About Us

The Eco Atelier is a cozy space for creative experiences in a lush, relaxing backyard studio on the westside of Los Angeles. Rooted in art therapy, progressive education, and a love of nature, the Eco Atelier offers quality guidance and opportunities to all ages and abilities.

Art therapist, educator, herbalist, and Founder

Alia Arbas


I’m Alia, founder of the Eco Atelier. I’m also a homeschooling mom, a certified herbalist, and have completed training in Eco Art Therapy.

I have a passion for creative experiences, inspired by art therapy, eco art, wildschooling and herbalism. My dream came true when I was able to create a studio in my backyard, where I hold space for creative exploration.

My professional education includes a Bachelors of Art History/Studio Art, a Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy/Art Therapy and a Masters of Education with a specialization in literacy. I also have specialized training in early childhood education. I have always been drawn to the Reggio Emilia approach to education and have pursued many professional development opportunities, including an amazing trip to Italy where I was able to receive training and visit the schools in the city of Reggio Emilia in person. I’m also a homeschooling mom and have completed some training in Eco Art Therapy.

I have a breadth of knowledge about many different materials and creative techniques. I love holding space for people to explore and I truly believe in the healing power of art and nature. I facilitate group and individual gatherings in my backyard studio space and in natural spaces in and around the LA area. If you are interested in exploring a particular material or time slot that I don’t have listed, please reach out and let me know, as I may be able to accommodate you.

I look forward to creating with you soon!


Assistant director, Educator, & photographer

Audra Arbas

Oh, hey! It's me, Audra! You may recognize me as the one that helped you hot glue this or build that... Maybe we hammered some wood together, or I helped you figure out where "that clay stuff that you cook" is. Perhaps you remember me from exploring new materials together or giving you a hug when you need one. Yup! That's me! I absolutely love process art, experimenting, and working with my hands. More often that not you will probably hear me grin and say "Sounds cool! Let's try it!".

I have a degree in Visual Journalism, a specialty in underwater photography, have run my photo company for over a decade, do choreography for and coach artistic swimming, and above all else, LOVE working with my sister here at the Eco Atelier. That's right! If you couldn't tell by our smiles, hand gestures, sounds of our voices, shared love of nature and creativity, and amazing, unbreakable bond, we are indeed sisters and best friends. ("Awwwwwwww" - insert sweet puppy eyes and rainbow hearts here!)

In addition to my current work in the art, education, and athletic world, I have a background in childcare/daycare.

Can't wait to get inspired and share ideas with you. Catch ya at the studio!


Resident Tortoise


Of all the animals at the Eco Atelier (dogs, cats, birds, fish, snails, bearded dragon, earthworms...) Luna is a fan favorite and the one you will see most often joining in the creative fun! Luna is our very social 30+year old red footed tortoise. She wanders free in the studio/garden, loves to explore during camps and classes, will often join in on circle ups and best of all inspires all sorts of art! Just make sure you close the fence when you visit or she will most certainly extend her walkabouts around the block and beyond!