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Strategies for the Artist

I am happy to announce that my Social Media and the Artist previously offered exclusively to Charlotte Art League members is now open to the public and has expanded to include both marketing AND branding strategies!

In these competitive, digital times, we have to admit that the older strategies of being a successful artist no longer cuts it. You can’t just assume your work is going to be discovered, or that you can just email a gallery your portfolio and let the magic unfold on its own.

Why doesn’t your work sell? Is it the gallery’s fault? Why aren’t your followers and sales growing online? Is it the digital platform’s fault? How come no one views your website? Is it the search engine’s fault? Why aren’t you getting more offers, grants, opportunities? Is it your community’s fault?

It’s time to admit: It’s not your community’s fault, the gallery’s fault, or social media’s fault: IT’S YOUR FAULT.

If you want your work to sell, if you want to gain more followers on social media, if you want your website to thrive, if you want to be a part of your local artistic community, then YOU need to own up and be proactive in your branding, marketing and community engagement plans. This is the phrase I use when I do these sessions: YOU NEED TO SHOW UP FOR YOUR ART.

I have worked with artists and creatives for many years and I see the same problems being encountered over and over: an unwillingness to take action and a stubbornness when it comes to having to admit change is inevitable.

Let’s get over these hurdles together and work towards your ultimate goals as an artist/creative. We can together no matter your location: Charlotte, NC or somewhere else. Learn more about the Strategy Sessions offered and contact me if you’re ready to get going (I promise I’m very nice and friendly in person)!

Scenes from Camp Spark

We had so much fun at Camp Spark yesterday! There were plot twists, french pastries, watercolors, and giveaways!

art journaling camp retreat giveaway

I hinted beforehand that we’d be working out of our comfort zone and I meant it! After years of holding art journaling camps I’d seen many people-myself included-spend too much time on trying to perfect a page that they lose sight of their imagination and ability to release and let go. So after doing our mandatory brain dumping session, I revealed our first prompt: Filling a page with rectangle shapes of any kind of paper, style and size–but you’re not filling your book–you’re filling everyone else’s! It’s like muscial journals: you paste one rectangle in a book and pass it on to the person next to you. I had asked that everyone bring a fresh journal to the retreat. This first exercise allowed them to meet their neighbors and automatically start with a journal that may not be the way they intended it, but there will always be the memory of how that page was made!

The next set of prompts I threw out all at once and gave one hour to complete all three tasks. Again, if it was just one prompt, we would end up spending too much time on trying to make it into a grand piece without actually enjoying the process. Multitasking in art journaling does indeed stretch your brain, but I have found that flipping back and forth between pages feels like a good mind workout! Our prompts were: Black Background (do a two-page spread with black cardstock cut to fit the background. The colors you paste on top really pop when the background is black); Horizon (aka Analog Collage: create a collage scene where land meets sky then paste down people and things); and Blob and Trace (use watercolor or watercolor/gel crayons to create blobs, then trace around them in a darker pen and give them faces-people, animals, made up creatures, and give them dialogue and a world of their own).

art journaling workshop charlotteart journaling brooke gibbons workshop charlotte

I think all these prompts, especially Blob and Trace gave us the opportunity to use the part of the imagination that we don’t seldom use as adults. Remember as a kid when you would create a new world by drawing or playing  make believe with friends? I don’t think we do that enough as adults, but I think tapping into childlike imagination gives us a renewed sense of wondrous creation.

After a brief break featuring a mini french bistro (lemonade, no coffee–it’s too hot!) we resumed our last two hours with an Open Studio but first: Dice Destiny! I had everyone help me come up with six art journaling ideas that I numbered on the whiteboard. Each person had to roll the dice and do the corresponding prompt for that number.

The best part for me was just being around other people and seeing their creations come to life. Oh the life of an ENFJ! I also enjoyed just setting up the tables and supplies, I wish I could just keep them there forever! Perhaps one day I will have my own space where I can host big workshops, we shall see!

Here are a couple things projects made during Camp Spark:

emily harris collage art journaling

Work from Emily Harris @achenbaumarts

anabelle art journaling boopabelle charlotte

Work from Anabelle @boopabelle

I’ve teamed up with Chef Kim Bogues!

What’s better than being free to create whatever comes to you? Eating delicious food and drinking yummy things from a professional chef while doing so, of course! I am so excited to announce I’ve teamed up with Celebrity Chef Kim Bogues of Hearth N Soul to bring a different spin to the “sip and paint” craze. Her Sip and Paints (and there’s a Punch and Paint for kids too!) will offer homemade tapas and desserts at her kitchen studio, drinks to get those artsy juices flowing and NO ONE IS PAINTING THE SAME THING! Yay! While Chef Kim is filling your tummy I’ll be leading you on a creative journey where you use alternative tools and your guiding intuition to paint something completely different than your neighbor next to you–something that you can call your own! Visit Hearth N Soul to sign up for upcoming dates!

Camp Spark: A Half-Day Art Journaling Retreat

Let’s rip up paper and make stuff together!

🌟Camp Spark 🌟 is a half day retreat I’ll be holding on Sunday June 4 from 10am-2pm at The Charlotte Art League.

Bring a journal or book with paper heavy enough to handle watercolor crayons, glue, and the depths of your weird imagination!

We’ll be doing a ton of different prompts to get ourselves out of that creative funk and into the fire of ideas, exploration and artistic fearlessness!

$25 and a fresh journal covers your end. I’ll provide all the supplies including vintage ephemera and mags, pretty paper and pens, watercolor things and most importantly: pastries to up our calorie intake, I mean energy!!

RSVP is required so I can prep accordingly so visit meetup.com/hellourbanist to learn more and sign up! 😘😘

Upcoming Workshops

Creative Studio Sundays image
Creative Studio Sunday
The 2nd Sunday of every month

Join me at the Charlotte Art League on Sunday July 10 from 11am-2pm for yoga, meditation, writing and art journaling! The July theme is: Spirit of a Woman. Learn more here.

imagination brigade analog collage workshop brooke gibbons charlotte art league

The Imagination Brigade: An Analog Collage Workshop

It’s time to use our imaginations to create some funky collage scenes!

In this workshop we will be using old magazines to create surreal collage images. All supplies are included. Each person will create one 8×10 collage suitable for framing (or more if there’s time).

I will supply each person with a handy pre-cut scrap pack full of vintage pieces to get you started. I will also have vintage magazines on hand for you to use. If you google image “analog collage” you will see the wide range of what can be created once you start snipping away and getting surreal!

Cost: $10 Cash or CC/Debit only please

What to bring: Nothing! All is included!

Time: Saturday July 16, 10:30am-12:30pm

RSVP here or email brooke@hellourbanist.com.

memoir art journaling writing brooke gibbons charlotte art league workshop classComing Soon! DATES TBA

Coming in August! We are going to “write” our memoirs in a fun, humorous, and artful way. We will meet on a regular basis and use my supplies to supplement our memoir journals. Attendees will bring a dedicated journal to class to have as their memoir, along with ephemera, photos, letters, etc from home. I will supply prompts for each meeting to help us stay on track. Cost will be $10. We will meet on a regular basis so we can stay on track to completing our book.