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What are your questions about making art?

What if I can’t draw a straight line?
Use a ruler. Truly, the idea that we need to be accurate, or execute our ideas perfectly stands in the way of genuine, spontaneous expression and art making. Stands in the way of fostering a relationship with our imagination. Sometimes we mistake talent for creativity which leaves us striving for perfection…and straight lines.

My mother/brother/cousin/aunt (you get the idea) is the artist, not me, is there hope?
Absolutely! There’s a mistaken notion in our culture that some people are born “creative.” And if you didn’t inherit that gene, well, tough luck. The reality is that if you give a small child a crayon, they know exactly what to do. That initial impulse to create can get squelched by performative demands from family, school or culture at large. With my guidance your artist can come out of hiding and play in a safe, supportive environment.

How do I get started creating at home?
To start right away, I recommend signing up for Creative Mentoring with me. Stay tuned for online classes and videos in the future. If you live in the S.F bay area, I invite you to take a class or workshop with me to get you going.

How can I tame my inner critic?
Ah yes. This one vexes all of us at some point or another. There are many ways to deal with the inner critic, especially when you’re making art. Rather than exile this difficult being we can integrate it. You can hold it as an important part of your being, though maladaptive and misguided. I offer gentle ways of bringing the inner critic into the creative process so it can grow and no longer needs to boss you around.

What if there’s a “real” artist in the class or group?
People with a variety of experience enjoy my classes and groups, yet all are encouraged to come to the table with a beginner’s mind. I seek to provide a non-comparative, non-competitive environment where expression is celebrated, and we can all learn from each other.

Can I be in a class if I’m not in the area?
Great question! I hope to offer online classes in the future. In the meantime, check out the option of Creative Mentoring with me.

Where are you located?
My studio is located off East Francisco blvd. in San Rafael, CA, beside the bay.

What if I don’t finish a piece during the class?
This is a good thing! It can be much easier to continue working on a piece-in-progress at home than to begin working on something new.

What materials do I need?
For a Visual Journaling class, workshop or group, all you need is a sketchbook with heavy paper. For Soul Collage, I provide everything you’ll need!

What materials are included?
I keep the studio well stocked with a juicy array of water-based art materials and collage images. Here you’ll find all the pens, pencils, paints, stencils, stamps, glittery paints, brushes (…and more!) that you need to create.

What if I’m afraid of making mistakes?
The fear of mistakes can certainly get us holding our breath and walking on eggshells during the creative process. Yet, mistakes can be viewed as gifts—an unexpected event or outcome that opens up a new direction in our work. I will gently support you in finding the gift in the seeming mistake. Perhaps you’ll be surprised. And leave the studio breathing easier.

Help! I have low blood sugar, will you have snacks?
Not to fear! I always have healthy snacks to nibble on as well as an abundant selection of tea and filtered water to keep you hydrated.

How big are your groups and classes, will I get enough attention?
My studio is an intimate space where class/group size is limited to eight people. Rest assured you will be well attended to.

I want to learn to draw or paint, do you teach technique?
I’ll show you many ways of working with materials, and invite you to discover your own ways. Though if you are looking to copy a Rembrandt, I’m most likely not your gal. The capacity to play with color, texture and shape is inherent in all people. I’ll show you a few pointers and before you know it, you’ll be happily tearing, scribbling, scumbling and layering your way into meaningful expression.

I’m a wordsmith, can I include my words in my work?
Of course! Words can be written over, under, and along side of visual images. Words can also be collaged, stenciled or rubber stamped. By using both words + images we use both sides of our brains, and all of our being to create.

What do you mean by creative play?
Any time we engage creatively we’re at play: we’re acting spontaneously, with engaged attention, curiosity, discovery, pleasure, humor, and imagination. During creative play, we tend to enter a timeless space, forget about the past and future, and are fully absorbed in the present moment.

Can I drop by and use the studio?
I periodically offer “Open Studio” days where you can drop in and work in the studio. Please check the calendar page for dates.

“Annie’s 1:1 creative mentoring sessions, have allowed me to work with her even though I don’t live in the Bay area. Through our Creative Mentoring relationship, she has helped me find my creative voice and use it to bring joy to my life. Annie has listened, inspired and guided me through mixed media journaling to recognize my creative intelligence and embrace my true self.” ~ L.B.

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