This art blog began as an exercise in accountability in 2005. I planned to document my renewed commitment to get back into art-making after a decade-long hiatus. Almost immediately, it morphed into a platform to share process, and hopefully, encourage other out-of-business artists to get back to work. More recently, when I tip-toed into creating a youtube channel, I goaded myself forward with the warble that it was a “graduation” – finally advancing a decade of process stills up to the next level, to video tutorials.
Here’s how un-brave I was/am; after creating the channel, it took me seven years to post the first video. #riskaverse
With video-function on cell phones & free editing software (Mac computers come with iMovie installed), the only obstacle to posting videos online is an afternoon’s worth of learning editing software by watching youtube videos about the basics. That, and a nebula’s worth of courage. ????
Just about anyone can be a content creator in the video-space today with a whole film studio tucked into your phone, a computer and a work table. My gift-of-gab is the only qualification needed to host my own “tv show”, where I can blather endlessly about art-making to anyone who’ll subscribe. Inspired by The French Chef – cooking with Julia Childs – I can talk the viewer through carving a linocut or glazing in watercolors. (Minus the lovely lilt in her voice, and sadly, the wine. ????)
What I didn’t anticipate was the extraordinary gratification of influencing young people in painting & printmaking – either on their own, because their curiosity about making things lead them to search youtube for tips, or through an art teacher, showing video tutorials on an ipad in the classroom. Check out the dark field monotype self portraits from high school kids above. Aren’t they fantastic!?
I’ve received emails with images snapped on cell phones from proud students (& teachers) from around the globe, all excited to share the results of their art adventures. We all sing the well-deserved praises at the wonder of the internet; its a platter of Uber-Accessible-Everything, but this particular angle is about connection. . . to people. I put a video up, and in a few days, Bah-Dah-BING! I receive emails, directly from a classroom in New York, with cell phone snap shots, while the ink is still wet, from instructors with questions, or students feeling proud, or a kid in a remote village in Venezuela, trying to make his first collagraph at the kitchen table. I’m stunned and happy-dance-grateful for the across-the-globe hand shake with these new art-friends.
I’ve been evangelizing printmaking and watercolor on this blog for a long time, but it wasn’t until I started a YouTube channel that I could quantify the sprinkling of art-making seeds to young people. I assumed my audience was peers – women like me, trying to find their way back to art. It never occurred to me that young, freshly budded artists might try these methods, but there it is; simple video instruction serves the basics of art-making as accessible inspiration to people who may not have the means, the know-how or the geographic access to classes, teachers, or mentors locally. Doesn’t that make you want to start a youtube channel too? C’mon, it’ll be FUN!
The notion that I might, just-maybe-sort-of-perhaps, could possibly be helping sprout new printmakers and watercolor painters across the earth is deeply satisfying, and lump-in-the-throat inspiring. Boom! More art-makers! How cool is that?
How do you share what you enjoy the most with others? Where do you find your inspiration, either to try new art-making methods, or tackle new subjects? And do you launch youtube when you’re trying to learn how to make peanut brittle, care for a macadamia nut tree or use public transportation to get from Marseille to Avignon? (I do.) 🙂
Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.