"When I was 15, my mother told me that she wanted me to get more involved in extracurricular activities. I had some experience in art, so naturally I chose art classes. I was completely unaware that I did not have any clue how to draw or paint. I had taken classes before and I thought I was pretty good, but didn’t realize that there was technique to it as well. While taking lessons with Mr. Cai, I developed significantly as an artist. I learned how to make a simple circle turn into a three-dimensional sphere with just an ink pen and draw a nose on a face without it looking like it was outlined. I learned that there are mediums out there such as gouache, soft/chalk pastels, and how to really use charcoal. I had pieces of artwork that I could be proud of. Even though I did not choose to pursue art as a career directly, I have continued to utilize my interests. I graduated from The Ohio State University, Fisher College of business and I specialized in marketing. I used my art skills for classes creating product packaging designs and advertisements, and hope that I will continue to use it in my career. I took many art history courses and learned about timeless pieces around the world. And continued to take art lessons such as ceramics and oil paint. After learning about all the great artists in the world and seeing remarkable pieces that I could only dream of creating, I knew I would never be a famous artist, but I didn’t realize that I could make a difference with art in my life and others. I met my best friend in college, and when we became roommates, I realized that she had a severe anxiety. After confronting her and helping her see a doctor about these issues, I wanted to do more for her. When she would get anxious, she would not be able to focus which made the anxiety worse. So I taught her how to draw and paint. And I taught her how to make a circle into a sphere and how to draw a nose on a face. I taught her how to use charcoal, gouache, and soft/chalk pastel. Art made her focus, and she became so interested in art, that she went back to school for graphic design after originally getting a degree in psychology. Not everyone will become an artist, but all art can do remarkable things."
"My son told me last night that he enjoyed your lesson very much. He said you taught him a lot of details on how to make a good drawing. He said he loved your class very much. He never gave me such high comments on other after school lesson. I am so pleased. Thank you very much."
"I was a student of John Cai from late elementary school through the end of high school. Mr. Cai is not only a great artist, but also a great teacher. Over the years I studied with him in a variety of situations: both small group classes and private lessons. Even in a group setting, Mr. Cai was very personable, providing individualized attention to each of his students.
Throughout my years studying with Mr. Cai, he assisted me with the development of my technique and encouraged me to try different mediums and artistic styles. He had an extensive collection of books, which he would use to demonstrate different mediums and techniques. During our lessons we would admire and draw inspiration from great masters such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet, Degas etc. We would work on quick, small sketches as well as portfolio quality pieces encompassing many weeks of work. Many times Mr. Cai and I would draw or paint together, so he could demonstrate a specific technique or some new idea for a work. As I gained skill and experience, Mr. Cai encouraged me to pursue my own artistic ideas, and pushed me to produce refine the quality of my work. Mr. Cai is responsible for fostering a life long appreciation of the arts, and has pushed me to develop my artistic abilities. His passion for his art and his students makes him a blessing for any student lucky enough to study with him. "
"I am the K-12 Art teacher at Village Academy. It is a pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Mr. Cai. As a colleague and co-teacher at Village Academy in Powell, Ohio, I find Mr. Cai to be a hard worker, committed to excellence in his painting., drawing, darkroom, digital photography, and Chinese classes. His professional and enriching curriculum for students through high school has always proven to be successful and fully appreciated by students, parents, and school administrations.
Mr. Cai's sincere concern and care for each student is obvious as he made himself available to discuss any issue or problem a student may encounter. He has an excellent understanding of students in all grade levels including their personalities and capabilities and maintains good rapport with students. Mr. Cai is quick to handle situations thoroughly and professionally.
On a personal level, Mr. Cai is a positive person, committed to his profession and a proven expert in his field. His portfolio of pencil drawings, color architectural renderings, oil paintings, and other artworks is remarkable. He is quite learned in the visual arts as well as architectural design. Over the course of teaching with Mr. Cai, his warmth and sense of humor make his very personable. I would highly recommend his for any position. Anyone who has the opportunity to work with Mr. Cai is very fortunate indeed!"
JC Visual Arts School
"I just wanted you to know how thrilled we are with Erica's drawings! She just loves you and has learned so much from you. When I saw her work, I was literally speechless! As you know, she wants to be an architect. Thank you so much for the kindness and guidance you have shown Erica. We are hoping to have her continue to work with you to strengthen her drawing skills. Please know that we are very appreciative and have shared our thoughts about everyone."
"Learning from Mr. Cai has made a larger impact on me than I realized. Having that natural interest in drawing propelled me to continue my momentum of practicing and learning new skills for pure enjoyment. What I had thought was 'drawing for fun', was actually something that helped me build foundational skills, cultivating an eye and taste for culture and art. Mr. Cai's classes structure around what each individual enjoys doing, whether it is trying something new or just practicing art without pressure. I feel that this sort of atmosphere helped me continue art without the feeling of being weighed down with more to do because essentially students get to decide what to do each class. Though the structure is free, Mr. Cai's instruction is helpful and wise, showing his immense knowledge as an experienced artist."
"Studying with Mr. Cai was a great and enlightening experience. Sine my elementary school. I spent many years under his care and was able to learn a lot, develop my own style and expand my love of art. Not only did he offer individualized lessons, he also allowed us to explore different mediums and styles. He is a very patient and understanding teacher and I was blessed to be his student."