When I sat down at the beginning of the year and started mapping out a plan for 2014 — the creative projects that serve my circle best — I found myself daunted by the prospect of creating huge online classes.
I love teaching. I really, really love putting together classes. I get super-excited and try to cram in as much as I possibly can, and after the cameras turn off, I suddenly have a list of things I forgot to include. I often over deliver, which is something I’ve been trying to work on, but am ultimately swept up in the current of ‘OMG but this is so cool, and so is this, and this!’
(It comes off a bit better when I’m teaching in person, mostly because I have an actual time limit.)
The energy that comes from showing others what they never thought themselves possible of is the best in the world. That moment when a student looks up from the work in front of them and says, “I can’t believe I made this!” can instantly brighten any moment, and makes all the planning, prepping, and teaching worth it.
But when I sat down to start brainstorming, I also remembered the stress of running an online class for months (a 6-8 week class is two months of weekly or bi-weekly work!). And while this is good for many people, it isn’t for me. By the end, I’m usually exhausted, and any joy I had in teaching the subject has dried up.
The exception to this was Art Journal Summer Camp 2013 (and yes, there will be 2 sessions this summer!). I wanted to create a class that wasn’t a huge time commitment, taught techniques and ideas, and could be completed in the 2 weeks I’d set aside, just like real camp.
Can I tell you….wow was there a real change in the energy when I could be there with my whole heart! It was marvelous and amazing!
So I decided to do what works for me, as a teacher. What length/subject/format would best serve my best self? I think we’ve all seen what others do, and what works on the web, and feel we need to do it the same way — as if this is the accepted format we’re all adhering to. But here’s the thing:
There is no format.
One of my favorite classes last year was short. I did it over three nights, taking 2 hours a night to put on Netflix and play. I loved it.
For 2014, I’m going to try it my way. I’m going to craft workshops that don’t leave me exhausted after filming, that allow me to be excited and energetic the entire time, and that would work for me, as a student.
The first of which is….
Granted, it isn’t a cleaver title, but I think you get the gist of what’s going on, here!
When I first taught this class in person, I was working with people who weren’t mixed-media artists or art journalers (at least, not all of them were!). So I figured out a short-cut, and gave them guidance, and OH WOW did we have a blast! Just look at the diverse and beautifully self-reflective pieces they made!
I lated introduced a shortened version in summer camp last year, and was again astounded by the work being created. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to create the full version I’d always had in my head. I was thinking about this at the studio last week and all of the sudden, I was standing in front of a huge pad of newsprint writing the entire PDF with a sharpie and some drawing crayons. What was supposed to be a 20 minute brainstorming session turned into 2.5 hours of writing, drawing, researching, & creating!
If you want to draw self-portraits, or just girls in your journals, but feel like you’re no good at drawing, or maybe you want to improve your faces a bit, or perhaps you don’t think you can draw…this is for you. Even if you don’t like drawing, this is for you.
But it’s deeper than that. It’s about being able to see who you are now, at the beginning of 2014, so you can reflect back on yourself at the end of the year. It’s about letting art get you in contact with your inner Self. It’s about saying screw you to teachers who said you weren’t “good at art” (or weren’t creative enough…a real criticism I got in my early 20’s!).
And if you don’t have a lot of time or energy? We’re gonna keep it to 5 videos. Shorter videos. Easy to digest. Take a weekend and work through the content or follow along during the week of live posting (after that, it’s self-study!).
Oh, and did I mention it’ll be cheaper because it’s smaller?
(Yeah, I’ve been listening!)
I basically see this as a win-win-win-win (I don’t stress-you can afford it-I get to teach-you get to make pretty things!).
I’ll begin posting on January 27th, and by February 1st, it’ll be up and open for self-study.
I have so much more to share about it, but I think I’ll pace myself. See, I’m already super-excited, but this blog post is already really long!
Sign up now for $28 (you'll get an invite a week before class begins). Or wait to hear more about what I'll be teaching. Totally up to you!