Julie Chen workshop: Day 5

When I arrived home last night at 10 o’clock, I immediately walked into my studio and thought, “I wanna make something!” Once the moment passed, I went about the business of unpacking the car. Meh.

It was hard to ease back into “regular” life today. Instead of playing in Julie’s class with paper and other fun materials, I was outside mowing the lawn and weeding the garden beds. I decided that if I were going to start a band, I would name it either Tenacious Clover or The Girl Who Cried Snake.

Yes, there was a snake incident today. Please don’t make me talk about it.

On our last day of class, in the interest of time, we didn’t do a collaborative art book. I was bummed about it too. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with a new person every day on something spontaneous.

Instead we dove right into the sharing and critique of each other’s panel books.

Julie Chen showing handmade book by Elissa Campbell

Julie presenting my book

It was really wonderful to see everyone’s completed books. I was amazed how different concepts can develop from the same set of directions. Julie commented that our work as a whole was very strong and that she could see the evolution of our work throughout the week.

After the critique, we moved on to a new project. We were given a set of 14 blank cards and were asked to some up with an exercise that we could use in 3-5 minutes which could act as a creative push when we became stuck. We also had to embellish the cards using a technique that we had used in our panel books. They didn’t all have to be exactly the same, but as similar as possible.

We only had to write our technique once and Julie photocopied them for us to collage on to our cards. I enjoyed this project because it allowed the group to receive something creative from everyone in the class. At the end of the day, Julie swapped out the cards so everyone got a complete set. I plan to make a box for mine.

Creative Inspiration Cards made during Julie Chen class

Technique Cards

My card: Scribble on a piece of paper for 15 seconds. Spend 3 minutes looking for an image in the scribble and flesh it out. (a classic art therapy technique)

Julie’s card: Choose an everyday object (a pencil, a toothbrush, etc.) and spend 3 minutes writing a list of any words that come to mind in relation to the object. After 3 minutes, go over your list to see if anything interesting stands out.

Overall, the class was a wonderful experience for me. I feel like I learned a new set of tools that I can use in my own creative practice. In the past, I’ve started new projects with the expectation that I will have all details worked out at once. This seldom works well.

Now I hope to use an approach of developing projects over a more realistic time period, thereby putting less pressure on myself. I think that this will make my work both more enjoyable and meaningful.

I highly recommend Julie’s class – if she comes to a school near you, sign up quickly! I would definitely take another class with her if time and finances allowed. Hopefully my blog posts have conveyed just how enjoyable her workshop was to attend.

3 Responses to “Julie Chen workshop: Day 5”

By Hilary - 13 July 2008 Reply

It sounds like the class was a very creative experience. Wish Julie was coming to Scotland – I would definitely sign up!! I especially liked the final exercise where you shared the cards you had made, what a lovely idea. I will certainly tuck that idea away for future reference.

By elissa - 14 July 2008 Reply

Hilary –

I hereby wish you Julie travel vibes.

<<<< vibes >>>>

Hopefully that will do the trick!


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