This 4 week class is a rousing roll call aimed at establishing a consistent, productive, and motivating Art Practice in your life. Through interruptions, resistance, fear, doubt, directionless-ness, lost-ness, perfectionism— your Art Practice has to face many challenges and keep bouncing back. I have been up and down this gamut many times and the simple reality remains: when my practice is broken, I am miserable.
As we begin 2021, I want to share with you the best system I have found to get started (again) and keep going. We will address all the roadblocks mentioned above, and more. Beginners have different challenges than more experienced artists. We will cover all of them.
As with all habits, the more regular you can be, the better. There is tremendous power in momentum, and participating in a group multiplies that power. But this is more than habit building. It is making this whole process easier on ourselves, and knowing how to get back in when we have been pulled away.
I hope you can join us.
NOTE: There is no art instruction in this course. You are free to do whatever kind of art you do. I work in abstract collage so demonstrations videos will be from my studio using my processes.
6 AM MST:
Lessons are released in the course area. Those lessons are composed of written information, images, and videos. And homework.
1-2 PM MST:
We will have a 1 hour call on zoom. I summarize what is in the lessons and answer any questions you might have about the homework.
...You are diligently working on your homework and posting the results the rest of the week. You are welcome to post questions at any time. And then...
1-2 PM MST:
Office hours are at 2pm. Anyone with questions is invited to attend. Calls are recorded.
*NOTE: There may be additional videos or lessons published during the week to clarify where needed. We are a responsive system!
I will not be working weekends, but I know many of you will use this time to finish homework. Please try to finish by Sunday so we can start fresh on Monday.
week by week
WEEK 1: Studio, Schedule, Sketchbook
In week 1 we are getting in sync. Getting your studio ready for some real work. Cleaned and stocked with your favorite materials ready to go. We are setting a weekly schedule that your life circumstances can accommodate. We are asking for your solemn commitment to this schedule.
We are going to start with a sketchbook or art journal. Its a great place to percolate your ideas and be able to go wild. This is just practice. This is not the game, just practice. So lets have fun with it.
WEEK 2: Start, Edit, Finish, Post
In week 2 we begin using the weekly system. Its a simple thing but again, has powerful consequences. The key directive is the boundaries. Here you are, working in your studio, nobody knows what you are doing, nobody particularly cares, and it starts to get kind of amorphous and lonely. A system, with its strict boundaries, can be a great piece of structure to impose. You have a beginning and an end. Every day you take it farther. On Friday, in whatever shape you have gotten it to, its done. Further, you post it, out in the world, and thus some accountability helps you deliver.
WEEK 3: Unwrapping the Editing Process
In Week 3 we take a closer look at what is happening on tues-thurs of our system. Editing is everything, really. It can be terrifically exciting and horribly discouraging. I am particularly fascinated by composition so I have driven myself quite crazy in the edit. But as a result I have distilled a small collection of concepts that guide my process. I take up this topic in much more depth in another course but this week can give you the basics.
WEEK 4: Developing a Body of Work
So we know how to get started, we are sticking to a schedule and a systematic way of working, and we even know how to tackle those editing days. We continue our work this week but with an eye to the next problem coming down the line. And that is the need for consistency in the work, and a deeper engagement.
Working steadily has great benefits. Your mind fills with the ideas and themes you are working with. Sometimes that naturally leads you in a direction, and sometimes you have to find that direction. Or perhaps you have a direction but you need to focus it more. This week we will work on some strategies for these situations.
Yum City University is the education area within the Yum City membership platform. You must be a member of Yum City to take our courses. Membership is $19.99 per month.
We chose to create our own private community for two reasons:
to keep the school and the community in a single place.
to avoid using a Facebook Group.
We feel it is important for students to get to know one another and go through a class together. Facebook groups tend to be a barrage of overwhelm that no one can keep track of.
In our classes, people get to know your work, and they get to know you. You can post your work, get comments, comment on other's work, ask questions--- all within the classroom environment. You can private message anyone in the membership and all our data is private. Yum City is not searchable.
There is a bit of a learning curve to the Mighty Networks platform (our hosts), but we have made every effort to make it as painless as possible. We have quick videos to teach you the basics of getting around and posting, and for each course our On-Boarding Maven is available to help you.
The registration process takes place on the Yum City site, just click the button below to take you there.
A Word From Yum City Students
Katherine McLean, CAN
Melinda I am so excited by all the work I created and how much I learned. It is all piled on the table with books and bricks pressing it.I am working towards putting a portfolio together with the thoughts of joining a cooperative. Thank you for being such a great teacher and taking us “ where no (wo)man has gone before”. I think I will do the course again and just keeping working with the grids. I can’t thank you enough for Yum City And all the wonderful people you have brought together. Looking forward to much more Yummie ideas and studies.
Rene Griffith, USA
Thank you Melinda for a challenging and wonderful 6 weeks of learning and creating art. You definitely took me out of my comfort zone to places I had never visited and artists I had never heard of. What I have learned will make my art stronger and more interesting. You and the women I have gotten to know in this course have inspired me to work harder, keep practicing and exploring, and learn to enjoy the journey. I am looking forward to Yum City membership to keep the energy and enthusiasm going!
Lynne Fellowes, AUS
Thank you Melinda, for a wonderful six weeks of learning, fun and friendship. There is so much to go back over and learn from in the exercises; so many wonderful artists to study and lots to reflect on in my own work. I look forward to a masterclass down the track where we can dive even deeper. Thank you everyone for your company, your support and enthusiasm. It's been a blast!