an online workshop with Oliver Baez Bendorf
How To Make It: Nurturing Your Creative Practice
January 8 – March 5, 2017 (8 weeks)
What are we without our creativity? I know from experience that when I don’t pay attention to my creative practice, I’m sad, bored, and generally in sorry shape. I’ve been honing an approach that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s about keeping our creative spirits alive in hard times. Get started down the right path with this 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.
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: $320. Workshop size is limited, so I recommend not waiting until the last minute.
What are my options for payment? You can pay in full now, or hold your spot with a non-refundable $100 deposit and pay the rest anytime before the workshop starts. Your workplace professional development funds may cover cover registration; if you need a formal invoice for your records, let me know. If the full registration cost is not possible for you, drop me a line; I sometimes have pay-as-you-go or pay-what-you-can options available.
Do participants all need to be online together at the same time? No, you can log on whenever you want, at any time of day or night.
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? The workshop runs on a weekly cycle and many participants have busy schedules. If all you can do is drop in weekly for 1-2 hours, you’ll be just fine. If you want to really dig deep, you could conceivably spend an hour a day working on your experiment and exploring the materials and resources. Either way is perfectly OK.
About the instructor: Oliver Baez Bendorf is a poet, cartoonist, librarian, and teaching artist, who has helped people of all ages and skill levels to move their creative writing, cartooning, and visual thinking forward. 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 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, Rare Book School, and the Allied Media Conference. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he cofounded the Mount Pleasant Poetry Project.
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. 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.
From the instructor: I’m invested in the imaginations of folks on the margins. This online workshop is a harassment-free space for all participants, regardless of race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion, or ‘creative ability’. 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)