Thursday, October 20, 2016

new online class and a GIVEAWAY!

Hey Friends! My next online class Hoop It goes live on Monday, October 24th and today I've got a little peek and I am giving away 5 free spots in the class. Head to the bottom of the this post for a chance to win.

LIVE October 24th
register for class HERE

Who says that art needs to fit inside a square?! I will share a variety of creative techniques and concepts that can be used to transform an embroidery hoop into a unique round piece of art! 

This class is what I like to call a "micro class" it is structured into 1 LARGE lesson.

There are many online workshops out there at different prices with different content. Back in 2009, when I decided to offer an online learning option, I set out to create a structure that is similar to taking a "live" class from me.  My mission is to provide an affordable class with a learning environment where you are watching lots of demos, learning techniques and then creating on your own art.
  • I have three different structures of online classes: 
Large Class: These classes are $50 and have 5 lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more. My large format classes dive deep into a variety of techniques, projects and information.
    Mini Class: My mini classes cost $30 and have 3 lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more. 
    Micro Class: These classes cost $15 and have 1 lesson that includes videos, photos, written information, prompts and more.
    • My classes are a combination of video learning (with demos, techniques and me talking) and lots of photo steps outs of inspiration, techniques and process.
    • All classes are all filmed in my studio. Since 2009 I have been tweaking my gear and my process with the hope that video/photo content gets better and better. My #1 goal is to provide inspiring lessons and visuals that are easy to understand.
    • My classes do NOT have a required supply list. Instead I share the supplies that I like to use and then give you a variety of options and inspiration to use supplies that work best for your process and your budget.
    • All of my classes have unlimited access which means that once you register you can create and access at any time and work at your own pace. Whenever I "release" a new class- I release each lesson "live". Many people enjoy working in this format, as the lessons are posted each week but once all information gets posted there is unlimited time to access everything. I have found that some people prefer to work along with the live format when I release a new class, while others will wait months until they have the time, money and the schedule to register for the class. Either way works- just know that once you are in- there is no deadline or pressure to create.

    Leave me a comment.
    Let me know your favorite supply to create with.
    I'll randomly select 5 winners and announce them at the bottom of this post end of the day Friday.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    creating with a kid: how to cultivate drawing

    In my opinion, drawing is a really important part of the creative process and sometimes I think it gets overlooked because painting, making a mess and mixed media techniques are so much more FUN! But drawing is a wonderful skill- It is simple and can done anywhere. It is a great way to explore ideas and tell a story. It enables you to process and get your emotions out. It teaches you discipline and patience. These are all reasons why I go out of my way to foster Lucy's interest in drawing. It hasn't always been easy but now at five years old, she love to draw and uses it a variety of different ways!

    Today I've got a handful of the best tips I can give for cultivating drawing in your child.

    lucy drawing from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.


    My long time readers know I've been making art with Lucy from day one. From riding on my back while I filmed online classes to letting her create with me in the studio, it's been a priority to share the art making process with my daughter. As I have mentioned in the past it is important for both my husband and I to incorporate Lucy into as many creative projects as possible. And while it makes no difference to us if Lucy grows up to be an artist, we do want her to be a creative thinker. I believe creativity and the ability to think in a creative way is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children and while I am always evolving as an artist and mama, I am learning so much as I watch her develop her own voice. 

    Not everyone is able to start their kids drawing when they are young but in my opinion, this is the best way to get them comfortable with the process. I introduced drawing to Lucy between the age of 5-7 months old. At first she just tossed around markers and spent a lot of time playing. Then she starting scribbling with the pens and slowly, very slowly she began drawing. Now at five years old, the process is very familiar to her and while there are all kinds of things she likes more than drawing (legos), she really enjoys taking time every day to draw.

      lu drawing 13 months from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

    NOTE: I know that not everyone is able to start their kids drawing early- to be honest, I know there are also a lot of adults that are not comfortable drawing. To you I say just make it accessible if there is interest from your child. I showed interest in drawing from a very early age and while my parents are very creative, neither of them knew how to draw but they always made sure there were supplies available and time in the schedule for me to draw.

    I think it is so important to keep supplies on hand and within reach for kids. During the early years, I let Lucy experiment and play with my pens, markers, pencils and watercolors. I kept them in easy to reach places so she could access them when she was interested. Now we shop for supplies together and spend time at the art supply store talking about how she might use something new. We also have places (in her room, in the kitchen and in my studio) where we keep her very own supplies that she is responsible for.

    This is actually some of the best advice I can give for anyone who wants to cultivate drawing, regardless of age! Making time every day or a even few times a week just for drawing, is one of the best ways to get kids comfortable with the process. I've found that when we get busy, time for drawing can get pushed to the side and Lucy has a harder time starting back up again. But when she gets back into the groove, she is so happy! Drawing is a skill that requires practice and commitment and making time (even 15 minutes here and there) will create interest and dedication.

    Even though we try to make time in our daily schedule for drawing, I also like to give Lucy independence and freedom. Instead of always telling her where and how to draw, I like to give her the choice, with no pressure. Instead, I like to invite her to draw and I give freedom with materials. I also invite her to be part of my own drawing process (even work in the same surface). The result has been a no pressure environment when it comes to drawing!

    As someone who teaches art for a living, I've had to find a balance between telling Lucy what to do and letting her make discoveries on her own. Thankfully I am a teacher who believes in a "hands off" approach. I like to demonstrate all kinds of techniques and then let students decide what appeals to them. I strongly believe that regardless of your age, some of the most profound creative discoveries happen when experimenting on your own and without a teacher correcting or criticizing you. This is how I have tried try to foster Lucy's drawing process. When drawing, I will only show her how to do something if she asks and even then, I try to demonstrate things in a variety of different ways so that she can figure out what appeals to her process and style. 

    Something I know all too well from a lifetime spent creating, is that it's easy to feel like drawing means you have to make something perfect or "look the way it is supposed to". The last thing I want to do is put this pressure on Lucy! Instead, I like to take the pressure off by encouraging and embracing drawing anything, any way that she wants! From scribbling to drawing a dog with 6 legs to coloring the sun purple, I always try to support everything that she draws. Over the last 5 years, this approach has created confidence and ease in Lucy's drawing process.

    You can check out my entire series of Creating With a Kid HERE

    tips for growing a creative business and a FLASH SALE!

    I get all kinds of email and asked TONS of questions about all sorts of creative things and once in a while I will take the time to answer many of the frequently asked questions here on my blog!

    Something I get asked a lot is what is my advice for growing a creative business? While I am not an expert, I do have experience under my belt when it comes to working and growing a full time creative business. Today I thought I would share a little advice about growing a creative business.

    HAVE FORWARD THINKING: One of the best and only ways to grow your creative business is to have forward thinking in all of the things that you do. 

    EXAMPLE: When I was younger, while I knew I wanted to an artist, I spent a lot of time only thinking about the present. But the minute I began planning for the future and dreaming about the big things I wanted for my art and career, was the day that things really began to change. Nothing happened over night but I did start seeing movement and growth. I learned fast that "forward thinking" is the best way to move toward growth.

    MAKE BIG PLANS: Begin making larger plans. They don't have to be GIANT but try to figure out what types of projects and plans feel big to you and what types of goals can create growth for your business.

    EXAMPLE: Once upon a time, opening an online shop felt HUGE to me, then traveling and teaching at retreats was a big decision and then creating online classes felt really big. Over time my definition of "big plans" has changed and it often changes as I conquer each of my goals. But every time I challenged myself to try something a little bit bigger I was met with a lot of positive growth in my business.

    JUGGLE MORE THAN ONE PROJECT: If you want to grow, it is inevitable that you will need to start juggling multiple projects- they don't all have to be big projects but taking on more tasks and trying different things, often at the same time will create momentum and often more income.

    EXAMPLE: When I began juggling my online shop with teaching, my income grew and I was able to grow different sides of my business.

    IT'S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY: There was a time when I would say yes to everything simply to grow and to bring in enough money to pay the bills. But what ended up happening is that I was saying yes to opportunities that did not fit the direction that I wanted to go. I was saying yes simply because they paid. Over time I found that while I was making money, I wasn't doing things that felt right for me and my business. Those projects were making me unhappy. It became clear to me over time that no amount of money makes feeling miserable worth it!

    TEST THE WATERS: Test the waters before moving in a new direction or taking on growth. Often change will mean lots of work so before you take on that work it is helpful to start small. Sharing ideas on social media, releasing one new products (instead of an entire line) or simply sharing your new ideas with family and friends are great ways to take small steps towards your change.

    THINK AHEAD: Fashion designers, magazine editors, photographers all tend to work at least 6 months ahead. And while it is not always realistic to operate this way, thinking ahead a little bit (even if it is a few weeks ahead) can help you make decisions for the direction you want to go and the projects you want to tackle. 

    EXAMPLE: I like to plan and create my blog content, online classes and products weeks and months in advance. This way I know what is happening in my business. I can schedule specific things to coincide with holidays, other projects and my long term goals. This helps me stay on task and keeps me thinking more about the future- instead of spinning my wheels at the last minute!

    And if you are looking for more inspiration, tips and insight into how I started, grew and run my creative business I've got The Business of Being Creative and The Art of Blogging marked down this week! Head on over to the shop for all the information!

    Monday, October 17, 2016

    exploring we will go

    We've been doing a lot of traveling during September and October and still have more trip planned! From hiking in the mountains to camping at the coast to celebrating family birthdays at the beach, we've been having lots of family adventures! Here is a little peek!

    You can check out all of our family adventure HERE

    Thursday, October 13, 2016

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    5 years of Lucy

    Today Lucy turns 5 years old and I cannot tell you how awesome this journey with her has been. This kid is pure magic! She is strong, sweet, wild, curious, sensitive, adventurous and whimsical. She loves people, (she is a true extrovert). She has a gift for care taking (she wants to be a nurse). She never stops talking...ever. She is the perfect mix of fearless and cautious. She is fierce and has a streak of fire that I love. Every day with her is a gift and I am so honored to be her mom. Happy Birthday my dear Lucy!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    a peek inside Lucy's nature journal

    Nature is a big part of our lives and as Lucy gets older, we are having so much fun sharing and teaching about the world around her! One of our favorites activities is documenting and creating in a nature journal.
    After a trip the Oregon Coast Aquarium, we came home with tons of inspiration and lots of curiosity about all kinds of creature but Lucy's favorite were the jellyfish.

    A few tips for keeping a kid's nature journal:

    1. Use everyday activities (walks, playing outside, outings) for learning opportunities. From animals and insects to leaves to flowers and weather, we always like to be on the look out for opportunities to learn and observe nature.

    2. Incorporate art with learning. Lucy (like me) absorbs information when she is creating so we like to work on creative tasks (like drawing and painting what we've observed) with writing and journaling exercises.

    3. We like to work side by side. I also keep a nature journal and it's really fun to spend time creating, talking and working through our observations together.


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