I thought it is time to explain what the Workshop Series is all about. I was on flight from Cuba to Mexico, around April 2019, where I thought that a reset of what Olij Studio is offering would be in order. In the past since I started it in 2006, Olij Studio is a one woman show of art workshops, private classes, short courses, and some random commission works here and there. Most of my time was spent growing the skills and techniques offered to a point short courses like Fashion Illustration branches into Fashion Illustration I and II. And Drawing Using the Right Brain that was loosely based on Betty Edward's seminal book Drawing On Your Right Brain became so popular, all the classes was fully booked.
While these drawing workshops mainly introduces incrementally a fun but serious ways to approach basic technique of drawing and fashion illustration, and how to use the art supplies, my focus has always been how a student process and engage with learning. Learning how to learn is always a fascinating subject for me, as I too always seek to understand more about myself when I am teaching.
Every class for the last 7 years, and the 3000 plus students I've ever engaged with in those classes always taught me something. My biggest take away after leaving Singapore to travel in 2018 was that the classes became too repetitive. I tipped over to the wrong side of healthy, and I wasn't very good at recharging my energy, and erode the joy and enthusiasm that used to be there. When I ended up in a car crash at the start of 2018, I knew I needed to stop and re-evaluate everything, maybe a hard reset to really look at how I spend my time, and how I express my creative energy became that exhausting.
Fast forward 14 months later, it is now September 2019, and I am preparing to launch a few new classes, some have been on a soft launch stage, especially the one using techniques of mindfulness. I feel pretty good about it, but I also realise I may need some help and the doing it solo might not cut it anymore. There's only so much energy and time. The ambition to use creativity and art to change the world isn't the same size as the capacity to make it a reality.
The Workshop series so far is a group of short and one-off workshops where you are guided into a more mindful space, and then lead to learning something new. The first part of this guiding is important for me, because I always believe that creating the best possible condition for someone to learn, a space that's safe, supportive, encouraging and curious is a big first step into their learning about themselves, to be present with your noisy brain, and to observe your mind, long enough to create space, and to make better decisions and live a more meaningful life.
What does creativity have to do with self awareness, and what does that have to do with leading a more meaningful life?
As the English Psychotherapist Donald Winnicott once wrote 'it is only in being creative that the individual finds the self".
The Workshop Series I hope will effectively address self awareness as key in changing a life that's lived in unexamined ingrained habits that may or may not fulfill or serve. And for anyone who wants to use creativity and mindfulness together as a way to interrupt unconscious habits, that they can turn here and come join the workshops.
Here is the alternative space where you can challenge your naysayers, your doubts and your fears, and use art and drawing as a way to be more present, be in focused relaxation and make better choices. Every new project needs a community around it. so it can grow together, you can contribute, ask questions and share your creativity with others like you in OStudio Artist Community
I hope this is giving clarity and I hope to excite you with this new project.
Looking forward to seeing you here and there. Online and offline.