Updated: Feb 2, 2020
I often blog or post about kids art classes and wanted to share with you the adult classes I have on offer this year. Before that, we need to reflect back on last year and how they began.
As you may know, I have been teaching kids art classes for 5 years. It wasn't until the parents of these kids kept requesting me to teach them, that I started to even think about teaching adults.
My biggest hurdle was that I had impostor syndrome. I was worried that other adults might think I wasn't qualified to teach them. I am a self taught artist and wanted to share the joy of art with kids, so I just gave it a go and boy did it pay off. My classes have grown from teaching 1:1 lessons to one child, to having booked out after school classes two days a week, running holiday workshops as well as still doing 1:1 classes.
During their conception, I was thinking about how the adult classes would work. As with my kids classes, I didn't want the adults to feel intimidated. There is no right or wrong in art, there is only learning and experimenting and seeing what works for you and what doesn't. I wanted the adults in my classes to not be afraid to try new things. I did't want them to compare someone else's artworks to their own because everyone is different. There is no such thing as perfection, I am not interested in that and it only leads to blockages - fear of starting or continuing. I wanted to encourage my students to be free and just see what comes out.
This is where my brand name comes from - creating something deep from within. We all have it in us to create, it is just a matter of priority and taking the first step.
I had the demand for the adult classes so I thought what the hell, and went for it!
So began "Art Classes For Busy Mums". I recognised the need in my friends to shed their many hats and just be themselves. Some of them didn't know who they were without these labels.
The goals I had for my students were, and still are, for them to:
* Gain confidence in their creativity and be able to come up with their own style
* Learn resilience using my number 1 rule "There are no mistakes in art, only happy surprises"
* Feel safe enough to talk openly if they want to
* Be able to create without fear or judgement
* Learn skills along the way to be able to come up with a major work at the end of the year
* Feel the joy of creating something they didn't know they had inside them
My adult students went in blind agreeing to follow me for the year based on the program I had put together. Each month we created art and new friendship bonds happened instantly. We would have light hearted conversations as well as heavy, honest conversations about things that aren't usually spoken about. It brought us all closer together knowing that we weren't alone in our feelings or situations. It became more than just about art. There were lots of laughs, some tears, swearing and people felt heard when they shared openly.
It is exactly what I wanted for the group and I am grateful. Grateful for their trust in me and the people I had brought together, and grateful to be able to offer a space for people to be raw and honest without the kickback. What happens in art class, stays in art class.
My students learnt new skills, created artworks to take home using their own style and had a place to come to each month which they looked forward to. None of what I teach is about copying an artwork. That is a HUGE bug bear of mine, when everyone does the same thing like kids at school. That isn't creative, that is just copying. It doesn't teach you the skills you need to create your own works and I don't think it is very satisfying.
This was the program:
One student, Julia, said :
" I really appreciated today and enjoyed the company so much. Thanks so much for your time and energy, it's made a HUGE difference to how capable and positive I've been feeling, which was so very much needed. Huge love"
This made my heart sing! I had achieved what I set out to do!
Looking over the photos of 11 months of their work brought me to tears. It may sounds soppy but I am so bloody proud of them. I could literally feel my heart warm. It is the same with the kids when I was putting their folders together to give back to them at the end of term... just pure happiness.
Here is a tiny snippet of what we got up to:
Towards the end of the year, I felt the pull to run bigger groups and make it more about creating art while looking inside yourself. I asked the coordinator at the Neighbourhood Centre where I attend mosaic classes about hiring a room. Morna was all for it. So began the Intuitive Art Jounaling classes, this time at night. They ran the last Friday of the month.
I had spent the year soul searching and wanted to share the amazing things I had discovered with the world. I wanted to show people that they could get unstuck, they could work out what they want to call in to their lives rather than letting life happen to them. My aim was to have a different prompt for the group to explore each month through art.
Again my goals for this group were similar to the Busy Mums group but with a more personal touch. The messages in their art didn't have to be obvious. It wasn't a journal which could be picked up and read by others where your privacy feels violated. They could use symbols or words or images and only they would know their true meaning. It wasn't an art class as such, it was more about the journey of learning about yourself and creating something based on that.
I did heaps of prep for my first class. I wrote a meditation, I made ephemera goody bags which we used like a lucky dip, packed heaps of supplies such as different types of paper, paint, glue, pens, pencils etc. My weekly painting buddy Cindy, helped me rehearse the class and gave me pointers.
On the night, I was shitting myself!! I was so nervous and shaky. I knew a couple of people attending but it was mostly people I didn't know. I was well out of my comfort zone. Again the impostor syndrome was heavy. I wrote notes beforehand and don't think I made very good eye contact when I spoke (que Intention number #5 for 2020- to gain confidence speaking in public. To throw myself in the deep end and for myself and my student to reap the rewards).
We had a very eclectic group who all got on really well. It was a good mix of male and female, outgoing and quiet, chatty and listeners. My main target audience is busy mums because that is part of who I am, but absolutely anyone aged 16 years and over was welcome and it was so nice to have a guy in the mix.
Most people there had never done art before and I was so proud of them for showing up and giving it a go. Finn and Cindy had. Finn came prepared with a drawing to add to his artwork and it turned out beautifully.
I loved seeing the smiles on everyone's faces at the end of the night while they were admiring their artworks. They were so proud of themselves. I was happy to have shared the skills for them to be able to create whenever they want and with as few or as many supplies as they want. The group also had a platform to share any artworks they created at home in a private Facebook group. Some people created with their kids and some created alone. It was an online space to share and feel supported.
One student Nellie said:
"This was my first ever art class, my first collage I loved every minute of the session and so proud of my work. Thanks Jade for a wonderful evening full of creative fun and adventure".
My second class was much more relaxed! I knew what I was getting into and I was super excited about the topic. I didn't have the nerves, and again, it was well received.
So, what is in store for 2020?
I am looking for expressions of interest for the Busy Mum's Art Class. If you resonate with what you have read about last year's class and think it would be a good fit for you, I would love to have you join. If you are up for keeping it real and don't mind a bit of earthy banter, even better haha.
The first class will be mid February and I will have the program out in a couple of weeks.
* It is 4 people max.
* It is $40 each class.
* It is an 11 month program payable each month
* It happens once a month on a Wednesday at 10am
* It is in my workshop space at my home in Winmalee
* It can go anywhere from 2-3 hours
* Everything is provided
* No art experience necessary
* You will learn all sorts of skills from painting to drawing, collage to charcoal
* It is kid free so you can be yourself with out distractions
The Intuitive Art Journaling classes have had a name change to Soul Connection Art Journaling which seemed to be a better fit. "Soul Connection" kept popping into my head and insisting on having a place.
The program will start again in February.
If the idea of discovering more about yourself or how to deal with what life brings you or how to set intentions to bring in the things you want in your life tickles your fancy, come along and enjoy a great night! Invite a friend and hang out together.
* Anyone aged 16 years and over is welcome
* You don't need to commit to a year long class, you can come to one or as many as you like
* It is $40 each session and usually goes for 2 hours
* Classes are the last Friday of the month at 7pm at Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre
* Everything is provided as well as tea and coffee and snacks
* No art experience necessary
* You will be using all sorts of materials to create texture in your book like collage, paint and different pens.
* You take your journal home with you so can use it to create anytime you like
* You will have access to the private Facebook group to see photos from the night, see up coming events and post any artworks you would like to share.
* It is kid free so you can be yourself with out distractions.