We all know how important exploration and creativity – and schools and programs that encourage them – are for kids. But how about teaching by example?
Letting your kids see you dive into creative pursuits shows them you practice what you preach, and mixed-media art classes can be a fun place to start. “Mixed media” refers to art that incorporates many different materials and processes. It can include collage, painting, stenciling, stamping, journaling, drawing, charcoal and inking.
“I’m a really big believer in getting adults into art, even though the word ‘art’ is super-scary,” says Kelli Johnson, owner of Craft School (craftschoolaltadena.com) in Altadena. “The whole idea of our shop is to make it approachable for people.” Craft School offers regular one-day Art Journaling and Junk Journaling workshops where participants create unique mixed-media upcycled books and collage.
One reason mixed media is a draw for newer artists is that it doesn’t require lots of technical skill. “It’s beautiful, it’s pretty easy and you don’t have to know how to draw,” says Jaye Weiner, owner of Art Departure in Woodland Hills. “I think mixed media is a wonderful choice for a beginning art class.” Art Departure (artdeparture.net) offers Mixed Media Creativity classes for adults from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Another mixed-media perk is that the focus is often more on the process than the finished product. “The process of creativity is what really counts, because that’s what makes you feel good,” says Kathy Leader, owner of The Art Process (theart-process.com) in West L.A. “That also creates better results, because then you’re not so self-critical.” The Art Process offers weekly ongoing mixed-media classes for all levels plus recurring all-day Fearless Art Making workshops where participants complete an entire project.
Thinking of giving mixed media or another art class a try? “Try to quiet your self judgment and just be open in the same way as your children are open to new experiences,” says Leader. “Really, just be open to exploring what creativity feels like, as opposed to worrying about what it should be like and feel like.”
Johnson, meanwhile, advises aspiring artists to remember to breathe and stay in the moment. “Give it a try,” she says. “It can be very relaxing. It’s just a lovely way to be able to unplug and connect and create.”