Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TOD - workshop observations

This is a personal opinion. I am sure that some people will be insulted by this, will object to this, and will send me negative comments. It's okay to tell me what you think. I will just reject your comment for the blog if it totally pisses me off. No one will see it but me. If it is not that bad, then I will approve the comment. You are just as entitled to your opinion as I am. Let me tell you though that I am not thinking of any ONE workshop. I am speaking in general. If you think that I am talking about you, then you might want to think about why you are thinking that.

Have you ever been to a workshop where you were given samples or were given small pieces of whatever material to just try out whatever the workshop was about? I am not talking about process classes where you turn out beautiful sheets of paper or beautifully dyed fabric. I am not talking about workshops where you turn out a finished product from the technique(s) the instructor does in that workshop. I am talking about someone giving you instructions and showing you the technique on a 2x3 piece of mat board or give you the 1x3 piece of card stock so you can try the technique or material yourself. How about being given 3x5 index cards?

How wildly unsatisfying is that? ! It might be different if I did the technique as a full sheet or tried it on something that I could finish at home and it could become part of an actual art piece. If someone is going to teach a process or technique class, then do something that will lead to a finished product. Don't show me a beautiful piece from that technique or process unless I am going to do something like it! Well, I have taken a few of those workshops and will try never to do so again. I don't feel like I have gotten my money's worth. I wonder why the instructor is not doing more. Is it cost? Do I just look like I wouldn't notice the difference? Don't give me a bunch of little samples to take home. I end up throwing them away because they are too small to really show me how the technique or process looks. I want to see it on a larger scale. I want to be able to do it myself so I can see what it can really do. That means bigger than an inchie or an index card.

That was what I was thinking about while I was getting samples ready for my workshop tomorrow night.

7 comments:

evelyn (ehoward at si dot rr dot com said...

I totally agree with you. If I am paying for a workshop to learn a new technique or two, and I'm not going home with a finished project, then I definitely want something big enough to use in one of my own projects later on. It's also a memory trigger to help me through the process next time around. Workshops are expensive ... you should be able to go home with something "usable".

Rosie said...

That sounds outrageous to me... and you actually have to pay for the workshops that only give you a tiny sample??? Madness!
I'm with you. When we do workshops here, (speaking as a volunteer), we try to make sure that every child/adult goes away with a completed piece of work or at least enough 'stuff' to finish it off with!

Kathy said...

You are SO right, Belinda. I attended a workshop last year where the instructor spent half the class time trying to remember how to do one of her own techniques. We came out of there with nothing except a package of 12x12 papers. What a waste of time and money. I would like to praise those instructors who give generously of their time and materials to make sure everyone comes out with a finished (or very nearly finished) project, and allows the class to take home leftover embellishments,etc.

jerseytjej said...

You are SO on point on this. Not because it is your blog, but because it happened to me. When I first moved to Europe I wanted to attend a "workshop" back in the US. I saved for a year to fly back, including hotel and other incidentals and left with a page that was literally half a sheet of printer paper. I was SÒ turned off, I swore off workshops. It was bad enough that I travelled 3900 miles and stayed in a hotel...it was the general insult of the event. Gina

Doreen K. said...

I so agree with you. If it is not a finished project class, and it's just techniques then I like to make big enough samples to use for making something later and detailed instructions. Because I am generally so overwhelmed in class I don't remember what I did.

JeanM said...

I went to my first workshop with 3 instructors. I was NOT impressed. I learned more at their convention booth then I did in class. I ran into others from the workshop and they too were majorly disapointed. One workshop spent the time teaching dye verses pigment inks not technique. Sad I probably will never take another workshop from them again. We left with the small samples they told us HOW to do. Considering the instructors the workshops should have been much better.

QueenPam said...

I am preparing to propose teaching a class and this gives me something to think about. What else don't you like about some of the workshops you have taken. Thanks. QP