Monday, June 6, 2011

Art Journaling

I mentioned in my last post that I was developing a workshop on Art Journaling for Tweens and Teens and that, in preparation for that, I was working on an art journal myself.

I started out thinking that I was just going to make an example journal. Something to show the kids that had different examples of techniques they could use in their own art journals. As usual for me, I've exhaustively researched the topic and have way too much material for one simple hour and a half long workshop for kids. But working on this makes me realize that I love doing this, putting together workshops on how to do stuff. I've done several now, artist trading cards and mosaic making, as well as more boring topics, and I like to think I do a comprehensive job of providing my students with the basics to go and have fun on their own.

When I first graduated from design school, I toyed with the idea of starting a studio space that could be used for classes as well as work space for design students who couldn't afford their own studio space, but needed a place to spread out and work on art projects. I still think that's a great idea, although, I have no idea how to go about creating such a thing without a lot of money, which is, unfortunately, my perpetual stumbling block.

But, since I always overthink things, maybe I can start smaller, by creating a series of classes and get a good curriculum going and then looking for space. I've got quite a list of potential classes and I've even developed the actual format for many of them.

I know this is not a new idea, many artists do this, and quite successfully. What makes it novel to me is that I have a great deal of difficulty figuring out how to translate a great idea into a great idea that will make you money. Something I'll have to work on if I plan to oh, I don't know, ever make money.

but I've strayed some from my initial point, which is this. Art Journaling is completely addictive. Who knew? I find myself pulling out my art journal at odd moments and writing down something and then drawing in little illustrations. I documented and illustrated making Mac & Cheese for my son's birthday dinner. Who does that? I guess I do, but it was never something I would have thought to do before. The creative freedom unleashed through this relatively simple exercise has completely taken me by surprise. A very pleasant, very productive surprise.

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