As you come in to play at the studio, you see the end result of weeks of preparation. Most people understand on some level that the workshop fees are set based on some combination of cost, time and content. I thought you would appreciate knowing all that goes into creating a workshop.
Here’s what goes into creating workshops at the Joyful Artist Studio….
Creating Workshops: The Idea
Yes, each and every workshop begins with an idea. Some, like Paint and Wine, are not original ideas. Other workshops, like the Paint Your Purpose and Live Your Joy workshops are created from scratch starting with a small idea of what experience I want to bring to you. Sometimes the idea comes together in a flash but usually it takes a few sessions of thinking about the session and its goals.
For the original workshops, my background experience, training and credentials all combine and draw together into a multidisciplinary creative experience. With my master’s level training and various certifications, combined with my creativity coaching background, it means that I dream these up on several levels. Its kind of hard to explain that exact process because it naturally happens.
Creating Workshops: Planning
Maybe its the teaching and training background but I actually make learning objectives for the workshops. I want to be sure the structure of the workshop provides what I tell you it will provide for you. This is one of the most crucial parts of creating workshops and one that many teachers skip. Along with this kind of planning, there will be materials to gather closer to the actual event.
Creating Workshops: Curriculum
Once I know what you will be taking away from the workshops I create, the actual content of workshop comes together. Luckily I was able to work with curriculum designers when I was teaching at FIU so I got some experience working with all different learning styles. Each of the teaching points needs some way to anchor it in for you, the participant, so I try to create several different approaches for each point. That way I can assess how the participants are learning and present things in a way that best suits their styles of learning.
When the content is completed, there are handouts and other graphics to make, always keeping in mind what participants will be taking away from the session and their various learning styles. For me, this is where I spend the most time.
Creating Workshops: Marketing
Each workshop that is created has to be marketed so participants show up. That means web pages, sign up forms, listings on Meetup and for the newspapers, press releases and face to face meeting people and talking about it. For an introvert that last part can be draining.
Luckily I have learned to do most of the web stuff myself. Setting up the web pages, Paypal buttons and mailing lists takes about an hour and a half for each workshop, however. And if I don’t do these talks often, I have to futz around and remember how to do them.
Creating Workshops: Logistics
Of course there is also the space and making all the arrangements for the incidentals – copies, drinks, snacks, lighting, materials. For workshops with art supplies, there is often sourcing to be done – looking around online to find the perfect item. Then these items all need to be set up on the day of the event. Naturally they also must be put away at the end too.
Creating Workshops: The Event
What you as a participant see at the event is the end result of all of these things coming together. So for a few hours or a day we are together in a seamless experience. But I know what you will likely take away from the experience because it has all been carefully planned ahead of time. What you see and participate in may last a few hours or a day, but there have literally been hours and hours behind the scenes preparing it all for you.