If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, there is a short introduction here. All of the previous posts can be found archived here. There is a flickr group for sharing right here. Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day! No need to finish anything or even like it. If you've done some art journaling this week and you've blogged about it, or put it on flickr, please leave a link in the linky list at the end of this post. Thanks!
Today we've got a collaborative guest post from Lori Wostl and Lorri Flint.
The Playfulness and Value of Making Art with Others!
Left to our own devices and the nature of making a piece of art or a body of work we get isolated and stuck with what already lives in our heads. But we know that our best work is the art where we completely open up; leaving us naked and vulnerable to the criticism of others. These pieces take getting out of who we were when we woke up this morning and to create art newly. These pieces take getting something from the world around us.
Of course at first we look to the people we love and live with…but these people are not necessarily artists. At best they give us room to work - at worst they are ineptly critical and think of our art as a waste of time and effort. The knell of doom for an artist is, “nice hobby, honey.” There it is - our life’s blood - on the table in wet paint or newly dyed fabric, a nice hobby.
So What’s a Woman to Do?
Gather art resources and reinforcements in the form of other women! When we say resources we’re not just talking about products we are talking other WOMEN! Having other artists’ input and inspiration is an essential ingredient to growing as an artist. Also there are studies showing that playing is one of the most effective methods of learning. And as an adult, what is more play than making art with other people?
But what if you live in BFE or don’t know any other artists within your area? What if all you have is a book or magazine article inspiring you to art? How do you find your resources i.e. playmates?
Below we talk about what we, Lorri and Lori, do and what is available. We have categorized these resources from the biggest to the smallest and only talk about those that one or both of us participate in regularly.
have to save up
Art Retreats are nearest and dearest to our hearts, besides they are fun! Get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life as well as away from the chores and stress. This is where artists meet and play among their own people - even if only for a short time. The relief of being amongst your own can rejuvenate and recharge you for a year or for the rest of your life. Then throw in a beautiful and comfortable venue with someone else tending to the cooking and daily planning - you have the perfect creative vacation. Did we mention this is fun?
Local Brick & Mortar-IRL (in real life):
Lorri F. participates in a small local art group called Uncommon Cloth. The group size ranges from 5-10 women and has been meeting as a group for over ten years. The monthly meeting is used to critique pieces they are working on, set up art play days and organize exhibit opportunities. Twice a year the women get-away to hang out together. They take turns cooking the meals and bring projects of their own to work on.
You could join or make up a similar group yourself. Having regular meetings and meet ups scheduled out ahead of you is almost a guarantee that you will make more art and improve your skills while doing so. To make this planning free and much more fun the entire group could go to an established art retreat together. Being in this sort of group calls you forward and supports you at the same time.
Lorri F. is also a member of her regional art group, Front Range Contemporary Quilters. FRCQ offers speakers, workshops and exhibit opportunities at very reasonable costs. It also provides a venue for meeting other local art quilters.
If you are reading this article you have access to an online computer and that means a whole world of other art, artists and other fun things.
There are several types of venues online for an artist to get ideas, inspiration and instruction. Here is our take on three of them:
Blogs offer insights into the life and art of other artists. From the master-teacher artist all the way down to the struggling student artist and everyone in between, many share their art and lives in a way that has us see how and where we can fit into the mix.
Blogs offer everything from art classes, to art, to venues to post our own recent work. Bloggers tell us what they think of other classes and products and what they can recommend. Often they show us the resulting work they produced.
Blogs allow us to relate as artists and break out of our isolation. Two of my favorite blogs are this one: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (!) and Kelly Kilmer. Then for absolute beginners (in art journaling) there is Sarah Whitmire.
ONLINE ART GROUPS
Online Groups come in every shape, size and color. They are free and offer classes and encouragement 24/7. Most online groups have an option for showing the current work of the members.
Lori W. participates in an intimate group of around 20 people as well as two other groups with membership ranging in the hundreds. Most of these groups are quite casual and drop into fun and silliness at the least provocation.
Some groups - Artists of the Round Table (A.R.T.) or Blissfully Art Journaling for example, have various free classes where individual members organize the class. They do this by scheduling weekly assignments to work through one of the “how to” art books - chapter or project at a time. They usually have done the assignment themselves so can offer help when needed. The group also acts as a forum for any and all questions ranging from how to mount rubber stamps to the “what are the best water color pencil methods?” You do have to become a member, but this is free.
Other groups are mainly for swaps and encouraging members through daily communication to keep going or work through a balky piece. Often these members also follow each other on Facebook or their blogs and even promote each other’s online businesses.
Such as Facebook and Pinterest also provide a dynamic place to connect and share art and art inspiration.
Thanks for stopping by!
Lorri and Lori are business partners in Art Camp for Women.
Lori Wostl regularly participates in Julie’s Art Journaling Every Day and was featured on this blog in May, 2011.
Lorri Flint contributed an article to this blog's "Organization Week" last January.
"We created Art Camp for Women as a mixed-media art retreat because we, like many other creative women, are interested in many different art forms and we want Art Camp for Women to fuel the creative juices for the beginner to the experienced Camper."
Both of us are entrepreneurs, business women, artists, mothers, wives, philanthropists and more. We have a huge commitment to sharing our passion and our good fortune with other women. We are passionate about living life fully with no regrets and with nothing left over when we die.
Lorri Flint is an accomplished art quilter and Lori Wostl is a writer and art-journalist. Both also engage in other mixed-media art forms.