I’ve been following the emails from Willowing Arts since Oct 2018, having been introduced to Tamara Laporte via another artist who was going to teach on one of their courses in 2019. I’d really enjoyed watching the Willowing approach to art so far, and the mixed media artworks were something I hadn’t really seen or explored at that time. So when it came to choosing my project for 2020 there were a few topics to pick from (art, writing, photography, poetry…), but in the end the choice was easy – I really wanted to explore creating art from scratch once again and this time there was a supportive environment that was not only focused on making art but looking after your personal well-being and inner self-judgement. So I signed up to Willowing Arts’ Life Book 2020 course in the middle of the previous October and then had to wait until the course began in January…
There were things I could do while I waited. A free summit is run with interviews and activities from September and because I’d bought the year-long course I had life-long access to all that material, as well as the virtual gift bag you get with the course that gives you access to discounts, short courses and other freebies from the teachers on Life Book. Time being what it is though, I didn’t get chance to access all that was available in these offers, but I can go back to nearly 100% of them whenever I like.
I don’t know about you, but I need a bit of structure to be able to keep up with learning things properly. I can learn in my own time, at my own speed, but I do much better if I know there’s a regular schedule, so the weekly emails, like the ones I get if I’m taking an ‘academic’ course on FutureLearn, are perfect for me – I know what to expect, when to expect it and this keeps me motivated to keep going; it also gives me that accountability I need.
So when the first course email arrived on January 1st I was more than excited, and only slightly overwhelmed… The environment Tamara (or Tam) creates for her learners is amazing. It’s supportive, safe, so welcoming and really sets you up not to feel too frightened about making any kind of art. I’ve always felt like I’ve been focused on the outcomes of doing something like this before, but for some reason, and it may sound a cliché, I’ve been enjoying the process with these lessons so much. I’m really absorbed, just losing track of time, and to me that’s a great accolade.
Having got this far, you’re probably wondering what I’ve produced since I started and below is my first completed effort in mixed media. It was a warm-up exercise by Tamara Laporte herself, called ‘Awaken Your Creativity’ and I found it both fun to do and a great learning experience on many levels.
I’m now working on two more lessons, one with faces, which is something I’ve never really done before, and a bonus lesson from teacher Andrea Gomoll making a mini happy planner. I’m hoping that I can find the time to continue sharing my experiences with you, and fingers crossed that I will stick with the course and keep creating…
If you’re interested in Willowing Arts I’ve included a link or two that will take you through to their website, and I’ve even signed up as an affiliate, so if you do purchase something from them using my link I will receive a small percentage from the sale, so thank you!