28 June 2011

Art Journal: Teen Summer Classes

I must confess that I have the best job ever! My main goal in life a few year's back was to find a job I didn't hate. I've worked a lot of jobs over the years. I used to keep track of how many different positions I'd had, but I stopped counting somewhere around 25. Yes. I really have had over 25 different jobs. I've worked as: a cashier, grill cook, waitress, shift supervisor, receptionist, editorial assistant, supermarket clerk, cleaner, babysitter, post office typist, telemarketer, writing tutor, camp counselor, freelance writer, and an art teacher. I've also had several small businesses (homemade bath salts, hemp necklaces, website design, and jewelry). Now that I'm teaching art classes, I know I've finally found my calling. The best part? My job hardly ever feels like "work"; I put a lot of time into it, sure, but it's so fun that I hardly notice!

This summer I am lucky enough to be working with libraries around the state of Rhode Island. I have three programs on offer: button making, shrinky dinks, and art journals, and each library got to choose which program they wanted me to run. I am psyched about all of the programs, but I have a special place in my heart for art journals.
Once I explain what an art journal is to the kids, they get excited. Most of them have ideas right away about what they want to do with their journal.

I like to fill the tables with lots of supplies: paint markers, magazines, colored pencils, stickers, and washi tape. I have learned that it's better to limit the supplies a bit so that I don't completely overwhelm the kids, so I stick to my favorites.
For this class, we had a mix of adults, teens, and younger kids. Since we had a small group, I was open to having a couple six-year-olds and their moms join us. I wasn't sure how the little kids would take to art journals, but I needn't have worried: they loved it!

This lovely lady had a butterfly painted on her face. So cute!

Justin Beaver: in Progress
This is Justin Beaver, Molly's cartoon version of everyone's favorite tween heart throb. Check out Molly's blog, PugPuppy, to see more of her fabulous work!
Love the text on David's art journal!

Looks like we have a new fan of washi tape!


  1. oh i'm so inspired! i'm not even going to begin to count the number of jobs i've had. great goal - i'd like to have a job that i love. hopefully i can make it happen. soon. real soon.

  2. This sounds like so much fun!!! I think I may be too shy to teach, though.

  3. You know for years people said, "You should be a teacher!" and I'd say, "Naaaahhh!" Now, I'm a teacher. Surprise! I really believe that axiom that says "Do what you love and the money will follow." It helps to be really frugal, too. haha.

    Elf - I used to be totally shy, and still get twinges of nervousness before starting a new class, but it's so hard to be shy around kids! I'm still a complete nervous wreck when I have to talk to a group of grown-ups... go figure!

  4. Love the photos, and your blog format has changed. You are so happy and it exudes from this post, can't wait to see a post about shrinky dinks!!! Great job Moira!

  5. awesome! I am an art teacher for elementary kids and I love art journaling too.. I haven't taught art journaling though in my classes.. the kids keep sketchbooks, maybe i should incorporate other materials too. What kind of paper did you use for the books with the kids? I wouldn't have the budget to purchase nice art books for my classes.

  6. Nae - You must be a mind reader because I just uploaded pictures from my first summer Shrinky Dink class this morning... watch for a post soon!

    Marcia - Hurray for art teachers! :) For my students, I made simple pamphlet stitch journals using Canson watercolor paper. This paper isn't as nice as what I use for my own journals (I'm a paper snob addicted to Fabriano Artistico Hot press... haha!), but it holds up well to wet and dry applications.

    I use Teesha Moore's one sheet method (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z6qmXGRrsE). I was able to buy 30 sheet 18 x 22 inch pads for about $18 at Jerry's Artarama, and one pad makes 30 journals. {It's a great size for a "starter" journal and I use the same size for adult friends who are new to art journals, too.} It's more work on my end, though I'm getting really fast at making them now, but way cheaper than it would have been to buy equivalent journals.

    One thing the kids have been loving this summer are the homemade spray paints I made using tube watercolor paints and water in spray bottles. It's messy enough to make them happy (haha) and easy to clean up for me (since I use a plastic tablecloth on top of our tables). For collage materials I have a stack of magazines, old dictionaries, a road atlas, and these word bubble post it notes I found at a discount store xnear me.


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