M Commerce, formerly ETSU. He launched his art career in Houston, TX in 1984. His client’s have included such household names as: Coca Cola, General Motors, Nickelodeon, McDonalds and more. He began teaching art in 1997 and founded The Artist Within Studio School in 2004.  

Nicole Cleveland

School Director, Art Instructor

The younger daughter of master artist Thomas Cleveland, was also born into art, but began her artistic passion at the young age of eight. In 1997, her father was the lead instructor of the children’s program at the Houston School of Art & Design (HSAD). Nicky spent every summer and weekend drawing and painting at the school with a variety of artistic mentors that included: Shawn Carson, Charlie Brown, and her very own father Thomas Cleveland.
After high school, Nicky continued working with her father when he started the Artist Within Studio School in Cypress and became one of the lead instructors while continuing her college education focused in and around human interaction and therapy. She is currently studying to get her LPC and is the director and coordinator of the Cypress location.

Rachel Parks

Art Instructor

Rachel Parks, like most artists, began drawing at an early age. Not so coincidentally, her first formal training was actually at the Artist Within back in 2005, with Thomas Cleveland as her mentor. Being an extraordinarily talented student, she excelled quickly and was asked to be an assistant there after two years of lessons. Rachel then went to college to refine her skills further and graduated from University of Houston with a Bachelors in Art and a minor in Art History. We are honored to have her working with us once again as a diverse instructor whose speciality is acrylic and graphite, but who is also versed in watercolor, oil, colored pencil and pastels.


M-F: 9:00am-5:00pm                Sat: 9:00am-2:00pm

Studio hours are during posted class times. Email or give us a call to make an appointment to stop by.


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