My book, The Confident Creative / How to Free the Hand and Mind, was inspired by the drawing class I teach on Saturday mornings. I love, love, love my class and it has turned into a club really—a bunch of great people who get together every Saturday morning to draw together and share their creative journeys. What I care about, is that we come to know our true creative selves and feel the freedom to express ourselves fully. The class is based on yoga—drawing is our practice and we come to watch our minds and connect with something more. We have fun and leave filled with happiness. It’s like magic. So, I’ve written Part One of how to start your own drawing club. It’s here below and will have its very own page in the menu tabs above so you can refer to it any time you like. There’s great energy in drawing together. If you form a Confident Creative Drawing Club, please write in and tell us where you are. And join the Confident Creative Facebook Page where there will be more updates!
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How To Start a Drawing Club / Part One
Drawing can grow our creativity on all fronts and it’s great to draw alongside others! Working together we amplify the benefits of drawing. We can have a lot of fun and affirm each other on our creative journeys. Nothing great is ever accomplished on our own. Energy and insight comes in sharing.
A club is not an ordinary art class. In a club, we all participate equally. If there is a leader, she draws alongside everyone else. It’s all about drawing together—everyone diving in to whatever experiments we will choose to explore.
So You Want to Start a Club!
There are two ways to form a club—with an artist leader, and co-operatively with a member taking the lead each week. In my Saturday Morning Drawing Club I choose something for us to do each week, bring inspiration in the form of printouts of artists’ work, order and set out the materials, plan exercises to address skills, and draw along with everyone. I get paid to do this.
If you’re a practicing artist, you may wish to take the lead and recruit people to join in. You can offer insight from your experience and may wish to charge for leading the club. If you’re a novice, find friends to join and share the tasks. Be spontaneous! Invite people you’d love to spend a little time with each week—4 or 5 will do! Invite anyone who has a genuine desire to grow their creative selves.
• Everyone can draw! Yes, we can! We may not all draw like Rembrandt—in fact, only Rembrandt can draw like Rembrandt—but we can all draw. we can all put pencil to paper and make marks. we can all learn to draw what is in front of us. And we can all benefit from the meditative practice of drawing.
• We’re all creative! In fact, we are here to create—to understand that we are part of the creative energy of the universe, to learn to open to and trust inspiration, and to act on it immediately without hesitation so that we enter the magical dance of life. We are here to know our life purpose and fulfill it.
• Drawing grows creativity! Drawing can help us meet our true creative selves and grow our trust in the creative process, whether or not we are artists or plan to be. When done in a yogic way, drawing is a tool for self-realization that is available to all of us.
• Drawing is fun! And life is meant to be fun. Many people no longer know how to play. Drawing can restore our ability to play and express ourselves freely as we once did as children.
Time and Place—
Time: Saturday morning, of course! From 9 until noon. Three hours is what we need. Weekly for 8 weeks three times a year. What? Not every week? No, not all. People have lives and their own creative endeavors for which they need time. Besides, anything can get stale if done to excess. A drawing club is a special thing, concentrated in time, an opportunity to share and grow together. But, like all great things—no need to overindulge. When we work in 3 concentrated 8-week chunks, we’ll look forward to meeting. And when we don’t meet, we will miss each other and gather steam in our own way. We’ll come back to the club with so much to share.
Session 1: Mid-September until Thanksgiving.
Session 2: Mid-January until mid-March
Session 3: Beginning April to end May.
Place: The space will depend on the number of members. Aa group of 6 can easily sit together in a dining room with a good sized table. In the Boston club, when space has been tight, some of us have worked on small folding wooden tea tables. If there are more people, it might be good to rent or borrow space in a community center, local art center, church basement, school, library, or an artist’s studio. Be creative! The point is we don’t need anything fancy.
We can begin simply with good drawing pencils and a ream of paper—11”x14”. Of course, we can draw in charcoal too but charcoal dust is messy so best used in an art center, basement or outside. We can also use paint (watercolor, poster, gouache,acrylic—all diluted with water to form a fluid consistency). Pastels are best on white paper that has a bit of tooth. But we can start simply. Once we get going we’ll add in other things.
There are lots of exercises in The Confident Creative / Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind. They fall into 3 categories—
• Making Marks
• Drawing What We See
• Drawing From Imagination
Making marks is just what it says—exploring all the different lines and smudges we can make. Doodling,noodling, letting ourhand fly across the page, making patterns, exploring. When we draw what we see we can set up still lives—plants, kitchenutensils, shoes. Or we can draw from photographs—faces, figures, buildings. We can draw each other. We can draw upsidedown, with our non-dominant hand, with our eyes only on what we’re drawing, with our eyes closed. There are so many ways to play and explore. When we draw from imagination we’re free to see how a person might materialize on the paper as our hand moves. We might make a cartoon, illustrate a story or draw our dreams.
Here is a beautiful quote from Goethe that is helpful when beginning a club and in all creative endeavor. Start this new venture with the faith that drawing together will open doors to your innate creativity. Commit to it for eight week sessions. Come every week. Don’t worry—this will not feel like an obligation. In our club, we all leap out of bed on Saturday mornings. We know we’re going to have fun.
“Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness—the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too…”—Goethe
This is Part One of How To Start a Drawing Club. More to come.