What’s Sketchbook Skool?

January 25, 2014






Last year author and artist Danny Gregory asked me to be part of the inaugural semester in the new sketching school he's starting with artist Koosje Koene. (That link will get you to his post about the project.)

You can go directly to the Sketchbook Skool website and read more about the project on the helpful FAQ page. Find out details about the faculty for the first semester by clicking on the Fakulty page.

The first semester starts on April 4, 2014 and I'm thrilled and excited to be included because it's a great group of artists and I'll get to share my journals and thoughts with the students on the topic of "beginnings."

I've kept journals all my life and I've been teaching art and bookarts classes for over 25 years. It is my belief that beginnings can happen any day regardless of where we are in our journey—and that makes me glad to be a part of this venture too, because I know some of you will be beginning and others of you will be returning to art for a new beginning.

Since my participation gives me the opportunity to share my take on the theme of "beginnings," of course my class is animal-related. I will be giving tips and insights into how to build your drawing habit to include sketching live (yes, live) animals. I break down the process. You know me—I give you options.

I also discuss materials and tools and you'll see me sketching. It will be as if you're right here, except you won't have to bundle up against the -20 degree weather we're experiencing right now in Minnesota.

The other artists in the first semester are Danny Gregory, Koosje Koene, Tommy Kane, Jane LaFazio, and Prashant Miranda. (The link takes you to the teacher bios.) These artists draw incredible art every day—and they will share with you their journals and their approaches.

The six-class semester costs $99: six weeks of instruction, with a new class from a new, inspiring instructor each week.

But wait, there's more… (I couldn't resist)

Danny and Koosje have created a site where you will be able to post your class-inspired assignments and share information with other students.

When I teach, one of the things that I get most excited about is students sharing their work—we all interpret things through different filters. Seeing results emerge from the same instructions through someone else's filter can have a powerful impact on your own learning process. You "get it" on many more levels. And you'll have the encouragement to keep working.

If you've read my blog at all you know that I post frequently about the life-enhancing benefits of visual journaling and the sheer fun of it. Sketchbook Skool provides a way for you to find your own path to that same joy.

Danny and Koosje have already lined up a second semester of new teachers for this year with whom you will be able to continue your explorations. Then 2015 will bring additional semesters with new teachers.

I believe this is a unique opportunity and I hope that you'll join me.

It's about beginnings. It won't be overwhelming, it will be fun.

So go check out the website and sign up today. Be inspired. Sketch with us.

    • Diane
    • January 25, 2014

    Sounds exciting! But as one of your regular readers I wonder what more you can actually say to us that we have not already heard and can find in your entertaining and educational blog. You are certainly inspiring and maybe just rereading and rehearing will be enough to make it worth the cost. Have to think about this.

  1. Reply

    Diane, I had to laugh: thanks I guess, for the compliment about my blog.

    One of the main reasons I started a blog in 2008 was to stay in contact with my past students and attract new students.

    I like to believe that I’m constantly learning and adding new things to my repertoire that I then share with my students (and some of which is shared with my blog readers).

    For some people seeing an online class is a way to receive information in a different fashion that “sticks” better.

    The class I’ve done for Danny’s Sketchbook Skool is new and not like what I’ve done before. Will readers recognize points of instruction? I hope so, because I’ll talk about my process, which is what I’ve written about in the past. But in a different way. And with the added benefit that I’ll be doing a demo. Only my in-person students have been able to see demos, and in crowded classes they won’t have had such a clear view of me—so even that is something new.

    I love nothing so much as watching artists draw. I feel let into the conversation they are having with the paper and materials. I’m excited about sharing that action part of my process with far flung students not only in the class I’ve made for Sketchbook Skool, but in the other classes I’m working on which will be coming out this year.

    As to the cost of Sketchbook Skool, the other instructors in Danny’s first semester have also created new material. And I think one of the fun things about the class is that you get instruction from 6 different teachers with 6 different views. Paired with the opportunity to share and discuss with other students working on the same assignments I think that’s a great value.

    I’m pleased you find my blog “entertaining and educational” and I hope you continue to do so. I’m glad you’ve been able to join me for that.

    I’m excited about the new directions I’m going and I hope sometime in the future you might join with me for that as well.

  2. Reply

    CaptElaine, I think you’re going to have a lot of fun. It’s going to be great. I’ll look forward to seeing what you do with my assignments! (There will not be a quiz, though, I promise!)

  3. Reply

    HI Roz,
    This looks awesome. I will have to help spread the word about this on my site, too.

    • Diane
    • January 25, 2014

    Thanks for a clearer (to me) explanation of your role as a teacher in this class. I guess I had not thought of you as “constantly learning and adding new things.” I can see now that was kind of insulting (which I did not mean to be.) I did see you in the Strathmore workshops and very much enjoyed your presentations. Looking forward to the Skool and your part in it.

    • Miriam
    • January 25, 2014

    I signed up. Can’t wait until April!

  4. Reply

    No worries Diane, I’m glad you find the blog useful and hope you can join us in the Skool.

  5. Reply

    Briana, thanks for helping to get the word out. I appreciate it!

  6. Reply

    Miriam, that’s fantastic. I know you’re going to have fun. I can’t wait either!

    • Miss T
    • January 25, 2014

    Roz, I know based on our conversation that you’ll know what I mean when I say, “Kool.”

    All best wishes for a successful class!

  7. Reply

    Thank you Miss T. You’re funny.

    • Dana
    • January 26, 2014

    I’ve signed up too Roz! … and I’m extremely happy to know about it now as I can figure out how to handle my IFJM. I bet you’ll be all videotaped by then. I, on the other hand, have got some thinking’ to do.

  8. Reply

    Dana, I’ve been so busy with getting this class taped I haven’t even thought about IFJM this year—I think I am supposed to be sending the button off soon (I’ll have to check my calendar). I’d better come up with a pretty simple idea for IFJM this year—lots of family duties and too much work. Hmmmm. I hope you have fun with both IFJM and the class! I look forward to seeing what you do for both.

    • Marta Ramirez
    • March 7, 2014

    I have been trying this link for hours toady with no luck, it goes to a totally blank page. I’ve tried it from several sites from tutors, feedback, etc:

    Do you think the link is being updated?

  9. Reply

    Marta, thanks for the heads up on the problem you’re experiencing. I’m not sure what the problem is, however. When I click on the link you’ve placed in your comment it gets me immediately to the SBS main page and once there clicking on the various components I’m able to get to the instructors page and other pages.

    I then clicked on all the links in my post and they took me immediately to where I’d intended. So all seems to be working as it should. (I wasn’t on the computer checking these things yesterday when you were having difficulty but Danny didn’t alert any of us to any problems and I think he would have if there had been.)

    I think you must have experienced problems with your internet connection, or your browser (I use Chrome). Sometimes we can inadvertently set parameters that block things or gum up the works. I’m not savvy as to how all that works but if you have such constraints on your browser you might want to check into that and unlock things.

    Also you might want to check that you have the latest version of your browser and that there are no bugs with it (going to a chat board).

    Other than that I’m not sure what to say except I’m sorry you were frustrated by this and to assure you that right now, sitting here in Minneapolis, when I click on the links in the post AND the link you put in your comment I get right where I am supposed to go.

    You might what to try it again this morning and if it doesn’t work for you you’ll know you have to look at your software and computer for issues.

    But I hope you get through and can read about the classes and please go to Danny’s website and check out the interviews he’s starting to post. I hope you’ll come and join us for the class. It will be great fun.

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