From the very first printmaking evening class that I taught in Guildford back in 2005, I knew I had found my calling. I was a 25-year-old, introverted art graduate and absolutely terrified of standing up in front of people to talk. I had a glass of wine to steady my nerves, a meticulously detailed teaching plan and carefully prepared boxes of materials.
However, after a nervous hour of explaining the techniques and helping people out I was able to pause and reflect for a moment to watch this receptive group of beginners creating their first prints and smiling at the joy of making something. This excitement of helping people to create has stayed with me ever since – I still get that tingly feeling wherever I am teaching (mostly now online) when I see people discover new skills or make new works.
I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge and skills and usually as soon as I have learned something myself I want to share it with others.
Since those early days of printmaking evening classes I have taught a variety of in-person courses at a range of venues across the UK. These have included workshops at/for Farnham Maltings, Salisbury Arts Centre, The Electric Theatre in Guildford, Guildford House Gallery, Salisbury Arts Trail, Sayers Croft and Basing House. I have taught short taster sessions, one-day workshops as well as more immersive experiences over longer periods of time. Each time I teach, the classes are carefully planned in terms of content, pace, the number and level of students and the environment.
I have also learnt so much from those people that I have taught over the years. I always feel when running classes for adults, it’s less like 'teaching' and more like 'knowledge sharing'. I love hearing what other crafts and creative hobbies people do and it is a question I always ask students at the start of any session. The aim, for me, is to build a creative community every time I teach – a nurturing and friendly environment conducive to learning and creating. And nothing has changed even now things have moved on and most of my teaching has moved online.
Seriously, online teaching is a wonderful experience for teacher and student alike, and although I still love real-life teaching and hands-on demos, there is something so accessible, convenient and immediate with online education.
In June 2020 I decided to add a creative membership to my online offerings. The main reason for this was to build an ongoing creative community that focusses on regular progression and continuity each month. My Inspire members get new sketching tutorials, projects, book reviews, mindset discussions each and every month within a dedicated membership portal.
I have found it a wonderful experience to work with a small community of like-minded people where we all get to ‘play’ each month with creating new stuff and sharing our results. This membership makes sure that creativity is at the forefront of our minds and gives everyone (myself included) the chance to exercise those creative muscles on a regular basis. If you are interested in joining me for a regular play in your sketchbook then take a look at my Inspire membership that opens just three times per year for new members.
If you are interested in booking me for teaching at your venue or for your online event or membership group then do get in touch!