Beth Herrild flips through the colorful instruction phamplet that comes with every kit, guiding artists through a series of steps to create the desired product. Photos by Maria Matson/South Whidbey Record

Beth Herrild flips through the colorful instruction phamplet that comes with every kit, guiding artists through a series of steps to create the desired product. Photos by Maria Matson/South Whidbey Record

Encouraging people to create ‘Outside the Box’

South Whidbey art kit business delivers ‘art lesson in a box’

To get creative, sometimes you need to “think outside the box.” But not this time; this time, you’ll want to look inside the box, unpack it and get crafty, because it has everything you need to get the creative juices flowing.

South Whidbey resident Beth Herrild’s new business, Outside the Box Creation, sells fully-stocked art kits that contain items for creating a high-quality art project.

Everything needed, except water, Herrild said.

Those who order and use the kits that Herrild describes as an “art class in a box” will be able to show off their finished products, which can be anything from the swirling, melted designs of paper marbling, the elegance of watercolor paint, a bold monoprint to even a zen drawing, which dazzles with hypnotizing black-and-white patterns. Every subscription option includes selections for children or adults.

And each box contains enough supplies for two people, with easy-to-follow project instructions.

It’s a trend that’s catching on in the modern age: People are eagerly ordering subscription boxes services offering anything from cooking kits, “rentable” shaving razors, tea samplings and, of course, art projects.

What sets her apart from her competitors is the quality of her supplies, Herrild said. People often are able to reuse the leftover art materials, building up a small collection of paintbrushes, sketchbooks, paint and other supplies.

In addition, the boxes themselves are artistic, she said, thanks to the hard work of her graphic designer.

The instructions don’t overwhelm, but flow in a simple format that even the most art-adverse could follow.

The boxes can be a way for parents to bond with their children, spending screenless quality time together.

“A lot of parents are intimidated,” she said. “They want to expose their kids to art, but they don’t know how to do it.”

That’s where Outside the Box Creation comes in, making it easy to create memories and spend quality time together crafting art projects.

Herrild was inspired to launch her business by her observances working as an volunteer in art classrooms, teaching art and raising her son. She wishes schools were able to better fund the arts, which she feels are highly valuable.

“I was really appalled at the lack of art education in schools,” she said.

Herrild had taken note of the rise in popularity of subscription boxes and decided to combine her business-savvy with her wish to spread the joy and benefits of art.

She has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s degree in whole systems design/organizational development. She worked in corporate sales and marketing, eventually launching Outside The Box Creation full-time in late 2016.

Over the years, she’s expanded from selling boxes for just kids to include adults. She’s found parents and grandparents often give subscriptions as gifts.

Herrild’s South Whidbey-based company offers a variety of ordering options, delivered directly to one’s home. There’s a pre-paid subscription for a set number of months, which is a popular gift option. Month-to-month or a one-time order are also popular.

Today, she has about 40 regular subscribers but also sells a lot of single boxes to consumers and organizations, she said. She gives buyers the option to donate boxes to hospitals or prisons, such as the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

The research is clear — art benefits children’s developing brains, she said.

“And it turns out for grown ups, it’s really good for us too,” Herrild said.

From warding off depression to helping with creative problem-solving skills, “it’s just good for us,” she said.

“My tagline is, ‘creating so much more than art,’” she said.

Prices for the boxes depend on the type and length of the subscription, but one-time boxes average around $35.

Outside the Box Creations can be reached at 425-616-3750, info@outsidetheboxcreation.com or by visiting www.outsidetheboxcreation.com

These examples of water marbling show the intricate, chaotic patterns created by the water marbling process, which can be done on paper or an object of choice.

These examples of water marbling show the intricate, chaotic patterns created by the water marbling process, which can be done on paper or an object of choice.

A variety of tools and art supplies come in each box.

A variety of tools and art supplies come in each box.

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