Wednesday, April 27, 2011

One more Q+A

My friend Erin had another question, so I thought I'd share the answer with everyone.

Erin asked:
Do they tell you what to put in a proposal? Where do you even begin?
I'll start with the where do you even begin (as far as proposing) part. Seriously, the internet was my best friend in figuring out where to start. I sort of stalked the teachers from Artfest on their blogs and websites to see where they were teaching. I looked up the blogs and websites from the events and figured out contact information. Then I emailed the event coordinators to ask for an application or for submission information.

I think if there's a location nearby to you that offers classes, you could just email them to ask about how they pick their teachers.

The submission part varies by event. Here's my experience so far:
Contact: Teesha Moore
Last year, Artfest asked for photos of four samples of each project. This year, they are are asking for at least multiple samples rather than specifically specifying four samples. They also ask that you fill out a workshop proposal form for each project. You have to mail in the packet of photos (I did nice, large print outs from my inkjet printer) and the workshop proposal forms. You also send a brief biography.

Art & Soul
Contact: Glenny Moir
Art & Soul prefers that you send in actual samples of the project, but you can also send photos if you'd like. Last year I sent samples. This year, I sent photos. You also fill out a workshop proposal for each project to send in too.

Art Is You
Contact: Sallianne McClelland, Ellen Purtill-Legare
Art Is You is a little different. They just ask that you email photos of samples of your work. They decide to accept you as an instructor based on your samples, and then when an event comes up, they ask you to submit proposal(s) for workshops.

Paper Cowgirl
Contact: Cindy Mayfield
Paper Cowgirl asks for submissions via email. There isn't a specific application form, but the same basic info is needed - description, supply list, class fee, etc.

Inspire My Life
Contact: Kim Geiser
Inspire My Life retreat asks for submissions via email. Again, no specific application form, but you'll need the same basic information.

And of course, the list goes on. Those are just the ones I proposed for last year. For 2012, I'm going to try to expand to a few more.

About workshop application forms...
In case you're wondering, the application forms aren't intimidating at all. They ask for very simple, practical information like a workshop description, the supply list, kit fee (if any), maximum number in class, and some ask for the amount that you charge. If there are evening or partial day classes at the event, the application asks if your class is 6 hours (full day) or 3 hours (partial).

If you have more questions, ask 'em! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Greeting Cards, Coloring Books, and Coupon Code!

I posted some greeting cards and coloring books in my Etsy shop! I also posted some original pieces that haven't been available for sale before. Hope you'll go check them out. AND...

To celebrate, until May 31st, you can enter the coupon code 15PERCENT when you are completing your Etsy order for 15% off!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Something's in the air...

Springtime is a good time to think about transitions, don't you think?

And did you know that I'm terrible at keeping my own secrets? Everyone else's secrets are safe with me, but I tell mine two seconds after I know. For example, I took my pregnancy test at work during lunch time one day (did I mention that I'm not patient either?), and I had to call my hubby immediately after so that I wouldn't have to hold onto the news for the rest of the day. Ummm... and I might have told a co-worker the news first because she saw my face as I was coming out of the bathroom. Oh, and the pregnancy test in my hand may have been a give-away too.

My little secret has to wait until around July. Maybe June if I can't stand it any more. Whew... that's a long time to wait. If you know me at all though, you can probably guess my secret.
P.S. I am NOT pregnant. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Art Workshop Teaching - Questions + Answers

At Artfest, I got asked a few questions frequently enough that I thought maybe you'd want to hear them (and the answers) too!

Do you get paid to teach?
Yes, teachers are paid per student in the class. (At least this is the way it works for everything I've proposed for so far.)

How much do you get paid?
The amount varies depending on the event and the length of the class. Some events let you set the amount while some events set the amount. The average for a 6 hour class (full day class) is around $90 per student. Side note: This may sound like a good bit, but teachers pay for travel, shipping, lodging and food too.

What is the process for proposing to teach?
I was lucky enough to have a first time teacher at the 2010 Artfest - Michelle Allen. She was very approachable, so I felt comfortable asking her how she did it. All I had to do was email the retreat coordinator (Teesha Moore in the case of Artfest) and ask for an application to teach. The coordinator emails the info packet and application which tells you all the details, deadlines, etc.

When do you propose?
Submission of proposals happens long before the event. I'm currently submitting workshops for 2012. For example, this year for Artfest, proposals for 2012 are due (in Teesha's hands) by June 3, 2011. The actual Artfest event is March 28-April 1, 2012. That's pretty far to think ahead!

What is your daily schedule like?
My daughter Harper wakes us up around 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning. We get some breakfast (almost always oatmeal with raisins for both of us, milk for her, tea for me (more info than you wanted? LOL!)) and then she plays, watches TV, or looks at books while I do some kind of art related task that won't interest her too much like blogging, looking for art retreat information, or sometimes doodling while Harper doodles too.

At 9, my mother-in-law comes over to pick up Harper (my work hours are 9 to 6), and I get to work. I work remotely as a software analyst. Around noon if I don't have any meetings, I do some art instead of eating and then make something quick to eat at my desk. I have a separate office for work. Locking myself in there with just breaks for tea (and the bathroom, of course) keeps me focused.

If I get a quick break, even though I know it would be better to take a quick walk outside, I usually spend the break doing some art related task like priming a couple boards or gluing something that I know can dry while I'm back to work.

At 6, my mother-in-law brings Harper back (yes, I know I'm lucky to have this kind of day care for many, many reasons). We eat dinner with Daddy, play and read until her bedtime at 8.

Evenings vary depending on my art deadlines. If I'm close to a deadline, I do art time from 8 until bedtime (around 10) every night. Sometimes that cuts into the 6-8 PM time with Harper too if I'm running behind. If I'm not close to an art deadline, I only do art time on some evenings. Other evenings I hang out by my hubby to watch a movie.

Any other questions?
I'm sure there were more questions and answers, and I'll post as I remember them... but if you have questions, feel free to ask!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lessons Learned

Lea took this photo of my embellishments table setup at the License to Create Workshop.

I learned quite a few things during my first teaching experience that I'd do a bit differently next time. And I realized that there are some things I'm going to keep on doing too. Here's what I learned so far on this adventure...

- Expense and Shipping. When I created my first workshops, I was just thinking about what would be fun for students to make and for me to teach. In the future when I create a project, I have to think more about the expense and supplies. I shipped four large, heavy boxes halfway across the country and then back. Not a cheap move. That means I either need to charge a kit fee if I'm bringing most of the stuff OR I need to be more thoughtful about making the projects with non-specialized items in the first place so that students can bring the supplies.

- The Vendor Table. Vendor marketplaces are great for exposure, but I'll probably limit having a vendor table to maybe just Arfest. The vendor table means more shipping charges. And an upside/downside is that I don't really get to shop the market. Upside is that I don't spend money, but downside is that I don't really go around looking at what everyone else is up to.

- Speaking of vendor tables though, I did ok with sales on vendor marketplace night, but I really needed to have some more mid-range items in the $25-$50 range.

- Trades. I have a whole post coming up about the Artfest trades which were spectacular this year. BUT, I'll probably have to mass produce my trades next year for events where I teach. I saw that a lot of the teachers took that route. I love the handmade trades, but it was seriously a tight squeeze to fit them into the schedule and the suitcase this time. In making this art thing a business, I would probably have been better off focusing on making vendor table items. (I have to admit that not having handmade trades makes me sad, but I need to learn that I'll have to make trade offs to make this business work.)

- Be CONFIDENT! As someone who is coming from art as a long time hobby to art as a business, I tend to "undersell" my artistic abilities. (Have you heard the words "Oh, it's just this thing that I do" coming out of your mouth? If so, you're underselling too!) I don't want to be big headed about it, but I need to teach what I know without fear. (Thank you, Diana and Inez!!!)

- Find time to rest and play. Artfest is a pretty exhausting experience as a student and as a teacher. I'll try to find a few minutes to really rest my mind and to enjoy the experience in the future.

- Absorb the moment. I would call my first art workshop teaching experience a success. What I wanted more than anything was for my students to take my project and teaching and to make the project their own. And they did! I don't think every event will be quite as busy as Artfest was for me, but I want to be mindful to absorb the moments as they happen and to try to reflect on the experience day by day instead of running from event to event and storing it all up to think about at the end.

And finally...
- BE BRAVE! Teesha and Tracy mentioned being brave several times throughout the Artfest event. I can't even tell you how much this resonates with me. I wanted to teach, so I set aside my fears, worked hard, and reached out for it. I still have a head swirling with fears, but I'm going to keep pushing them out of the way and reaching for the next brave thing. I hope you'll do the same!

P.S. If you have any thoughts/experience to share, I'd love to hear!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coming down from my Artfest High

In my opinion, the best part about Artfest is the people. It was so inspiring to be around all of those creative, friendly, open people and to be lucky enough to enjoy the Artfest experience again. It was different this time - a lot more work, a little less play - but still amazing.

My brain is kind of headed in several directions these days with where I'm headed next and all the things that I want/need to do. I'm trying the one-step-at-a-time approach... if only I were more patient!

And a couple of blog posts by other artists that have me thinking...
- In Carla Sonheim's recent post about Artfest, she wrote that we might feel a bit down after the excitement and activity of Artfest. Boy, am I feeling that.
- And then in a non-related Artfest post by Kelly Rae Roberts, she quoted from Marianne Williamson's book... a quote about how it's not that we fear that we're inadequate... we fear we are powerful. Really thinking about that quote too and trying to figure out how to let loose and be confident in myself.

And today my boxes from Artfest arrived back home. Glad to see all my stuff made it back. Not sure where it's all going to go though. OHHHHH, and this directly fits into an upcoming post about all the lessons I learned during my first time teaching.

Even more posts coming about Artfest... I hope you can stand it. Want to show you the awesome trades from this year and then some lessons learned. OH, and then a post about the fun I'll be having next and some exciting announcements!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Artfest - The Final Events

Our last Artfest evening was spent with looking at everyone's work at the Show and Tell event. It was fun to look at everyone's creations. Then Lea, Lisa, Kari (my housemates) and I went out for a nice dinner downtown. We got back in time for Lea and I to do some last evening journaling with the ladies in dorm 225. Janne Robberstad has a much better post than I can put together --> HERE In the morning, we had to pack up to go. We were all pretty exhausted and barely out of our pajamas, but we took this funny picture before we left. The wind was blowing HARD, and we managed to be leaving at a time when no one else was out and about. We could have taken more photos, but we decided to just go with the funny original.

I love you, Sweeties!

I'll have at least one last wrap up post for Artfest. Still have a few thoughts left and some looking ahead, but I'm waiting to recover from my return travels yesterday from Washington.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Artfest 2011 - Iron Chef Artist

Thursday night was the Iron Chef Artist event. They gave us 45 minutes and a bag of random stuff to make an art piece. Ok, I've mentioned this a million times it seems like, but it's worth mentioning again... Iron Chef Artist was the fastest 45 minutes of my life. Lea was kind enough to come tell me when I only had 20 minutes left. I have no idea what happened to the first 25 minutes. At 20 minutes to go, I seriously did not think I would have a piece finished at all. With 10 minutes to go, I had to disassemble and reassemble the whole thing. I want to say it was fun, but it was more like insane. I'll have to work up some bravery about signing up if they decide to do this event again next year.

All the photos below are Lea's. (Thank you, Lea!)

So here's me entering the USO where the event was held. We were lucky enough to be staying in a house just right across from the USO.This is the event space... soon to be filled up with a whole crowd of folks who watched us make our pieces.
Here's the photo of the bag of stuff we had to work with. It's a little hard to see, but there's a Barbie doll, board canvas, wood box, foam pieces, plastic spider, and other random flotsam.
This is me cutting the legs off of the spider. I should have figured out how to use the whole thing somehow, but once I started cutting, I couldn't be stopped.Here's me with my end piece. I was just happy to have something to show at the end. I look more relaxed here than I felt, that's for sure!

I'll have to see if I can find someone who took and posted more photos. Some of the pieces were really funny!

OH, and all the pieces were put up for silent auction. I was super happy that mine sold!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Artfest 2011 - The Extracurriculars

So besides all the classes, Artfest also has lots of extra activities. It's a stretch to fit everything in (especially for those of us who are still adjusting from east coast time and want to go to sleep at 8 PM pacific time). One of the extracurricular activites is the vendor marketplace on Friday evening. Here's my table at the marketplace. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out! I had some original pieces, prints, coloring books and greeting cards. The coloring books were a pretty big hit. I'd like to make another one soon, I think. Plus, I'll put my extra ones on Etsy pretty soon if anyone is interested.And here's my table with me behind it. Seriously, I swear my boobs aren't that big in real life... it was the lighting. (Hi Mom! - I can see you shaking your head at me right now. We all know I get this say anything gene from Dad, so don't worry... no one will blame you.) :) I'll get the Iron Chef Artist photos from my friend Lea tomorrow. Oh boy, was that ever a crazy challenge...

The Artfest story continues soon! Tomorrow is my last day here in Washington (I stayed out here an extra week for my day job). I can't wait to get home to see my sweet girl and my hubby. And then to make some art!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Artfest 2011!!! Game Time Class

My second Artfest class to show you is the Game Time chess board class. There were two fabulous women in the class - Jennifer Lynch and Inez Gray. Because our class size was so small, we got to have a fun day of creating and getting to know each other. These two really gave me more than they'll ever know.

Here's Jennifer hard at work on cutting the chess board squares. Our class ran a little long, and Jennifer had to get packed up quickly to go have some fun at the tulip festival. Jennifer was such fun to have in class and worked really hard on her piece. I wasn't able to snap a picture of her final piece, but I'll ask Jennifer to send me one so I can share her lovely game!

Jennifer also creates pottery at a local studio, and I was lucky enough to get not just one, but two of her awesome ceramic buttons. You can have some of Jennifer's work too! --> Check out Jennifer's Etsy shop at to see her yummy pieces!

And now I'd like you to meet Inez Gray. I'm pretty much in awe of this woman. She runs not one, but two salons in Seattle ( and has more than 100 employees. Yes, I typed that right... more than 100! On top of that, this busy lady has three children! It was really inspring to talk with Inez. She's such a well grounded soul. Ok, back to class... Inez found the most adorable gnome contact paper and made a really fabulous nature themed board. Inez usually works in tin to create her artwork and said that collaging was new to her. I think she's a natural, and I can't wait to see what she does with what she learned. (P.S. to Inez - I heard lots of great comments about your piece at the Show & Tell!)
I was so blessed to have Jennifer and Inez as a part of my teaching journey. Thank you both!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Artfest 2011!!!

Hello, my name is Shelly Massey, and I am your Artfest workshop teacher for today!
How awesome is that?! Seriously, did all of that just happen?!?!?! Or am I having the most amazing dream ever?
It was AMAZING!!!
I have so many things to tell you... about my fabulous students, the fantastic projects they created, and all the extra activities like the welcome event, the INSANE Iron Chef Artist event, Vendor Marketplace, and a little art-ing with friends. First... let me show you the fabulous work of my students from my License to Create class! Diana Frey created an Anahata Katkin inspired piece which I think is turning out wonderfully. I'll show you some of the beautiful up close details in an upcoming post. She's still adding hair and flowers, so I hope she'll post a finished picture at her blog so we can see her final piece! --> LINK Susan Morris told me almost as soon as I met her that she wasn't the artist in the family (she's sisters with Diana Frey above), but I beg to differ! Susan created a witch inspired piece with witch's boots and all. She was planning to add a quote and more embellishments, so... Susan, I hope you'll send me a final picture so I can post it! Allow me to introduce you to the sweet, sweet Gail Cowan. Gail came to the class unsure what she was going to create, but in the end, she made the most adorable piece with a house so sweet that I just wanted to live in it. (Can you see that precious birdie on top of the tree???) Gail is studying graphic design, and if you ask me (she let me peek at her amazing journal), she could be teaching all of us soon! Gail was still planning to embellish her piece further, so...Gail, please send me a final pic too!!! Kim Owen pulled together a piece that I'm completely crushing on. She was working on a dog topper for her piece, but when it wasn't working the way she wanted to, she completed her box with some cooler-than-cool rusty metal pieces. I really loved how she made it her own! This is Shelley Rozen, and her really fun and colorful piece! She pushed the boundaries with the plastercloth and wire and fashioned the adorable green glasses for her heart. The paint color on the heart was a cool iridescent that you can't really see in the pic, but is so beautiful in person. Shelley - you'll have to send me the awesome inspiration quote that you're adding (and that I keep forgetting) and pics of the final piece! Nola Unger created a soulful piece centered around the Kathmandu license plates that she brought to class. (She even gave me one! Thank you, Nola!) It was so much fun to watch how her mountain and prayer flags came together on the top. She really seemed to be having a great time with embellishing and pulling together her meaningful piece. You're an awesome student, Nola!And last, but certainly not least, this is Julie Primozich and her stylish piece. Julie was working on a really ambitious mermaid topper (which I still want to see finished, Julie!) but decided to take the piece in a different direction with fun embellishments. OH, and in class, there was a funny moment when my students showed me that magnets stick to license plates. I'm going to be sure to let my future students know about this "A-HA!" (why didn't I think of that) moment. I love Julie's piece and hope she'll send a final picture for me to post!

I couldn't be more thrilled or proud of my students. They did such an amazing job and really filled my heart such fond memories. They were my first class and fulfilled my wish in bigger ways than they will ever know.

Coming soon... the Game Time class students and stories from our fun day together!