top of page

About Paula MacMillan Perich

Here's a bit about me in a nutshell. My elevator pitch! If you want to read more about me, keep scrolling...

Firstly, my name is Paula MacMillan-Perich, and I'm an art teacher, practicing artist, designer, published book illustrator, avid Art Journal-er. I'm a university degree qualified Visual Arts teacher, and love continued learning and practising everything I can about art. I combine my passion for all things arty and practical art experience, in both the art classroom and in creative workshops & retreats. I have an art supply obsession & love to create & experiment with various new and different media. I am and Australian world traveler, married with three wonderful children and beautiful Bearded Collie, Buzz. I am based in Shanghai, one of China’s most vibrant and fast-paced cities where something amazing happens every day. I run an inspiring art program in my Arts Inc. School at Dream Arts Centre, teaching and nurturing local and international bilingual students from age 3 to adults realise their potential and follow their creative dreams.

How I got started...

Did you just wake up one day and realise you wanted to be an artist?

Yes, I probably did, I was inquisitive and creative and wanted to get involved in everything, but I would have been a child of only 4 or 5. I have always had a passion for the people and places that make up my world and landscape, in particular the ‘here and now’, capturing illustrations and dialogue, about where I am on my life’s creative journey. I was a creative child who couldn't keep still and was always encouraged as a child to follow my heart and dreams. 

Now in my art studio, paintings, journals and multiple sketchbooks line my shelves recording moments of everyday life, of a place or time, through landscape, people, and everyday images. From natures landscapes captured in travel journals, to sketches of ancient man made ruins, buildings, and interiors, and to people and faces. Art is a celebration of life to me, and my passion for art is interwoven with my everyday life, through drawings, photographs, illustrations, paintings, sculpture, prints, interior design and writing.

I started sketching designs... 

At school I was always the kid who would be sketching and scribbling in my books. Teachers and friends, and later my professors, would always ask me to draw this and that. Although I didn't start studying art as a formal subject until my senior years of high school, I was always drawing, colouring, designing lego cities, designing cartoons, reading illustrated books, and had two fantastically talented art teachers that encouraged an inspiring art studio environment where I couldn't get enough. My other subject books were all filled with fancy font headings, and magazine collaged covers, sketches and thumbnails, and I still continue this trend today in my weekly planners and journals. Continuing my passion in art became an outlet where I realised (as a broke college student), you could also make some money with all of this awesome creativity! My sister, art friends and I were always cooking up dye pots for tie dyed garments, and silkscreening T'shirts for every market stall or community event we could attend. This was where my first brand From The Art was born. I still have the screens from the 80's where we would print tags and labels.

More about Paula's Art-Ventures...

Paula's journey has taken her traveling overseas outside her much loved home country, Australia, since 2001, which she frequently revisits & where she runs art workshops and retreats. She is on a visual quest, teaching art, and creating a visual documentary of her international life with her beautiful family, and giant dog Buzz, (#buzzthewonderdog). She lives in the same street in Shanghai where she works in her studio/classroom as a full-time artist, teacher and Artistic Director of Arts Inc. at the Dream Art Centre, Jin Qiao, Pudong. 

Since 1987, Paula has had her work exhibited throughout Australia and internationally. Her work has featured in galleries, newspapers, libraries, magazines and in Splash Central Coast NSW Events magazine, and was featured in Dulwich College Shanghai magazine with her donated mural paintings at the disabled Community Centre, Jin Qiao. Her work is represented in a wide range of media from painting, drawing, printmaking, illustrations, pottery and sculpture, to the more commercial silk screened T'shirt From The Art designs, public murals, outdoor mosaics and published text book illustrations. 

In 2008, Paula opened her first art gallery in Beijing, China, called ARTS Inc. Gallery, in Chao Yang, and it was home to her original art, prints, jewellery designs, art supply kits, home wares and gift ranges helping to make her artwork and designs accessible to the public. This is where she also ran weekend art workshops. 

In 2011 she was commissioned by the Children's Book Council Australia, (CBCA), to design and illustrate their annual national Australian writers award. Now in it's 8th year, the award recognizes Australian unpublished authors, named in honour of her great-great-great-great-grandmother, Charlotte (Waring) Atkinson, who wrote Australia's first published children's book: A Mother's Offering To her Children. You can read more HERE. Paula has a rich and proud family history interwoven with artists, writers, photographers, naturalists, illustrators, authors, potters & teachers. 

In 2012, Paula returned to Australia after 11 years abroad. She saw the potential of community arts on the Central Coast and started the Facebook Group for artists and art lovers: Arts Inc: Create Central Coast CCC, and opened a small gallery space in a 50 year old abandoned gas station building, bringing a new lease of life to an old shack which three decades ago was once a petrol station. "It was wonderful to hear the locals' enthusiasm, for the rejuvenation of this old site and for bringing life back to this landmark historic building. With Free Coffee Fridays I would get regular visitors popping in giving positive feedback and comments about my artwork, workshops and gallery!" Historically, her own Great-Grandfather Herbert Wood, Founder of the former Mount Penang Boys Home, Gosford, ironically makes reference to the very street the gallery is situated on, in his turn of the century memoirs.

Paula has been privileged to work amongst and exhibit with some amazingly talented artists and teachers from Australia, as well as global teachers from international schools in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai. Through teaching art she found her love of art journaling. "Keeping a progressive record of creative thoughts and individual processes is a necessity in developing programs, ideas and techniques. The body of work, notes and creative energy dedicated to developing ideas that go into these sketchbooks, makes them works of art in themselves." While recognising and artists' journal or progressive sketchbook is different to that an art journal, which is a work of art in itself, there are many crossovers between the two. Paula is always looking for opportunities to push artistic boundaries.

She has been described as an extremely passionate, dedicated, patient and talented art teacher and successful practicing artist. When she is not teaching, painting, or developing her website and curriculum, she is marketing her own line of her home ware designs :100% Linen aprons, funky ruffled aprons, and hand printed fabric wares, hand painted ceramics, T'shirt designs, artist totes, and poster and card ranges featuring her artwork. Like they said...

Paula volunteers her talents in the community and local schools, fundraising and running workshops, and gets students motivated and involved in creativity. She has recently volunteered her creative workshops in local Shanghai Chinese schools, and also completed a mural in the disabled Community Centre in Pudong. Currently she is fundraising to provide an art scholarship to a disable orphan with a huge passion for art. Find out more...

You can see more of her creative adventures and learn about her artistic life in her Facebook Pages, Instagram, Blog and Gallery pages.

Paula is among the very talented in the creative industry. It would be her pleasure to have you commission a painting or artwork, and to put her extensive experience to work for you. 

Send her a commission inquiry here.

We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's so much more to come! This is just the start of a wonderful online journey!

Thank you for visiting my website. You can connect with me by leaving a message here! If you've read this far it would be great to hear from you!

You can also follow my ARTS Inc. Gallery Page on Facebook and Arts_Inc Instagram, or best of all, join me for one of my retreats or workshops.

Thanks for checking in...!

Choose Creativity!


Art Journal Everyday!

Finding at least ten minutes every day to work on my art is a necessity for me. Even on a busy day I can still find time to sketch out something on the run. My art nourishes my soul. I truly feel blessed to be able to travel and create everyday. I like to embrace the creative chaos and work alongside my students demonstrating and reinforcing a specific technique or pushing the boundaries of a particular medium. I offer many teaching programs, workshops and tutorials, which take time to write and fine tune, before publishing, and int'l workshop schedules to align with my travel commitments. I am a self-confessed traveling art gypsy and wouldn't have it any other way!

bottom of page