an online workshop with Oliver Baez Bendorf
How to Make It: Nurturing Your Creative Practice
October 3 – November 28 (8 weeks)
How to Make It is an eight week online workshop all about nurturing your creative practice. Wherever you are in that practice right now, this workshop is for you. Participants will learn, share, experiment, create, and reflect, while benefiting from a supportive cohort of fellow creative practitioners. Includes weekly multimedia lectures from Oliver Baez Bendorf, prompts to get you exercising your creativity and moving toward your goals, access to an online library of resources, and an interactive virtual space for you to share your progress and get feedback from your fellow practitioners and from Oliver. It’s a safe, inspiring, encouraging, playful way to dropkick your barriers and move forward into the creative life you’re meant to live, alongside a community of likeminded spirits. No specific experience is required, only a longing to feel more in touch with your creative self and a willingness (however skeptical) to do something about it. And an internet connection.
Part One (October): G H O S T S
Part Two (November): H A R V E S T
What we will cover:
- Getting to know the ghosts that haunt our creativity
- Tips and tricks for getting out of our own way
- Experiments in the creativity of daily life
- Approaches to a sustainable creative practice with creative constraints of time, attention
- Working with a variety of everyday supplies and materials
- Writing and drawing
- Alternative models for circulation and distribution
Registration: $275. Save your spot now with an $80 deposit (non-refundable; applied toward your registration) or register in full if you’re ready. Registration is rolling, but my workshops tend to fill up quickly and I recommend not waiting until the last minute.
Want to help others access this workshop? Donate to a scholarship fund here: paypal.me/howtomakeit
To inquire about scholarship availability, get in touch with me here.
Do participants all need to be online together at the same time? Nope, you can log on whenever you want, at any time of day or night. While the same group of participants will work through the same prompts and materials together over the eight weeks, and discuss together, you can do so asynchronously.
I’m a (poet/memoirist/aspiring cartoonist/zinester/etc.), is this for me? Absolutely; the workshop is cross-genre and all the richer for it. No matter your preferred medium/genre/utensil, you are welcome here.
How much time do I need to commit per week? Part of my goal and interest is working with people to implement a meaningful creative practice with all sorts of limitations- including time. This workshop in particular will be aware of participants’ many life obligations and how those compete for time/energy/attention, while providing opportunities to engage at whatever level you are able to. You can put into it what you have the capacity to put in, and that’s OK whether that means- for you- engaging on a daily basis or dropping in weekly.
From the instructor: What are we without our creativity? From my own experience, I know that without a creative practice I am sad, bored/boring, restless, anxious, and generally in sorry shape. A creative practice makes life better- and yet so many of us struggle to keep it going on our own, when everything from chores to capitalism work against it. For the last several years, I have been recalibrating my own creative practice and developing workshops to help others do the same. I have come to believe that nurturing our creative practice is one of the hardest and most important tasks that we as humans can commit to, and one of the most powerful ways to feel okay in a world full of destruction. Through teaching, researching, and practicing creativity, visual thinking, poetry, drawing, zines, and comics, and with a particular interest in working with folks from the margins- LGBTQ, youth, POC, women, seniors, etc.- I’ve been honing a theory and practice that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s about the power of a creative practice in nurturing ourselves, engaging our communities, and sustaining our dreams for social change. I believe that everyone is creative and that by identifying the ways our creativity has been drilled out of us, we can embark on the life-altering process of recovering and nurturing our own creativity.
Please note: I’m invested in the imaginations of folks on the margins. As such, this online workshop is committed to a harassment-free space for all participants, regardless of race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion. Harassment of fellow participants will not be tolerated in any form. Anyone who violates this will be notified and may be removed from the workshop, and a refund will not be available. This workshop encourages and prioritizes marginalized people’s safety and participation. (Adapted from Geek Feminism Wiki Code of Conduct)
About the instructor: Oliver Baez Bendorf is a queer and trans poet, cartoonist, librarian, and teaching artist, who has taught creative writing, cartooning, visual thinking, and poetry-comics to groups of all ages and all skill levels. His book of poems, The Spectral Wilderness, won the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize and was named a “Spectacular Book of 2015” by Split This Rock, and his poetry, comics, and poetry-comics have been published in The Adirondack Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Feminist Wire, Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also apprenticed with writer and cartoonist Lynda Barry and helped lead Drawing Jams at Barry’s Image Lab. He has recently taught workshops at Mount Holyoke College, 826DC, the Queens Center for Gay Seniors, and the Allied Media Conference in Detroit. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he cofounded the Mount Pleasant Poetry Project. He loves working with diverse creative people and particularly encourages registration from women, queer and trans folks, people of color, and people with disabilities.
To learn more about my teaching philosophy, read this recent interview in Poets & Writers: http://www.pw.org/content/an_interview_with_oliver_baez_bendorf
and my blog post “Teaching Art to All Ages”: https://oliverbendorf.org/2016/06/26/teaching-art-to-all-ages/
and these testimonials: https://oliverbendorf.org/testimonial/