Yeah, baby! Creativity! That's what it's all about! And, last night it was flying around the room like the Wicked Witch of the North on sterioids!
My scrapbuddies .... RaKell, Duana, Lisa and I spent 4 hours painting, glueing, stamping, masking, dyeing, and playing with the fabulous Tim Holtz! You hear from people over the internet and from some of Tim's previous students how sweet and nice and genuine he is ... and it's all so true! And, in last night's class of more than 50 students he instructed, engergized, and inspired all of us to 'unlock the secrets of our creative mind'. I must admit, some of us unlocked the creativity more than others, but it was a rockin' fun evening and a totally awesome class!
Okay, so we first thought it was so strange to be taking a 'crafting' class and not packing in all of our tools with us. But, we were told by Jennifer, the evenings hostess and owner of Mystic Paper, that we didn't need to bring a thing. Looking back, I wish I would have brought along some personal ephemera, some bling, some 'stuff' of my own ... but, we weren't required to bring any tools or supplies. Tim provided it ALL!
Presentation is everything ... and our class kits were presented to us in a raw burlap bag tied up with a hemp string. Inside was a potpourri of 'treasures' ... old cigar bands, ticket stubs, Scrabble letter tiles, a strip of negatives from an old 35mm camera, miniature glass bottles, and old ViewMaster reel, a short length of an old measuring tape, a large wooden number ... well, a whole lotta stuff that wasn't much by itself but all together would be the 'old rusty key' that would unlock our creativity. At Tim's instruction we began our project by painting our raw, wooden shadow box with multiple layers of paint. Each student could choose from either 'a bird in the nest' or the more 'edgy' skeleton theme (which was Tim's favorite, of course). And, after the larger theme items were distributed .... that's about where the instruction ended!! WHAT?? You mean to tell me I have to glue this crap into this box and try to make it look like some cool, fabulous work of aRt worthy of a prominent spot in a museum??
ugh. I hate projects like this. Oh don't get me wrong .. I love inking, painting, sanding, distressing, adding layer upon layer of lumpy stuff until I've finally finished another masterpiece. But, for me .. it has to make sense. My right brain can do the stuff with abandon ... but my left brain has to make sense of it all. I guess you could say that I am a 'balanced' person .. and that's good .. but, not in a class like this. I kept telling myself to 'let it go' ... turn off that left brain for a while ... just play ... but it just didn't happen for me last night. On the other hand, Duana and RaKell were unrestrained in their creativity! Duana cut her birdnest in half .. which trilled Tim by the way ... and proceeded to glue it to the back of her shadow box. RaKell, who had chosen the skeleton theme, was busy attaching angel wings to her skeleton and wiring it to the back of her box. Lisa, who is definately the more ' organized' scrapper of the bunch, preferring clean, uncluttered scrapbook pages, was being pushed to go outside her mental box ... and she was experimenting and trying all sorts of fun things, too! And, here was me ... suposedly the 'creative' one of the bunch ... struggling to wonder why I was putting a poison label on this eye-dropper bottle filled with lime green liquid and adding it to my bird themed box.
The music was rockin and loud. Tim encouraged us to share stamps and paint colors with everyone else ... his philosophy being 'if it's not being used then it's yours'. And, there seemed to be a lot of bartering going on ... trading of specific letters or numbers, switching bird colors, etc. An ink station had been set up in the front of the room, surrounded by ladies adding little droplets of alcohol ink onto all sorts of items to otherwise change and alter the colors. They sang 'Happy Birthday' to Tim ... surprise! ... and, passed around squares of dark, chocolate cake. We laughed and played and made a mess ... and had a blast! Yep. In spite of my 'creativity block' and inability to compose something 'museum worthy' I had sooooo much fun! It was amazing to see how each of us in the room could sit down in a chair to a plain wooden box, receive a burlap bag filled with exactly the same stuff, and over the course of 4 hours finish a project that was COMPLETELY unique and different from all the others. I truly think that was the 'magic' of the evening for me.
It's fascinating for me to watch people creating. I could see some gals were 'struggling' like I was. Yet, something had sparked others who were frenzied in their chairs, grabbing, glueing, painting ... like they were afraid the sand would run out and their time would be up! There are so many creative people in this world and it's a real form of entertainment watching as it happens. Particularly when its happening at YOUR table ... by your buds!!
Last night's class did confirm one thing for me. I've taken 'celebrity' classes before ... Heidi Swapp, Becky Fleck, Becky Higgins, Candice Carpenter, numerous Hall of Famers ... and there seems to be one common thread among them. They aren't 'great' teachers. They entertain, they energize, they inspire ... but they don't teach you how to 'do' what they do. I guess that's always what I'm looking for when I take a class like this ... and I suppose that's why I always come away a little bit disappointed. I want to learn how to do what Heidi does, what Becky does, what Tim does. But .... ephiphany time ... I realized they CAN'T teach you how to be creative, how to do what they do, how their brain works and comes up with these incredible ideas. They have IT. And, that's why they are the celebrity scrappers! After the evening was over and we were clearing our table and packing up our projects, Lisa reflected upon her wonderful little shadow box and said ... "Hmmm, it just doesn't look like his." .... no, honey, it doesn't. But, that's because you're not TIM HOLTZ! There's only one person who can make it like his ... and all we can hope is that we enjoyed the time we got to spend in his class ... and pray that a little bit of that inspiring creativity was passed along to us. Thanks, Tim, for a rockin' fun evening!