Can you please tell us how the idea of the book was born?
I teach a Creative Journaling class, and Journal Sparks was born from the early days of developing curriculum for it. The class always buzzes with energy, curiosity, enthusiasm, and experimentation. By the end of the first semester, I remember knowing that I wanted to share my ideas in book form. I’m especially interested in how art informs writing and how writing informs art, and how both nurture people’s capacity to imagine.
How did you find time working on a book while being mom of 3?
My two older children are in elementary school, and my youngest goes to a wonderful, small program three days/week. I’m careful to settle right down to work as soon as I am in the work hour zone. A few tips that have helped maximize my in-studio work hours:
– I log out of social media and turn off news notifications
– I treat my work hours as if I am working for someone else. I take time off for school conferences, school events, but I try not to schedule fun outings with friends during this time.
– I make to-do lists, which help me to stay productive and on track. I’m an artist, so I get to add “make art” to my list. This makes me smile.
Where do you teach?
I teach creative expression classes to both children and adults out of my home studio/classroom in Amherst, MA, as well as in museums, libraries, and schools throughout the region and country. My curriculum is a nice, balanced blend of skill-based learning and creative encouragement. I’ve been honored to visit amazing venues such as the Boston Public Library, the Manhattan Children’s Museum, The Hollingworth Preschool at Teachers College, Columbia University, Boston Children’s Museum, the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as well as many schools, libraries and non-profit centers for education. There is workshop information on my website and I always announce classes via my newsletter and on Instagram. I’m always happy to answer questions, so please connect!
What do you cover in your workshops?
I offer three types of workshops:
I teach creative storytelling and art workshops based on my first book, Show Me a Story, to both educators and children (ages 5-12).
I teach monthly (and weekly) process based art classes to ages 1-4 in non-profit centers. I teach Creative Spark and Creative Journaling classes to adults, teens, and kids ages 5 and up.
I teach Creative Spark and Creative Journaling classes to adults, teens, and kids ages 5 and up. The Creative Spark for kids classes are processed based art class where children experiment with materials, color, textures, and technique. The imperfect, messy, beautiful process is center stage.
Emily, we wish you well and continuing success!