Tuesday, December 15, 2015

8 Awesome Art Making Classes

As an artist and a teacher, I take many classes for inspiration and education.  I learn not only from the content, but how the teacher delivers it, the platform that's used, how content is released and what styles I prefer. I look at how classes are priced and what's included in the price.

I also believe in supporting local artists. With the holidays approaching, here are some classes you could add to your gift list or give to an artsy and very lucky friend and you don't have to worry that it will arrive late.

Here's a round-up of classes that would make a perfect gift for that artsy someone in your life. (I am NOT currently an affiliate for any of these classes, just spreading a little love around.)

$100.00 or less:
Carissa Paige's Messy Mavens Self-Paced Adventure Train $99.00
I just signed up for this class and am so excited to dive into the first lessons. So far I've watched Carissa create the first maven and love her intuitive approach in creating faces and listening to what each visage you create has to share with you. I like Carissa's gentle, free-flowing manner. She hosts the class on a private Blogger site which I find easy to use and economical. All of the sessions are available right away, so you can watch the videos and create at your own pace. I haven't explored the Facebook group as of yet-wanting to spend my time making some art before I do.

21 Secrets $98.00
This is a collaborative art journaling class with 22 different teachers, a few of whom I know personally and adore. This long-standing class, now in it's eighth iteration, always has an expansive collection of lessons. I took it a few years ago and it's like creative candy. When I took it, it was hosted on Ning. I'm not sure if that's still the platform Connie uses, but she always gives tons of information on how to interact and track what you've done so far. She's also been packaging the class up into an e-book format as an additional resource for people who want to keep the content after the class closes. This also serves as additional income, if you're able to package your content in different ways.

Making Art Medicine Currently $50 for the first session.
This a new offering in 2016 by Hali Karla. Hali and I were in an intensive teacher training class together (Ignite) where we created our own workshops and shared them with the group. I know first hand how much love and care goes in to what Hali does.  Hali's art making and teaching is deep, insightful and healing. This would be a true gift to give yourself.

Tracy Verdugo's Mini Mojo Classes $59
I love everything that Tracy does and her fun, vibrant use of color in her paintings. She currently has two mini courses posted: "Pattern, Color, Texture" and "Animalitos". These are self-guided courses with video lessons and a facebook community that Tracy checks in on. Taking a live Paint Mojo class with Tracy is on my wish list.

Other Favorites of mine that are $100+
(keep in mind you can often get discounts during the launch or enter contests to win free tickets, maybe you'll get lucky!)

Bloom True-$297.00
I took this course in 2012 and it changed the way I paint. I wrote a blog post about my experience here. The class has evolved over the years as Flora updates it and adds new content. The Facebook group has been one of the best and longest lasting that I have experienced. When I took the class, a module was released 3 times a week over a six week period. Topics like being brave and learning how to listen to your intuition were shared. Flora also includes some yoga instruction to help open you to the painting experience. She shows how painting can be a mirror. Taking more risks on the canvas can help you be brave in other areas of your life as well.

Alena Hennessy-A Year of Painting $229.00
I'm currently taking this class and am enjoying Alena's lessons.  She releases a new lesson every 3 weeks.  I joined later in the year, so I still have many to go back and watch. She's introduced me to some new techniques-masking tape being one, and using acrylic inks in new ways, which I love.

Kelly Rae Roberts-Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media Mantra's $199.00
I feel like I have a lot in common with Kelly Rae.  For one, I'm Kelly Raye (with a "Y") and we both worked in human services prior to beginning our art making. I love her style and her podcast as well.

The class consists of written lessons and videos of Kelly Rae and her student Lynx, creating a painting. Kelly Rae creates it in her style and Lynx uses the same information but creates a totally different painting in her own style. The videos are professionally produced and easy to follow. All of the material is available right away and I have to admit I binge-watched the segments back to back.  I then made a little painting of a butterfly that says "Courage Does Not Always Roar".  My daughter snatched it up and put it in her room. Kelly Rae also has a new class out that I would love to take called "Spirit Wings" where she will be creating Angel Paintings with her famous winged ladies-also $199.00.

Lifebook 2016-Approx. $120
I signed up for this and CANNOT WAIT for it to start in January.  Some of my favorite teachers mentioned above will be presenting, along with some new artists that I'm looking forward to learning more about.  This is a perfect way to get exposed to many different styles, tons of inspiration and to connect with like-minded artists.  I'm sure I'll be taking some of the instructors individual classes to add to my list for next year as well. I'm excited to learn from the different styles and presentations of each artist, as well as soak in the creative content they'll be sharing.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Think Greatness

You are greatness.  You might not see it yet, but it's there, all the same. 
It's not an arrogant, braggy, "look at me, I'm better than you, I am sooo fabulous" kind of thing.  It's just who you are.

We all have greatness, but we're trained to look instead for flaws, problems, things to fix to make us better.  We assume that we're broken.  We focus on what's wrong.  There are all kinds of ways to "fix" us.  Liposuction, face lifts, therapy...  The thing is...

You are not broken and you never were.

You don't need fixing, although you might see it that way.

If you want to make a HUGE SHIFT in your life, turn away from problem-based thinking.  From thinking there is always something wrong that has to be fixed.

Like, "Nobody is visiting my Etsy site or buying my work.  It must be because my work is no good.  Why did I ever think I could sell it? How ridiculous. I didn't even go to art school!"  And this type of thinking goes on and on.

That my friend, is negative, beat-yourself-up, destructive thinking.  You do it to yourself, you do it to others and it doesn't do anything but make you suffer.

Greatness thinking, based on the work of Howard Glasser of the Nurtured-Heart Approach, goes something more like this: "Hmmm, nobody has visited my Etsy site.  I have heard that this is a problem with Etsy because there are so many people selling on there.  I know my work has potential, I just have to get it in front of the right people.  Now, how can I do that?" 

See the difference?  The same situation has happened-no sales.  What you do with that little nugget of information in your brain is where the difference lies.

One response will shut you down, maybe even cause you to give up.  The other removes the negative self-talk and focuses on the issue at hand.  This is a grand shift in the way you talk to yourself and others. 

Here's a fun little exercise:  Pick someone you're less than thrilled with at the moment and write a list of their greatnesses.  Here's one that I wrote about my husband on a day I was feeling not-so-very loving toward him:

He has a very good heart
He washed my car
He made my dinner (I'm starting to soften now...how lucky am I?)
He makes sure everyone is taken care of
He's a good friend to others (even though he's annoying me right now...greatness, think greatness...)

Then I looked for those qualities in myself.  Oh yes-I can be a good friend to people and I too try to make sure everyone is taken care of-ok, we're both doing pretty well here....

If you start to make this into a practice, watch how your interactions and confidence in yourself start to shift.  Notice how that way you judge others begins to slide from negative judgements to seeking out their greatness. It's a practice, remember.  You have to intentionally keep coming back to looking for greatness again and again.

Sooo, how does all of this greatness stuff help you in creating the life you envision?  Well, when you begin to see your own greatness, to feel it, to really believe in it, you begin to radiate it.  

You begin to build real confidence in yourself.  And that is HUGE. For me it has made the difference between moving forward and getting stuck in my tracks when things don't work out the way I thought they should. 

Like when I was first approaching places to sell jewelry, someone was interested in carrying my jewelry in her salon (per a phone call) and then after I sent her pictures, she was less receptive. Now, in my old way of thinking, I would flog myself mentally, thinking my work was no good and no one wanted to sell it.  I would really start to go into a negative vortex.  

In practicing greatness thinking I instead say to myself, "You know what?  Maybe it's not for her.  You've never been in her salon.  You have no idea who her customers are.  Maybe it's just not a good fit.  Look at all you are selling in other places.  You're doing great.  People like what you make.  Keep going."

If you're coming from a place of seeing your own greatness as well as that of the people you serve, you'll begin to see where your talents meet their needs in some way.  Where can your gifts solve an issue that's keeping them from stepping forward in their greatness? Where you can help them move forward or get what they want in some way.

Everyone has greatness.  You are it.  Own it.

I'm going to start spreading a little greatness around. Come back and see, it might just be about you.