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Visual Journaling, Artmaking, and Creativity (Ep. 266)

In today’s episode, Eric Scott joins Tim for a long conversation on visual journaling, artmaking, and creativity. They discuss Eric’s art practice, how things have changed for him during the pandemic, and why Tim maybe needs to give glue sticks another look. Stay until the end of the episode to listen to the trailer for AOEU’s newest podcast, The Art of SEL, which debuts next week. Full Episode Transcript Below.

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Transcript

Tim: Welcome to Art Ed Radio, the podcast for art teachers. This show is produced by the Art of Education University. And I’m your host, Tim Bogatz.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity, about art making, about the things that I think about a lot, to be honest. And I’ve been trying to find some time to make more work, and just make more work of my own, which is always hard to do. It’s always tough to be creative. It’s always tough to find the time to make art.

And so, I’ve been trying to find people who are working online and just finding videos of art making that I admire, aesthetics that I like, techniques that I want to try and following along with those videos, which is different for me, but it’s good because it allows me to set aside some time to dedicate to art making, which is always something that like I said, is a struggle for me.

And so, I was watching last week, a video by Eric Scott, and I’m fascinated by Eric. I think he creates great work. You may know him. I’ve known him for a while since I saw him present at an NAEA Conference with David Modler, as the journal fodder junkies. And they’re doing great stuff with sketchbook work. And we’ve had them at the NOW Conference.

Eric has continued to do a lot of great stuff. But anyway, he was doing these live streams with these visual journals that he was doing. I’m working along with them. And I thought to myself, “Hey, this would make for a great podcast interview.”

So, I invited Eric to come on. And we’re going to chat today about some of the things that I’ve been thinking about, because I think he has great advice about making art, making time to create art, some thoughts about creativity and how we can continue to work. So, lots to chat about, lots to say. So, let’s go ahead and jump right in.

Eric Scott is joining me now. Eric, how are you?

Eric: I’m doing quite well. Thank you so much for having me here.

Tim: Yeah. Thank you for coming on. I’m very excited to talk to you. I think there’s a lot that we can cover, a lot I want to chat with you about. But I think we should probably start with the most important topic, which is glue sticks. I was watching one of your live streams last week, and you mentioned that a lot of people really don’t like glue sticks. And I have to admit that I am one of those people, I’ve never gotten the hang of them, never really liked them, never thought they worked well. So, can you tell me why I should use glue sticks and maybe convince me as to why I can learn to love them?

Eric: Well, first of all, I think, I felt a little bit of vindication. I signed up for Austin Killian’s weekly newsletter. And one of the things I ended up clicking on, his favorite materials kind of thing. And he uses the same glue stick that I do, which I like the UHU glue stick, U-H-U Stic. And I know that’s a premium brand. So, I think that’s the first thing, is that I think a lot of people when they think of glue stick, they think of the cheap glue sticks that you get at the office supply store, the things that you get at back to school time that costs very little money. So yeah, it might be partly the quality.

So, I’d say, if you really want to get into glue stick, you got to invest in a good one. And I know UHU is really good. I’ve used, Elmer’s glue sticks with my elementary school kids, and they always seem to work pretty well. But I think it’s the way people use it.

And when I was teaching elementary school, I remember demonstrating to, I think it was second graders, how to use glue stick, because we were going to glue artwork to a backer paper, mount the piece of artwork. And I remember showing them how to cover the entire back. And I had this little kid pipe up and they’re like, “Well, that’s not the way you do it.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” And he said, “Well, my teacher just…” Talking about their classroom teacher, their second grade teacher, “She just puts a big X on it.” And I’m like, “Well, okay, that might work in your classroom but,” I said, “We want this to stay on. We don’t want it to fall off, so you really need to do it that way.”

So, I think that’s part of it, is that people they do that, they put the big X on it, or they put a big dot right in the center of what they’re trying to glue, and then it falls off. And it’s like, well, you got to glue the whole thing.

So, what I do is, like I said, I use a quality glue stick, but then I also use a scrap paper, so that way I can spread the glue to the edge of what I’m gluing. And that’s the other thing is like, if you’re working on top of something and you’re trying to spread the glue, you get real careful around the edges, so you don’t get a lot of glue there. And so, of course it’s going to peel off.

So, having a scrap paper… Actually I have a little blank sketchbook, one of the free ones that I got from like the National Art Ed conferences one year, and it was thinner paper and it’s not something I would use, but it makes a great glue pad. And I’ve actually used it for like 10 years now., and it has all this blue filled up. And so, even when I’m traveling, glue sticks are great for travel because they’re not liquid-

Tim: Yeah, that makes sense.

Eric: … so they don’t get confiscated at the airports, whenever we can fly again. And I just use scrap paper. So, if I’m out and about, it’s like I just grab a newspaper or some junk mail, or something and just use that as scrap paper, and tends to work pretty well. I have artwork that’s 20 years old and older that I use the glue stick on, it’s still sticking.

Tim: Nice. Nice. I love it. Well, I appreciate that explanation. That’s a very… I mean, that’s probably the most I’ve talked about glue sticks in my life, so I think that’s good. I don’t know, I need to be more open-minded. I’m going to try,

Eric: I look at it this way, if they’re good enough for Austin Kleon, I think I’m in good shape.

Tim: There you go. There you go. Cool. I also wanted to ask you about those live streams, which brought about that first question. You’ve been doing this whole series throughout the month of May here. And you’re going to have them go on for a little bit longer. Can you talk about what you’re doing during those live streams? What people can expect when they’re watching them, where they can find them, how they can tune in?

Eric: Yeah. I started doing live streams, well, I’ve been doing live streams on and off over the last year. When the pandemic hit back in March in 2020, everything stopped, everything got canceled, everyone was stuck at home. So, I just said, “I’m going to start doing live streams.” And so, I’ve done that, I’ve done different series.

So, the series now, I just wanted to get into something, and I had this little journals, little sketchbook, and I bought it like two years ago, and it was still in its wrapper. I’d never used it. And I was just like, “Okay, I need to use this. I need to do something with it.” It’s one of those things where it’s like sometimes you save stuff for a special occasion, and then you’re just always like, “Well, I’m not going to use that now. I’m saving that. I’m saving that. I’m saving that.”

Tim: Right.

Eric: And so, I just finally said, “I’m going to dive into this.” I have been doing weekly live streams, but I haven’t done month long live streams, which I did back in like September and October. And so, I thought, “Well, let me go and just turn this into a live stream and just pop in every day.” So, I go live every day on Facebook. That’s where I live stream. And it’s on my artist’s studio page. So, it’s the Eric Scott Art Studio page. That’s what it’s called.

And so, I go live on there at 3:00 PM every day, that’s Eastern Time. And I started this past Monday actually, and started at, what was that? The 3rd. And then I just was working in it.

And the nice thing is it’s a small book. I’m used to working in really large, 11 by 14 inch journals. This journal is three and a half by five and a half.

Tim: Oh, wow. Okay.

Eric: So, it’s small. And so, I thought like, “Well, let me try to approach it a little bit differently since it’s such a small intimate space.” And so, everyday I just work in it. And so, that way, if you watch all the live streams, you can see how I’m slowly building up in it.

So, it’s really just me working through stuff. So, it’s probably something that I would do maybe normally without a camera on me, but the fact that I have a camera and people can tune in, I just explain and talk about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it. When a thought comes up, I talk about that. And so, I just really talk about my… it’s all about my working process, but also my thought process as I’m working through it.

Tim: Yeah. I was going to say… I’m sorry to interrupt, but I think that’s what I like about watching those live streams, because I think for a lot of people, they don’t know how to work in a visual journal, how to do things in depth. There’s not a lot of understanding about the process. And I think you’re demystifying that.

And so, I think when you talk through, “Hey, this is what I’m thinking about right now.” Or, “These are the steps that I’m taking right now.” It’s really helpful for people to see and listen in on what your thought process is. And like I said, it makes it a little bit more approachable for people.

Eric: Well yeah, and I think a lot of people just have these misconceptions and myths about artists and about creativity, and really what it is, and that… And so, I think just sitting down and talking through it.

And the real big difference with this journal is that I have a theme. Typically, when I work in my big visual journal, that’s my everyday journal. I just work in that. And with the big journal, I just work in it and I document what’s going on, what I’m thinking.

But with the little journal, I wanted to have a theme. And so, that’s the other thing, is trying to engage with that little journal in a different way than I do with the big journal. Because it’s like if I’m going to do it exactly the same way, then why am I doing it? It’s like I’m not pushing myself. So, the little space gives me some permission to try things in a slightly different way. I mean, I’m still using the same materials and a lot of the same techniques, and such, but just really trying to approach it in a slightly different way.

So, my hope is that, I’m going to be doing this every weekday at 3:00 PM, and just work on it for about 45 minutes to an hour. And then if people want to tune in, they can either follow along and use what I’m doing as inspiration and trying their own thing. Or they could come and just work on whatever they want to work on. And just giving people some time like, “Let’s get together and make art.” And you can follow along with me or you could completely do your own thing.

Yeah. So, it’s on Facebook, but then I record it, and then I post it on YouTube, because I know there are a lot of people that aren’t on Facebook. And I have several students of mine that I know aren’t on Facebook, so I like to put stuff up on YouTube, so that way anybody can see it.

Tim: Yeah, and get to it on their own time, which I think can be beneficial. So, next question I had for you is more of, I guess, a big picture thing just about visual journals in general. I know you’ve been working on visual journals for years now, for decades now, we can probably say it. So, I guess, what intrigues you so much about visual journaling and why is that certain form of art making just been able to hold your interest for so long?

Eric: Well, I mean, I was introduced to visual journals more than 20 years ago now, so it has been a couple of decades that I’ve been working in them. But before I got into visual journaling, I always kept a sketchbook. And I think a lot of artists have sketchbooks. And I can find sketchbooks from when I was a kid. But when I got into college, I got what I consider my first real sketchbook, the 11 by 14 inch hardbound book. And so, I always sketched and I always drew.

And then when I was introduced to the visual journal, just something really clicked, because it’s one thing to sketch and draw and write in a sketchbook, but I really felt disconnected from the art making. And so, I really got into visual journaling because it was a way for me to consistently sit down and make art. And I didn’t have to go and go into my studio and have a big canvas. I could actually pull out my journal at the coffee table while I’m watching TV.

And my journal goes with me everywhere. So, even when I travel, it’s not uncommon to see me sitting in a coffee shop or at a restaurant or a bar with my journal open and working in it. And so, it was just a way for me to really get into that art making, because with the visual journal it is an everything book, at least that’s how I always describe it. And I put everything in there. So, I use all kinds of different art materials in it. I draw, I paint, I collage, I write in it. And so, it really is a documentation of me, of my life, what’s happening, and not just like in a diary sense like, “Oh, today I went here and I did that.” But also the art thing.

So, a lot of my ideas for my art have grown from the visual journal. And so, it keeps you connected with art making, but then there are things like, “Oh, that’s really cool. I wanted to see that on the wall.”

So, a lot of my artwork that I’ve done over the last 20 years has its roots in the visual journal. So, it’s a great artistic tool. But then also just as a person, documenting my life and then just even processing, trying to process everything that life throws at you.

So, when people look through it, there’s personal writing in it and there’s things. And I often hear people say like, “I really feel like I know you.” And I was like, “Well, you better, because that’s my journal.”

And it was really interesting, one time I was doing a presentation at a conference and somebody was looking through one of my journals and they’re like, “How much would you sell one of these for?” And I was like, “A million dollars.” One of my big, hardbound, 11 by 14, 200 page journals, I said, “A million dollars.” And she’s like, “Oh, well, I guess you really wouldn’t want to sell it then.” I was like, “Well, it’s my personal journal.” It’s like somebody sitting down and selling their diary, and it’s like, “Yeah. This is my personal. I didn’t make this stuff in here to sell. I made this stuff for me personally.” And so, I have almost 30 volumes now of visual journals over those 20 years.

Tim: Oh wow.

Eric: So, I can go back and look at the very first ones. And the things that I’ve glued in, like the menus and the ticket stubs, and the pictures that are in there, even some of the imagery that I’ve drawn or painted and things, it takes me back instantly to that time. And I can feel the place and the time that I was creating these things.

So, it’s a great personal documentation, but it’s a place for me just to basically take everything that’s in my head and put it out there. And it all mixes together to create the basis for a lot of the artwork I make.

Tim: Yeah. That’s really powerful. And that’s really cool. I also wanted to ask you, I guess, just about the look of your art. One thing that I’ve always loved about your art making, what I see from your maybe just your aesthetic, if we want to call it that, is just how much you love to layer. You talked about collage and gluing menus, and ticket stubs, and all that kind of stuff into your journal. How did you come to find yourself working like that? And is it a particular look that you’re going for? Is it a result of just the processes or the techniques that you enjoy doing? Is it a combination of factors? How do you come to that way of working?

Eric: Well, it all started with the visual journal. So, when I first got into it, my friend, David, who introduced it to me, he had been working in it for in visual journals for a little while, introduced me to it. And I was like, “That’s really fascinating.” And he had some watercolor pencils that he was working with, just because watercolor pencils are very portable. They give you the control of a colored pencil, but then you add water and you get these really awesome painterly effects. And I knew of them, but I’d never really used them. And so, they quickly became like a go-to thing for my journal. And when I first started using them in the journal, it was more like using it like a crayon to fill in a space or to color something in, and paint water over it to give it a painterly effect. But it really wasn’t about layering, but I really quickly discovered the possibilities with layering.

And as I started building the way I was working in the journal, because I went from being a person who drew all the time. I mean, I love to draw. That’s how I came to art was as a little kid, was I drew. And I was an oil painter for years, painting realistic portraits and things like that.

So yeah, to get into this new world of visual journals where I’m using collage and watercolor, and watercolor pencil, it was just something very different for me. And so, it wasn’t very natural at first. And then just by working at it, exploring it, trying out different things, I started developing this way of working. So, I developed this process that allowed me to really start to layer stuff. And over the last 20 years, that’s really evolved.

So, when I look back at the artwork and the visual journals from 20 years ago, when I first started, they’re so different than what they are now. And so, now I think with the layering process, I love that slow buildup, and I think that’s part of it. And I think of it like life.

I recently did some things where I was working through some artwork and I was sharing some of my thoughts with… I think I did it as like a recorded video and posted it up on YouTube. But I feel like a lot of times when I’m working, it’s like I’m documenting a memory or documenting life and thinking about it in terms of showing time, but it’s all built up on top of each other. So, thinking about how that first layer, if it has texture and how that starts to show through the second layer, and then the third layer, and then how these layers start to build up and they influence and effect each layer. It was really interesting.

I recently started working back with acrylics because most of my mixed media work is water, color, water, color, pencil, collage. It’s a lot of very transparent materials. Well, I wanted to get back into acrylic painting.

And so, I was working on things and I realized I was missing the layering, because I was trying to paint it directly. And I was just, I was not happy with it, but as soon as I started doing some layering in it, I was like, “Oh, that’s it.” I felt more at home with the layering. And I just think it’s, you’re showing what’s underneath.

And it’s like when you think about yourself, where you are in this moment, you’re this culmination of all this experience, all these memories, all these thoughts that have come before you. And so, when you think about a specific time in your life, you probably don’t envision a photograph of that time. You’re envisioning sounds and colors, and images, and like these flashes, and it’s like this big layered conglomeration of things.

And so, I think that’s part of it, is that there’s an implied history with the layers. And so, some of this stuff gets covered up. It gets obscured, but some of it shows through. And even if some things totally get covered up or get obliterated, it’s like it was there and it helped inform, and inform the way this piece of artwork was created. And it gives that piece of artwork this kind of history that I don’t think would happen if it was just directly painted. So, I think that’s why I like the layering, at least that’s what it’s come to mean to me. And that’s probably as an artist, that’s probably how it was because it was a slow gradual evolution. It wasn’t like I sat down 20 years ago and had all these ideas. It was just, I was fascinated by the process at first and then got into that process. And it’s like imagery.

Here’s another misconception I think a lot of people have of artists, is that they have an idea, they sit down and they make that idea. But I think a lot of artists have an inkling of an idea or there’s a process that they like, and then they sit down and they start making stuff, and then they figure out what it means.

So for me, if I’m working with a certain imagery, like with the layering, that ends up giving a very specific, like you called it an aesthetic. It wasn’t until here recently that I really figured out like, “Oh, that’s what really intrigues me. That’s what I think I’m really trying to get at.” That idea of that implied history. I had to work years and years to get to that. And I think, and it’s still, it always evolves. But it’s not like I sat down and had that thought first, and then I’m like, “Let me figure out how to do this.” Sometimes that’s the way art happens. But I think more often than not, there’s an inkling of something and then we work at it, and then we figure out what it really means to us, and why we keep coming back to that.

Tim: Yeah, that’s a great way to put it. I think that’s a fantastic analogy, just with the idea of memories and layered memories, and the implied history. I’m going to be thinking about that for awhile. I think that’s a really smart. I really liked that.

Eric: And actually, one of the reasons that I love doing the live streams is that I talk this stuff out. Because that phrase implied history, I’ve never used that phrase before, as far as I know. So, this is like talking to you right here, was the first time that that phrase came up for me, and all of a sudden I’m like, “Oh, that’s a phrase that I like.” Now, I’m like, “Is that going to then go into my journal? Am I going to think about that?”

So, I think that’s another, going back to the live streams, why I’m doing the live streams, is that personally, I love sharing my process with people. I’m a teacher. I’m an educator. I love sharing that with people. But part of it is just a selfish reason is that it helps me think things through and talk things out. So, thank you for that.

Tim: Okay. So, you just mentioned being a teacher, which is a good segue for me, because I wanted to ask, you used to work as a teacher, so you know the struggle that it can be to find time, to create, to find time, to make art. So, I guess, what recommendations do you have? How do you find time to create to, to make time to make your art? And what advice do you have for people who are struggling themselves to find time to create or find time to make their art?

Eric: Yeah. I think it’s one of those things where a lot of folks I’ve heard over the years like, “Oh, I just don’t have the time.” And I always go back to, I don’t even know if it’s a famous quote, if somebody famous said it, but it’s the notion that we give priority to the things that we find that are priorities.

So, I find it interesting when people are like, “Oh, I just don’t have time to make art.” But then I see them post about some Netflix show or something streaming that they’ve binged. And I’m like, “Okay, you just spent hours watching this.” But I think it’s one of those things that a lot of times people feel like creating is such a daunting task. And I think that’s why the journal really resonated with me when I first got into it, because it was a way for me to stay connected without having to go through the hassle. I mean, when I was an oil painter, there such a hassle of getting something set up.

Tim: Oh God, yes. Like supplies, setups, space, everything you need, it’s daunting.

Eric: Yeah. And so, there’s all this stuff you have to go through to get ready. And so, I think that sometimes people think like, “Oh, I need to have a studio. And when I have my studio, that’s when I’m going to make art.” And it’s like, well, why can’t your studio just be your coffee table or the dining room table? And you don’t have to work big. So, I think that’s part of it, is make stuff convenient.

And when the pandemic hit, I basically moved out on my big studio. So, I have a one-car garage that I converted into a studio. And unfortunately, I don’t have wifi out there. And so, when I first started thinking like, “Oh, I want a live stream.” I can’t do that from my studio. So, I had to move into the house and into this little space. And so, I can’t work really big. And so, everything is really small. And so, but it’s convenient because I can come up, my space is always, it can be messy, but within like 30 seconds, I can have a space cleared and be working on something. So, I think just having that convenience.

And I think that’s why the journal for me, especially when I’m traveling, I have a book tucked into the backpack. I have a couple bags of materials. Of course, you always have to be careful with traveling and going through airports about sharp objects and liquids, and stuff, but that’s a minor inconvenience. But the fact that I have a basically portable studio that I can take anywhere with me, just makes it so much more convenient.

So, I think that’s the first thing, is that if you really want to make it a priority is make it convenient. The other thing is scheduling time. When I was a public school art teacher, it was like, my time during the day was scheduled. And so, sometimes in the evenings, it was like, “Okay, well, Tuesday nights is going to be my studio night.” So, I would schedule time to go out into the studio. And it would basically be like, “Okay, I’m not going to let anybody interfere with that. And I’m going to go out every Tuesday night.”

Now, that I’m on my own, and I’m no longer in public schools, I have to schedule time. And if I don’t schedule a time, I mean there for a while… Last year in 2020, I was just teaching so much online. And then I was doing a few things in person and I just wasn’t making art. I wasn’t doing my own art. So, I got totally out of it because I had over-scheduled myself to do all these other things, that I didn’t schedule myself enough time to do art.

It’s another reason why I like the live streams because I made that commitment, “Okay, I’m going to do this every weekday at this time, I’ve got to sit down.” And that started back in September. I was doing an art challenge, just doing a daily art challenge. And I was live streaming it at least most days. And it made me sit down for at least an hour every day and make art.

And so, I think that’s it, if you can schedule, some people schedule classes. I’ve been teaching a lot of online virtual classes throughout the pandemic. And I know I get a lot of students that sign up over and over again. And I always feel bad because I’m like, “Well, I’m not really focusing on any new techniques, just maybe me a different way of approaching things.” And they’re like, “Oh no, that’s fine. We just want to come and make art. And this is our time to come.” I’m like, “Okay, great.” So, a lot of people I think take classes and that’s a great way of scheduling time.

So yeah, so making it convenient, scheduling time, and then also realizing that it doesn’t need a lot of time, that’s the other thing I think. When you’re an oil painter, you need to sit down and you need to work for a while. It takes you a while to set up your materials. But if you have something that you can pull out in 30 seconds and you could sit down for 15 minutes, it’s amazing, if you just work 15 minutes a day, how that adds up.

And when I was teaching, I would do that. I would leave a piece of artwork or my journal out open on my desk. And then when I had five minutes in between class and I’m like, “Okay, I just need to sit down.” I’d sit down and be like, “Oh, okay. I got my paints here.” And I’d paint something real quick. And it didn’t take a lot of time. And so, I think that’s another way of doing it, is just especially, if you leave stuff conveniently, set up. Unfortunately, I have cats. So, sometimes it’s like, I find my paintbrushes on the floor. I have found a few pieces of artwork with claw marks and tooth marks in it because of them.

Tim: Oh yeah.

Eric: Yeah. Making something convenient, scheduling time. And if you don’t have a lot of time, just spending 10, 15 minutes a day.

Tim: Yeah. I think that’s really good. And I was just going to say, I always loved in my classroom having an artwork set out, like you said, it makes it convenient. It makes it easy to work. And more than that, students can see that you’re working. And so, it opens up so many conversations about the process, about what you’re doing, and just being able to see you in action, I think that’s really good for teachers to have something set up, if it’s doable for them.

And then, I guess last question for you though, before we go, can you talk about the workshops that you have coming up? I know you just mentioned them real quickly there. But I think a lot of teachers are looking for things like that. I think it’s a good opportunity. I think the ones you do are affordable, they’re accessible, all those things that teachers need. So, can you tell us a little bit more about what you’re going to be doing and where people can find information, maybe sign up for those?

Eric: Yeah. Yeah. So, back when the pandemic hit and how that made everything change, everything I was doing got canceled. So, I’m like, “I got to start doing workshops.” So, I started doing virtual workshops. And I was surprised at… Some of them are specifically for teachers, but most of them are just open to the public, but I get a lot of teachers that sign up for them. So, I have a year’s worth of virtual workshops that I’ve archived on my website, that people can go back and sign up.

Tim: Oh cool.

Eric: And basically, it’s the recorded live videos. So, there’s a whole bunch of them there. There’s someone visual journaling, someone, mixed media art. There’s someone image transfers. There’s all kinds of different ones.

But I do have two that are coming up that I have open for registration right now. The first one starts later this month, I think the 22nd, whatever that Saturday is, I think it’s the 22nd. And it’s Small Books, Mini-Journals and Zines Workshop.

Tim: Cool.

Eric: I was inspired by that little sketchbook that I said that I was using for the live streams. And at first my thought was, I was going to use that little book, that little journal for that class, but then the more I thought about it, I’m like, “Oh, no, I’ll teach how to make a little book.”

And so, that class is a six-week class and meets every Saturday for a live, it’s a live Zoom. But if people can’t make the live Zoom, I record the sessions, and then they’re accessible anytime after that to people. So that way, if you can’t make the live, you can actually do it as more of a self-paced workshop. But that’s all about working in little sketchbooks, creating little books and making little zines, and just doing that, a more mixed media approach. So, that starts at, like I said, the 22nd, goes through June. It’s a six-week class.

And then I do have a one that is specifically for art educators. I do a lot of work with organizations, schools, school districts on teaching choice-based art. And I know a lot of teachers are thinking about how to make that transition. They might be doing very, very teacher-directed projects, but really are interested in opening up their curriculum and their practice into more choice-based areas. But I know that can be a very daunting task. It can be very overwhelming because I think a lot of times people are like, “Oh, well, choice-based that’s like a total free for all.” Kids just get to do everything. And they’re running around like crazy, flinging paint, doing this and that. And I was like, “Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

And there are ways that you can take projects that you do already, but open them up to be more student directed. And so, I’m going to do a six-week course starting in June. So, it’s going to be June, into July for art educators. That’s all about experiencing what a choice-based, at least projects are.

So, there’s going to be six different… Again, it’s a six-week class, but there’s going to be six different, I don’t want to say projects, but ideas shared. And each week we’ll focus on a different material. One week it’s paper sculpture, another week it’s clay, just so that teachers can be the student and come and experience what something that’s more choice-based is.

And so, that one’s called Authentic Making in the Art Room. I guess, that’s what it’s called. And like I said, that one starts in June. I can’t remember the exact dates. But all the information is all on my website. So, my website is ericscottart.com. And then I always share on social media as well. So, I’m on Facebook and Instagram. And most often you can find me, my handle, my username is EM Scott Art. So, at EM Scott Art, and that’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

Tim: Perfect. And we’ll make sure we link to that in the show notes, so everybody can find those.

Eric: Oh, awesome.

Tim: So, Eric, thank you so much for the discussion. Thank you for the time. And I appreciate you, putting these opportunities out there for our teachers, because like I said, I think that’s something that a lot of people are going to be looking for this summer. So, thank you for everything. And hopefully, we’ll talk to you again soon.

Eric: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. It’s always great to sit down and talk art.

Tim: Of course. All right. I really appreciate Eric, coming on and chatting with me for awhile. I know that ran a little long, but I think it was a really, really good interview.

And also, I’m going to tell you to stick around after this episode’s over, before I close up shop, we have a surprise for you at the end of the episode that I’m very excited about. So, stick around.

Now, just a couple of things that Eric said that I think are going to stick with me, because as we talked about, and as I said, I’m fascinated with his aesthetic of layering, using multiple types of art making, there’s drawing, and there’s collage, there’s painting, there’s writing, and there’s so much in what he does. And I love how he talks about our memories are layered as well. When we think back to things, it’s not just one snapshot of what happened, it’s sites, it sounds, it’s feelings, it’s smells, it’s tastes. There’s so many experiences and we can’t capture them directly, but we can do a better job if we are layering, if we’re putting a lot of work into what we do, not just capturing in one picture, but trying to layer those things.

And as you mentioned, the implied history is a concept that I’m fascinated by. And as I told him, that’s something that I’m going to keep thinking about for a while. So, I really appreciated that.

And then as we talked about at the end, he’s got some great opportunities for workshops, for art making, whether you’re just finding things online with his live streams or other, actually signing up for some of those workshops. If you’re looking for something to do over the next couple months or looking to get into creating, those are some really, really good opportunities. So, we will link to Eric’s website, where you can find all the information and everything you need. And then yeah, we’ll make sure that you can check out everything that he’s doing, and hopefully get into a little more of your own art making.

Art Ed Radio is produced by the Art of Education University, with audio engineering by Michael Crocker. Thank you for listening as always.

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And as promised, we have something exciting for you. Over the past few months we have been working on a new podcast and it’s called The Art of SEL. It’s all about social, emotional learning. It’s not going to be a weekly podcast, where it goes on forever like Art Ed Radio and Everyday Art Room. It’s a little bit different. It’s going to be a limited run series. We have eight episodes, hosted by Jonathan Jurewicz, who has been on this podcast multiple times. You’ve seen him at webinars. You’ve seen him at the NOW Conference. He does so many incredible things, but he’s been working with social, emotional learning for a long time. And so, we thought he is the perfect host to take you through the art of social, emotional learning, and how all of those concepts can be explored in the art room.

So Monday, May 17th, will be the first episode. And as I said, there’ll be eight episodes coming out over the next eight weeks, limited run series that really explore things in depth. And as we leave here, we’re going to leave you with a preview trailer to see what the show is all about. And you can look it up on Stitcher, on Spotify. Soon to be on Apple Podcasts. Whatever your favorite podcast app is, subscribe to it. And I think you’re really going to enjoy it. So, here’s the preview for The Art of SEL.

I think that the art room has often been a place where you can explore social, emotional learning, but it’s also a place where you have to be aware of where your students are coming from, because art is something that does not always feel comfortable to every child. It means that they’re putting themselves out there in a new way.

I think we have to be concerned with creating classrooms and conditions for students to not only think about content, but also think about how they’re feeling, to set their own goals. We have to pair these together.

What are the issues that we’re seeing in our school, revolving around community, revolving on mental health? And then we come up with a question. We want you to do the work. We want you to find the answer. So, we’re going to give you a question to really dig deep and think about.

What is social and emotional learning? Why are our emotions, relationships and decision-making processes so important? And how do we explore these topics in the art room? These are the questions I want to answer in this podcast, The Art of SEL.

This will be a podcast about social and emotional learning, but it will be about so much more than that. My name is Jonathan Juravich. I’m an elementary art teacher in Columbus, Ohio. I was selected as the 2018 Ohio teacher of the year and a finalist for national teacher of the year. I am the host of the digital drawing series, Drawing with Mr. J, which explores emotional intelligence through drawing. And I’m a parent of two, lively and creative young kids.

Over the course of eight episodes, I will talk with art educators from diverse contexts in teaching levels, as well as experts in the field of SEL, about what drives them, inspires them and connects them to this work. We will learn together through these conversations.

I know that the art room provides ample opportunities to foster discussions and build relationships. But I also know that starting those challenging conversations is difficult. Being vulnerable is difficult. But in this podcast, we’re going to dive in.

I would say social, emotional learning, isn’t one more thing. It is the thing.

Yes.

I think it’s the thing. And I think if you miss social emotional learning, you have lost your students.

I’m Jonathan Juravich, and welcome to The Art of SEL. The Art of SEL is a production of the Art of Education University. Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and check us out at theartofeducation.edu.

1 month ago
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