Our Teachers

At The Artist Outpost, we’re passionate about art and education. Our tribe of experienced, fun, and talented teaching artists are excited to help artists of all ages discover the joy of self-expression through many artistic mediums. Art is not just about creating beautiful pieces, but also a powerful tool for letting go, living in the moment, boosting confidence, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Art is for everyone!

Meryl Hamilton

Co-founder & Teacher

Meryl shares her passion of art with students of all ages.  She believes anyone can be an artist. Art can be taught by learning techniques and only requires an open mind to learn! Bring your creative and intuitive side to her classes. Orignally from the East coast, Meryl was raised in New Jersey, graduated with an Interior Design degree from Philadelphia University, and a left a career in NYC for love and a lifestyle change in San Diego.  She lives with her husband Ryan, kids Cliff and Pearl, and cat Charlie in Lemon Grove. She says, “Owning and operating the studio with my sister-in-law, Eryn, is a dream come true.” She teaches yoga too! 

Eryn McCarty

Co-founder & Teacher

Born and raised in Southern California Eryn has been playing with every type of art she could her hands on since she was a little tyke. In college, Eryn took on classes in sculpture, painting, muraling, and beyond. She brings her keen eye for design and composition to all her specialties, whether abstraction, acrylic pour, painting, or a personal favorite, Paint Your Pet.

Meg Walker

Clay Manager & Teacher – Ceramics

Meg is a ceramic, multi-medium-based painter, and site specific installation  artist from Breckenridge, Colorado. Whether building a kiln in Texas, collecting clay from the riverbanks in Pennsylvania, or studying  vibrant colors and techniques of painting and mosaics in Morocco, Meg strives to utilize inspiration from the world around her, re-cultivating our relationship with the environment and one another through art. Meg earned her BFA and BS in Recreational Therapy and studied ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and metal smithing. She loves to incorporate her background in art with working with people with disabilities. Her favorite mediums combine her deep love for clay with painting to create textured, expressionist works. Meg is jazzed to share her passions and the continuous learning and fun to be had with all!

Roberta Sutton

Studio Manager & Teacher – Adults & Kids

Roberta loves teaching students of all ages, with a special enthusiasm for helping students find opportunities in the middle of creative challenges so they can have fun and be proud of their work. She teaches painting, candle making, drawing, and encaustic. When she’s not teaching or playing with her family at Life Guard Tower 5, she paints portraits of Ocean Beach landmarks and families. After 16 years in NYC, she is joyous to call OB her forever-home. She earned art history and studio art BAs from Binghamton University and an MA in Organizational Change Management from The New School. Instagram @Roberta.Sutton

Dain Middleton

Community Outreach and Teacher – Kids

A born creator, Dain has been making art with kids since she was 11 and running summer camps for her sister and friends. After earning her BA from Lesley College in Boston, Dain returned to her home town of San Diego where she taught pre-school and elementary school, ran creative businesses, and volunteered with various arts organizations. Dain’s current artistic passions include pottery and cynotypes, where she draws inspiration and materials from nature, especially beautiful San Diego beaches. Dain’s favorite people to make art with are her two kids, ages 5 and 9, and the kids in her classes at the Artist Outpost!

Zach Todd

Teacher – Kids and Adults

A former art teacher and now a professional artist. Zach studied Art Education at Indiana Wesleyan University and taught elementary and middle school art for 5 years. He moved to LA where he pushed towards full-time art, working on film sets, photo shoots, red-carpet events, graphic design, murals, video editing, and touring band photography. After moving to San Diego in the Summer of 2022 Zach started his pursuit of full-time tattooing and is now a tattoo artist in North Park. With a specialization in Drawing and Painting, Zach loves sharing his wide breadth of knowledge with his students of all ages. He believes creativity and artistry is a muscle that needs to be worked out to grow. If you’re looking for a great time with lots of laughs and lots to learn join one of his courses! If you’d like to see some of Zach’s artwork or you’re interested in tattoos check out his Instagram: @zachtod.

Valerie Jackson

Teacher – Kids and Adults

Valerie is a multimedia visual artist based in San Diego. The daughter of a photographer and elementary school art teacher, she developed a passion for drawing at a young age. She earned her BA in Fine Art from the University of California Santa Cruz and has since pursued a career in arts education while continuing her creative practice. Her illustrated work has been featured in documentaries such as Gratitude Revealed and Wild Hope, and she has won multiple awards for her art direction in film. Valerie is interested in combining mediums to create immersive, experimental experiences!

Isra Basurto

Teacher – Ceramics (Adults)

At 16, Isra enrolled in a clay class offered by an Anthropologist in Mexico City, expecting to dive into the art of firing ceramics. To his surprise, he spent most of his time grinding wild clay by hand under the sun. Despite not having kilns and the arduous process of that class, his passion for ceramics had only begun. It wasn’t until he relocated to California that he discovered ready-to-use clay and learned the next steps in the process. His undergrad studies focused on ceramics and graphic design, and after earning his BFA, he spent a semester in Spain, studying advanced ceramics. Today, Isra makes use of the primitive techniques he initially learned as well as wheel-throwing and embellishes his work with materials like precious metal lusters. Much of his focus explores the inherent properties of terracotta such as its ability to filter water and aerate plants so they thrive.

Georgie Jepson

Teacher – Art (Youth)

Georgie is from Bristol, England. After studying art, she became a graphic designer in Advertising for 18 years. As a resident of Ocean Beach since 2011, she is mainly a portrait artist, but loves to draw everything under the sun. With a passion for travel to seek creative inspiration, photography is another love. Whether painting, drawing, or sculpting, she enjoys to work with many mediums. As a teacher, Georgie guides people to trust their instincts and experiment. She encourages them to let go of perfection, to enjoy the creative process of making mistakes especially since, more often than not, they can contribute to your best work. When not in the studio, you can find Georgie riding her rusty bike around OB or pottering around at home with her 2 children and their dog. A lot of the time you can find her covered in clay, experimenting in the world of ceramics.

Dave Emery

Teacher – Ceramics (Adults)

Dave started teaching pottery in 2016 and he’s been knocking around in the backroom ever since! He has a diverse background that adds dimension to his teaching. He’s been a whitewater guide in Canada, taught within formal and informal education, worked with at-risk youth in the high desert of Utah, and currently works as a data analyst in telecom. He says he’s not an “artist” by education, but approaches pottery as a life-long practice of learning. Bringing a developmental mindset to his classes helps Dave to reach all his students where they are and is skilled at breaking down complexity into small achievable tasks. Dave loves throwing pieces of all shapes and sizes. In his class you may learn to make cups, bowls, vases, pitchers, bottles, tea pots, jars, toroids, double-walled pieces, and hand built shapes, though probably not all in one series! Besides spending time in the studio, Dave enjoys the outdoors with wife Tessa, son River, and dog Juniper. He looks forward to teaching River to climb, paddle, and ski, but for now is very content to explore the intricacies of the front lawn and the beach on hands and knees with his 11 month old. 

Sanise Bridges

Teacher – Resin Pouring (Adults)

Sanise has been an artist for several years and enjoys bringing her pieces to various craft events in Southern California. Resin is her favorite medium to work with in addition to acrylic paint. She creates new resin pieces every week and loves what she does. 

Ruben Allen

Teacher – Ceramics (Youth and Adults)

Bio coming soon! Recent art and ceramics grad is a wonderful addition to our team!!!