You Should Know… Talya Weinberg

Talya Weinberg. Photo by Dan Schere.

Talya Weinberg has illustrated a children’s book, designed greeting cards and taught art classes for people of all ages. The 36-year-old Silver Spring resident has taught art at the Torah School of Greater Washington and now teaches private classes. Her latest project is a series of paper murals that their owners can color.

What got you into art?
My grandfather was an artist and my father’s an artist, so it’s kind of in the genetics.


Why did you want to create wall murals that can be colored?
This was one of those happy accidents. I did a bulletin board for the Torah School of Greater Washington. Basically I hand drew “Art is Awesome.” I posted it to social media, and I was getting messages from friends saying, ‘That’s so nice, where can I buy that?’ And I was like, ‘You can’t buy it. I hand drew it. But I’d be happy to come visit your school if you pay for the travel expenses.’ And then someone else took it one step further and said, ‘Why don’t you have it printed and sell it to schools and JCCs?’ My husband [Dave Weinberg] is a great marketer. I did the designs and he got the name out and got the website going, and it’s been selling really well.

How long does it take to make one?
From conceptualizing the whole idea, sketching out the whole thing and then all the way to the end? I would say a couple days. A lot of times I just let it flow to see where the next design takes me.

How many prints are you selling right now?
Three. We have a winter one that’s like a generic holiday season one, and I also created a Christmas one. The Chanukah one says “Chanukah Sameach”, the winter one says “Happy Holidays” and the Christmas one says “Merry Christmas.”


Do you do all of your work in your house?
I do. We are moving to a bigger house, so I’m hoping to have an actual space to do my work. Right now, my dining room table is my studio. As long as I have a good surface and good lighting and music, I’m good.


You also lead paint nights in the community. What is a paint night?
A synagogue, a school or an organization hires me to do a step-by-step painting. What I have everyone do is, they get a blank canvas and I tell them we’re going to paint the background black and let it dry. Then I’ll teach them how we create the shape of a flower and how we paint it, how we do dashed lines.
I just did a poppy painting last Saturday night, and so I taught everyone how to do the background and the poppy in the middle. And then I tested it out on my husband, Dave. It’s a social event where everyone has a good time and there’s wine usually if the place allows it.

Are there people there with no artistic ability?
Dave: Yeah that’s me.
Talya: That’s most of them. Dave had never painted before in his life. That’s most people, and I think this is fun for most types of people because it allows them to use their creativity in a non-judgmental environment. It’s not taking a course where they have to learn certain techniques and this and that. They can just come and have a good time.

When you’re not drawing, painting or sketching, what are you doing?
Chasing after my three boys. My youngest is 15 months, and he’s at that stage where he’s going through everything. But he’s cute, so it’s OK.

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