I had the pleasure of doing a watercolor word art project for the Cabaret Event at UC Hastings College of Law last night. I have done workshops with large groups before, but I sometimes get a little nervous since there is a lot to consider. When doing workshops for up to 100 people, you need to watch your budget even more closely, create something that is easy to teach a lot of people at once and is just something that turns out really cool that they can take away.
We'll start with a few images from Niki Baker's project. Thanks to Niki of Foreignspell for getting me involved. She had a table set up for guests to stamp their own cards with her designs. Their were lots of rubber blocks and colors to choose from. Check out her awesome hand carved greeting cards and more!
Watercolor Word Art
Weeks ago, I came up with the idea of watercolor word art since New Year's had just passed and I always get super motivated in January. I don't really make resolutions myself, but I thought coming up with a word was a good starting point for the guests at this event. I precut nice quality watercolor paper in the shape so that it didn't just look like a hanging rectangle of paper.
- paper (precut into banner shapes)
- beads (I chose natural and colored wood beads)
- twine (I chose hemp twine)
My goals for participants:
- Experience watercolor painting lesson
- Positivity from the chosen word
- Make them feel like a kid again
- Relax, have fun and take something home that was memorable to make and use
Setup went fairly quickly. Some guests were a little afraid to create something from scratch. The rest that participated seemed to have a blast. Some started very sure of what they would make, others started out timid and ended up confidently brushing the paint on. I was amazed at their creativity in the project. I can only imagine how difficult law school is and how much they have to study. Many of the participants chose words that focused on being calm and relaxed or phrases that would help motivate them to pass the bar.
Some of my favorites that they came up with:
- Free Spirit
- Pass (the 1st time)
- Push Through
And some children came to the event too. They mostly wanted to put the sign on their bedroom doors. They came up with:
- Fun here
- Their name
Yes, some chose more than one word, but I don't make strict rules about artmaking. It was funny how a few asked me if it was okay to write more than one. They don't need my permission! I loved how enthusiastic everyone was. Here's are their finished products:
My favorite part was stringing up the beads for everyone. When I held their project out to them, many commented that they couldn't believe how good it looked. I really love seeing people create and be proud of their work.
I started my day by teaching two-year-olds at the art school I teach at. It was really interesting to work with children who experiment, explore and don't have a care about the end result, but more the process. It's really inspiring to watch them work. Adults tend to be more focused on the end result and perfection. I noticed many of the guests at the Cabaret event freed up and really enjoyed the process of making their hanging banners.
A note about UC Hastings: Everything about this event was fantastic. Everyone I interacted with from early communication with the program coordinators to the security guard at the front desk were very friendly and helpful. As I walked up to the second floor, they have original paintings and sculptures displayed (I always love finding art in unexpected places). The whole floor was decked out in lights and was festive with the Mardi Gras theme. When I arrived, the floor was filled with students eating dinner. I must note that I loved how diverse the student population was. It made an impression on me to see future lawyers coming from all backgrounds. A big thanks to the students, faculty and staff for being so helpful and appreciative of the activities.