What We Do

We are an all-ages art studio located in Aptos, CA and now virtually around the world! We offer online and

small, in-person, outdoor groups. In-person classes are organized at the directors discretion and posted as available. Our classes are held in a positive, non-competitive environment. 


Art Factory instructors bring cross curricular experience to art education, using art as a medium to explore everything from history to mathematics to science. With an emphasis on art history, technique and creative expression, students will develop or expand their art practice. Use our classes to enrich your child’s education or for your own creative retreat.

©2022 Art Factory



Yvette Contois; Founder/Director and Art Instructor

With an early love for Art and Art Education, Yvette began her formal education in Philadelphia, starting as a high school student attending Moore College of Art. She went on to receive her Degree in Visual Communications & Graphic Design at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and soon after, received her BFA & K-12 Art Teaching Certification from Rosemont College, PA.

Yvette has been giving art lessons to adults & children since 1990. Her guiding passion is bringing art into the lives of her students and building strong creative teams in the workplace.

The Art Factory has been Yvette’s creative vision, long before it opened in the Spring of 2009. She enjoys the studio’s continual growth and looks forward to the future expansion of its programs, to serve more of our county’s youth, teen and adult community.

When not in the studio/classroom, Yvette continues her freelance career as a technical illustrator and commercial artist and creative team builder.

Visit Yvette here.

Danielle Lewis; Art Instructor

​Danielle has graduated from Cabrillo Community College with three degrees in Studio Art, Liberal Arts and Science and Art History. She will be working towards getting her bachelors degree so she can become a high school art teacher. She has her photography in multiple books and has been selling her whimsical ceramic chickens in the gallery A Sense of Place in Fresno. She has always had a passion to learn about art and art history and loves sharing her knowledge with others. “I love that moment when I see a child's face light up when they see their creation come to life.”


Jason Matthews; 3D Animation & Cartooning Instructor

Jason is a self-taught character artist with an academic background in Studio Art. His experience includes a broad variety of creative formats, including caricature art, graphic design, and photography. He continues to hone his skills and expand his portfolio while pursuing a career in the animation industry. In the meantime, he enjoys guiding our aspiring young artists through the luminous world of drawing and illustration. He recognizes the potential of a healthy imagination and the importance of artistic freedom, and he emphatically weaves these ideologies into his teachings. You can see more of his work here: https://jason-n-matthews.com/

Because community matters... here at the Art Factory we feel the ripple effect of deep community connections. We believe in the goodness that grows as we join forces to strengthen our neighborhoods, beaches, schools and communities.

Learn more about the Live Like Coco Foundation. A cause near and dear to our creative hearts, and Santa Cruz County's County Park Friends, an organization who we love to develop and deliver content for.

Thank you for donating books to our free little library in the Polo Grounds Park, for recycling pens and markers through our Terracycle box, for joining us on beach clean-ups organized by Live Like Coco and for contributing to our scholarship fund which allows students to participate in weekly after school art classes.

We have donated more than 200 art classes to local school fundraisers since 2009.

Upcoming projects to be excited about: 

Children's Reading Garden at the new Aptos Library

Love is Why We Tell the Story 


Families who have lost a child, often fear is that their child will be forgotten. The Live Like Coco Foundation wants to create a place of remembrance and healing for these families in our community.


Right now, the Aptos branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library is undergoing a complete rebuild to become a beautiful destination in our community. The Live Like Coco Foundation has agreed to sponsor the Children's Reading Garden there, envisioning a special memorial there that honors Coco as well as the stories of other children our community lost too soon. We have committed to raising $70,000 by June 2024.


Our Holiday Ask

We have partnered with Aptosia, our local Facebook community group with 18.6K members, to promote our memorial project and local businesses this holiday season.


Together, we are inviting 10 local businesses to be part of a Holiday Cash Mob Project, running every Tuesday and Thursday from Thanksgiving to New Year. A cash mob is a group of people who assemble at a local business to make purchases. The purpose of these mobs is to support both the local businesses and the overall community


Each business would be promoted on Aptosia (as well as in local press). In exchange, we are asking each business to commit to a minimum $250 donation to Live Like Coco. Donations are tax deductible and will be used for the library memorial project. All sponsors that donate $1,000 or more to the project will be honored on a plaque within the library.


Please let us know by Friday November 5 if you would like to participate. You can send an email to Kate Pavao at info@livelikecoco.com.


Thank you for considering this request and hope that we have a chance to work together.


Kate Pavao

Executive Director, Live Like Coco
(415) 902-1934


Jeremy Leonard

Founder, Aptosia

Community Connections