Making Art with Other People
Make art more often by joining a group, taking a class or scheduling your creative time with fellow artists. A schedule makes you accountable, and anticipation from art-minded friends expecting you to show up can be the right kick in the pants to Get Things Done. So Many Artists tell me they don’t create often enough. Self-doubt, time management, life/work-conflicts, and health issues are mortar in the block walls. And then there is the subtly squirmy discomfort with working alone. We know that making art is a solo endeavor, so that can be part of the culprit. If this describes you, even a little bit, I’d like to recommend an ardent pursuit of connection to other artists.
Find Your Tribe
Make the effort to seek camaraderie with like-minded, inventive, generous and knowledgeable folks – even if it’s only on Skype or Social Media. It’s especially relevant if you live in a region that’s thin on the arts. Participate in an active group of printmakers, or painters on Facebook. Making art is a slow car ride alone, and a truck full of art friends chattering about supplies, tips, and exhibit opportunities makes the ride so much richer. We grow faster in a community than we do hunkered down, alone with self doubt and time management hiccups. Try joining a Group, following a Page, and finding someone who’s interested in an accountability schedule with you. (I meet on Skype every two weeks with an accountability partner. We live in different states, had never met, and we work in different fields. But we have the same goals related to productivity. #itworks)
Printmaking Pages and Groups on Facebook
Each group on Facebook has its own set of rules, so read them to know how often you can post, etc. Here are a few printmaking groups and pages I like. (What’s the difference? Pages are all public, and you have to Like or Follow a page to see the posts in your feed. Groups can be public (click the join button and you’re automatically in) or private (click the join button and a moderator lets you in). You have to join a group to see what’s happening inside.
Drawing and Painting Groups on Facebook
Social Media gets a bad wrap for being a time-suck, a place for lurkers, covert scammers and hidden malware. All of those accusations are true, but every one of them can be found in places other than social media. Facebook is a microcosm of society, so you get good and bad. Be wise; exercise your freak-radar, and sharpen your discernment skills. If it looks suspicious and your neck hairs make you pause, scroll past, move on, and don’t click it.
How do you make these Collagraphs?
Are you curious about making one of these collagraphs? Gather supplies and watch one of the tutorial videos posted on my YouTube channel so you can get started with one of your own. Step into my studio and take a class at your leisure… watch as many times as you like, hit pause, slow the video or speed it up. (A friend of mine just fixed her garbage disposal from a tutorial on youtube, and I just extended a sprinkler line to water newly planted roses with a tutorial on youtube. #DIYeverything )
All the Things
Collagraph methods are amazingly varied, and entire books are published on plate-building, and printing options. (Many of them are out of print, but I like this one and this one.) I’ve filmed and edited a few tutorials (so far) on YouTube to get you started. I recommend starting with this simple mat board, no press required, line-style intaglio collagraph portrait of a house. You can try this tutorial to learn how to ink your plate a la poupee style in multiple colors to get a full color print with one pass through a press, like the cat collagraph posted above. You can also try this tutorial with a single plate, inked and printed two ways; one in full color, and one in a single color. There are more tutorials on my channel. If you have any questions, you can leave them here, or in the comment section under each video.
As I type this, there are 82 days left in 2017. I feel a sense of subtle urgency to get things done in my studio, and after a quick trip away this weekend, I’ll be diving in to finish projects. How about you? What do you hope to check off on your To-Do list before the close of the year?
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post –
P.S. Do you know the Australian architect-turned-artist Liz Steel? Check out her work here. She also teaches online watercolor, pen and ink (watercolor) and sketching courses, like this one focused on edges in pen and ink. I’ve never taken one of Liz’s courses, but I sure like her work. Have you taken a class with her?
You’re going to see a lot of stupid stuff out there and you’re going to feel like you need to correct it. One time I was up late on my laptop and my wife yelled at me, “Quit picking fights on Twitter and go make something.