Friday, August 13, 2010

Spreading the Word

I'm a "tipper" - when I find something I like, I let everyone know!  Whether it's a You Tube video, new fragrance or fantastic restaurant, I like spreading the word.  Of course, this also goes for my passions or hobbies (or hobby that became a passion that became a career!) - for example, my ATC (artist trading card) and vintage ephemera obsessions.  Or more narrowly, my all-consuming obsession with vintage ephemera and how it can be used to make ATCs and other artworks.

And because I like talking about things I like (and as you've probably gathered, talking in general), this sometimes translates into speaking gigs.  I stumbled upon this completely by accident; Carolyn Brady, the founder of our Milwaukee ATC group, was contacted by Kewaskum Public Library about doing a demo on ATCs.  Well, Carolyn lives south of Milwaukee so this would've translated to a two-hour trip for her, one way.  So she asked if I would like to do it.  I wanted to help out Carolyn, but YIKES - did I really know what I was doing enough to talk about it and demo it?!

I guess I did know enough.  That first class in May of '09 had seven or eight people, which was perfect for my first workshop.  Steev Baker, the head librarian at the Kewaskum Public Library, also attended the class.  He had a good time and liked me enough to ask me back; I wound up teaching another workshop last November.  And I'm on the schedule to teach again this coming November!

From this gig came others - I taught a half-day workshop at Greendale Public Library last September, which was in conjunction with our regular ATC meeting for that month.  That class had 17 people (eep) and was very well-received.  Gary Warren Niebuhr, who's the head librarian of GPL, also took the class and had a great time (his ATCs from that class are here).  I also gave this same talk at our local Artists' Association meeting this past May.  They needed a speaker, and I introduced about 20 people to ATCs that night. 

That's the best part about the whole workshop thing - getting more and more people excited about learning something new!  It makes me feel great when I hear from someone that they're now addicted to making ATCs (hey, it happens to the best of us!).

Back in the early part of this year Lori Franklin, whom I had met on a trip to Duluth three years ago at her wonderful shop Peasantworks, contacted me to see if I'd like to teach with her and her friend Teresa Kolar in October.  Would I!  What an opportunity!  I love Duluth.  And it's yet another opportunity to recruit more people into the wonderful world of art-making.  If I can pass along the feeling I get by being creative to others, then I've done my job right.  In the process, I also get them hooked on the joys of using vintage ephemera in their artworks!

P.S.  If you're interested in the Duluth retreat, let me know in the comments below and I'll give more info!  :D

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