I always say, “Art is your Birthright”. Nobody has the right to take that flow away from you.

I am THRILLED to share with you my interview with the bright, breath-of-fresh-air, fomer student of mine and Armani Xchange fashion creative director Shafiq Haddad!

Laura Volpintesta and Shafiq Haddad interview video- check out Shafiq’s student sketchbook/ fashion portfolio

A former Parsons School of Design Fashion Design student of mine from 12 years ago, Shafiq  Haddad invited me out to his downtown Brooklyn studio last week to film the inaugural episode of his new YouTube show: “In Bed with Shafiq”!

I jumped at the opoprtunity because I always resonated with Shafiq’s  positive, open, energetic, diverse and inspired approach to fashion, people, and life. You’ll love his sense of humor, zest for life... and his Fashion Illustrations and designs from “back in the day” as a student!!!

speaking of which, here’s a page from one of my own student fashion design sketchbooks

Fashion Illustration Layouts in croquis book Laura Volpintesta

I love, of course, as an educator and coach, to hear about the creative education experiences of students who learned WITH ME! What was it like? How did they feel? What impact did it have on the creative and professional trajectory of their lives? I KNOW i had several teachers who are HUGE part of who I am today. What about you?

It was such a wonderful opportunity to get a chance to talk with Shafiq about my favorite subject:

Creative Education.

As a creative who was shy to declare myself an “artist” until I was in my 30s (even with a fashion design degree under my belt), my experience in classrooms as a Parsons and Parsons Paris student have had a big impact on the way I approach creative education/ teaching the arts.

And, why was I afraid to call myself an artist? (that’s the kind of thing I work on with a lot of my coaching clients)

There is a culture of criticizing, “squashing”, and fear that can culturally run rampant in the arts! Plus, People who have this wound from their own past often unconsciously pass this same wound on to their students and apprentices. We’re here to break that cycle.

As a musician and an artist, also as a PARENT, I’ve seen and felt it’s impact a lot. I see this happen every day.  It can be in educational and learning institutions, as well as in families and communities.

Often times, it is something that I believe is “handed down”…we get it, then we pass it on.

But we can stop the cycle!

And to me, that is paramount. When we can feel safe enough to create and express ourselves and open up the channel to create and listen to the creative spirit that lives in us an calls to us, we are joyful.

There is no end to the list of traumatic stories artists, musicians, and adults remembering back to childhood, have about their attempts at expressing their creative voice! AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE? Who decided that art, music, fashion, dance, craft, writing, etc, were modalities only for “artists”? They are the languages and essences of HUMANITY, human expression. Not only for some to participate in.

Healing those experiences  holds all of this fun, this joy, and this freedom on the other side.

All it takes is ONE FABULOUS teacher, perhaps !!!

above, my sketchbook from my creative education as a fashion design student


The new model is positive and expansive,self-directed  and empowered.

I learned so much about this when I was a Music Together instructor…..The Center for Music and Young Children taught me so much about the way young people learn through play and self directed exploration that I went on to homeschool/unschool my own kids! I’m so grateful for this experience– they are now 21, 22, and 13 and are incredible human beings, self-motivated, creative, articulate and expressed individuals.

Kindness in education, and prominently in Fashion education, will open up a new, more ethical and sustainable way of doing business while being creative and responsible with mother nature and our brothers and sisters.

Follow Shafiq’s channel to catch the upcoming series and all of the videos he’ll be creating interviewing people who are PASSIONATE about what they do.


How did you like this video?  What was your favorite part?

Mine was when Shafiq said “WE ALL GET As”!!!!! lol

Keep me posted in the comments below!



creative education-fashion sketching on ipad Laura Volpintesta

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