Behind the Scenes — Interview with Denise

 Nothin' much goin' on around here...whatcha talkin' about?

Nothin' much goin' on around here...whatcha talkin' about?

I am very excited to announce that I am launching a BIG project this summer!  A full series of classes on art techniques called the Small Bites Summer Series. Along with Art Journal Joy Summer classes, the summer months are going to be filled with creativity at Createful Studio!

Before I tell you the details, though, I’d like to get a little more personal.

I want to share with you what I’m really putting into this series and why I’m so passionate about it—and why I’m a little scared, too.
So in the spirit of complete honesty and full disclosure—here goes. Below, I give you an interview…with myself!…I talk about how and why I put this class series together, and really, why I opened the studio—and you know, my hopes and dreams and stuff—nothing too deep or anything!


So here goes..."Exclusive" Behind the Scenes Interview with yours truly...


So first—Denise, why a “Small Bites” Summer Series?

Well, there's this thing that happens in classes here at the studio. We want to dig in and create—and we want to learn more ways to create. In the studio and in classes, we are always trying to do both: create something and trade tips and ideas for using new mediums in new ways. There’s never enough time in one arting session to fully explore technique possibilities.
So, I thought, what if we make time to just focus on one topic like ink or pigment sticks or metallics and really explore what they can do? Then, all these techniques become permanent parts of our personal arting “toolboxes”, expanding the methods we can pull out and apply in the creative moment.


Who would you like to see take these classes?

The classes in the Small Bite series are definitely open to any level of experience—and any age from 12-92! I’d love to see new faces and mixed age groups.
And I'd really love to see members of the existing Createful community—members and students—in the mix. And that’s another factor that led to this idea. I thought that these “small bite” sessions could be a way to get us together more often at the studio!


How do you figure?

Well, I know people love to be here—I witness that every day—but there are, of course, two big obstacles to coming in more often: time and their money.  So I’m trying to condense opportunities down to short and affordable “bite sized” pieces. People can carve just an hour and a half out of their schedules several times a month with a choice of a Sunday morning or a Friday lunch hour (or one Wednesday evening a month) for rock bottom, affordable prices. And they get more fun studio time and learn a TON about one medium and a bunch of different techniques.
I also offer more time after each session to play in the studio—a little more time, a little more money—but that’s optional.


Isn’t this kind of time-intensive for you?

Actually, the way I’ve designed and scheduled the series, not really.  My teaching load is also condensed to just several hours a month, which gives me time to invest in developing each class in the series.
But let’s face it, this project is ambitious. I have experience with each topic, but as with all teaching I have to also fully research each medium and really offer the value of hours and hours of my time to put together a hands-on, technique-filled experience—that people will get for just 1.5 hours of their time and a few bucks.


So what are you most worried about?

Well, I’m not worried at all about how great each class will be. I’m very excited about each of them! But honestly, I really don’t know if this series is going to be successful or not.
I know we all love to watch YouTube video tutorials—and all these Small Bite classes are like art tutorials on steroids! But will people see the value of diving in in real time? Learn in one session what they might passively watch in 10 or 15 video tutorials? I don’t know.


What would make this wild dream come true for you?

I’d love to see both studio members and people from the greater Marin community around this table—and often. I hope people will take a few if not all of the classes in the Small Bite series—and just love it up!
If there’s a small crowd around our art table in each session, well, that would a slam dunk summer! But I’d be very happy if even one person signs up for each class. I don’t have a minimum class size for these Small Bite classes.


That doesn’t sound like too much to hope for. What’s your hang up?

I guess I’m feeling a bit vulnerable at this moment. I got this idea for a really fun and useful summer series and I put it together. Designed the classes, scheduled them…I made it as affordable as possible, especially when adding on to an Art Journal Joy class or studio membership…and now I’ve put my offering on the table.
Yikes! Will people want to do this with me?


So what do you see as your major challenges at this point?

Most definitely my greatest challenge is getting word out to the greater community. Letting people know we’re here and that these classes are open and ready for them. That is the most difficult part so far in opening this new art studio. Word of mouth is huge. We don’t have a storefront so new people won’t find us just walking or driving by.
The second challenge is to accurately describe the experiences I’m trying to create here so people understand that this is good stuff! Don’t miss out! It’s definitely worth the time and money to take these classes.
If people don’t find us or if people don’t see the value, well, the series will fail. That’s the risk.


And your greatest opportunities?

You know, I designed this studio to be the place I looked for and couldn’t find in Marin when I relocated here five years ago. 
I was looking for a place to create in community. A place to nurture my own creativity—and to find others like me: creative people in various stages of “discovering and recovering our creative power, ” as the mighty creativity legend, Julia Cameron, says.  Creative expression is available to all of us and it surprises and delights and helps and heals…
Certainly, there were others like me, right?
Anyway, I was looking for a place for creative people like that…couldn’t find it, but—guess what? I did find people! And over time—with huge support from this small creative community—I was able to create the space I was looking for so that more people could join in. And here we are.
This studio space is OUR greatest opportunity.
I do so hope this Small Bite Summer series brings more of us around the table.

Do YOU want to do this with me?

It would be my highest honor and deep pleasure to share this arting journey with you.

I sure hope you will sign up for some classes in this series!

Tell your boss you’re taking a long lunch hour on a few Fridays. Tell your family you’ll be home at noon on a few Sunday mornings. Block out just three Wednesday evenings for a full night of creative exploration!

Again, you can find all the info about each class on the website here.

(I’ve updated class descriptions if you’ve seen them previously).

And don’t forget that these classes are open to anyone with an abiding interest in creativity, ages 12-92.

Bring your daughter or bring a friend!

And PLEASE help me get the word out! I’m publishing this interview in our studio newsletter, on our blog, on facebook and on 

Help me SHARE wherever you can!
Send out a copy of this newsletter...share it on Facebook...tell people you know about Createful!


Finally—most important of all—thank you. Thank you for reading this all the way to the end. Thank you for your interest, and thank you for your support of our Createful Studio (yours and mine).