If you've been reading my previous posts, then you'll already be aware of the meetup group I run called, "London Art Museum Creatives" which I had set up in March 2019 with the intention of building my own art community so I could share my love of the arts while also making new friends and experiencing all the arts London has to offer. Before the pandemic, we did exactly that and I really enjoyed meeting so many wonderful new friends, sharing my love of the arts and seeing all sorts of fascinating new exhibitions and events and venues in London but since March 2020, I've adapted to being online which was a bit rocky at first but now here in the end of 2020, I feel like it's completely normal to conduct my events over Zoom with everyone coming in little boxes!
One thing that's been pretty challenging is the extra amount of weekly work I've had to put in in order to maintain my group as I used to schedule events at venues in London, which were often art talks in museums that were given by museum guides or socials in unusual quirky museums or teaching my own classes in an art museum using the wonderful artwork that was always available to us and something I've missed all year!
This year, I wanted to keep the art talks going so I began offering an art talk series about specific artists who impacted my career as an artist - each weekly one hour art talk took me 3 days of preparation. In the autumn, I was experiencing burnout because I was working every day of the week so I reduced my art talks to be every other week which has made a big difference!
I've kept my Friday "Traditional Drawing" classes going which I really enjoy as we have such a wonderful group of creative individuals who attend those events and some I only came to know because we had to adapt to online so I think there are so many wonderful positive things that have developed this year that I'm very grateful for.
I'm a strong believer of positive energy and how it changes our lives when we put it into action so when I teach, I use words that are deliberate to inspire my students as I strongly feel that encouragement and helpful positive critiques are the best way to improve when learning something new. I often encounter students who introduce their abilities before they introduce themselves which I find interesting as it helps me immediately recognise what I need to do to help them. Oftentimes, before beginning a class, I like to ask students to write down at the top of their drawing paper, "I am open to learning something new and will just enjoy this experience for now".
When my students write this and then speak it out loud (I sometimes ask them to read what they wrote at different times during the class), I find that it really helps as they nearly always leave the class with a smile, beautiful drawing and tend to return again and again so I do believe positivity is the key to learning to draw.
I want to offer more and further afield too, so I've implemented starting in December, a Free 1st Friday drawing class which is online via Zoom and open to anyone anywhere in the world so I am really excited about this and am looking forward to meeting lots of new creative individuals as I know this will be a fun addition to my group events calendar for many months to come!
Another thing I love about my Traditional Drawing class is that I'm now consistently choosing to reference the works of female artists in history as there needs to be more recognition to some really inspiring artists who were never present in my art history books when I was in art school, so I really feel positive things will come from sharing more and more inspiring female artists.
This coming Friday, which is my wonderful Free 1st Friday event, we'll be referencing the work of Elisabetta Sirani - so if you, (reading this now), love drawing and would like to join in then please sign up here: Free 1st Friday - Traditional Drawing with Elisabetta Sirani!