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Sara Naumann blog Create Mixed Media webinar Quinn McDonald

Of *course* I take notes in webinars and podcasts!

Last Thursday I took a webinar at Create Mixed Media called “So You Think You Can’t Draw”. It was hosted by Quinn McDonald, who writes a business/art column in Somerset Studio, and wrote a new book called “Raw Art Journaling”.

I frankly wasn’t sure what to expect…I’m not huge into art journaling—I do art, and I journal, but not in the same book. For some reason, the art journaling movement just doesn’t grab me. I love seeing what others do, but really don’t have any desire to do it myself. That said, I’m never one to pass up an opportunity to hear someone’s take on art of any sort, and this webinar was 1) free (!) and 2) very easy to incorporate into my schedule. So why not?

Wow, I’m super glad I did it.

I think most of us in the mixed media/art/paper crafts/etc world are always looking for more…more examples, more information, more ideas and inspiration. I don’t really think it comes down to needing more information, but about needing the connection—hearing someone else talk about something we are passionate about: Creativity.

And Quinn did this so well. I don’t know her, I have never talked to her, but I do enjoy her column. However, in listening to her talk…wow, she’s smart, organized and really has it together. She talked about a couple of key points that are near and dear to my heart, too:

1)    Lab Time. Okay, she doesn’t call it that, but she did talk about the value of “raw art”, which is essentially exploring without having a goal. I’m a huge proponent of this same approach, giving value to the process of mucking about and experimenting without the pressure of creating something specific or “finished” or magazine cover-worthy.

2)    The Gremlin: Or whatever you call that little voice that seems so intent on knocking you down. You know, the one that says “you’re not an artist” or “who do you think you are?” or “you don’t need to go out in your studio and make art today, just watch TV instead”. One comment stood out to me the most: “We create our own gremlins and them we give them power. We believe them as if they’re telling the truth.” Yes, this means we have a choice whether or not to believe that little voice, and I love the power in that.

3)    Art is cheaper than therapy: Well, I suppose it depends how much stuff you have, but I think the main point is that art is cheaper than the consequences of not doing art. A comment came up about a stay-at-home-mom, and how guilty she felt about taking time to do anything creative. She thought she should be doing…well, mom stuff. House stuff. Responsible stuff. Oh boy do I understand this guilt trip but what I can say is: Miss Mommy,  if you don’t do something creative, you will be way sorrier than if you did. I know we’re all fed this line about good mothers sacrificing everything to be the best mommy on the block and it’s a huge issue with me (maybe you can tell?) because it’s not like you erased yourself when you had that baby. So don’t go down that path of self-sacrifice because it will inevitably make you bitter and resentful. I’ve seen this with more mothers than you would imagine and it’s really not nice. So for heaven’s sake, do what you can to get creative …and I’m not talking about making homemade baby food. I mean, get out the paint or paper or whatever you did before the baby and you’ll see how much happier you are. And you’ll find that when you’re happy, the baby is too. End of rant! 🙂

Okay, back to the webinar…Create Mixed Media is planning to do these webinars on a monthly basis, and the next one will be November 10. I didn’t catch who the speaker was, but I remember it was something to do with fabric—another medium I don’t work in, but will be interesting to hear about!