How many of you have either wanted to or have demoed art materials before?
I love demoing/teaching about art supplies and all the different ways one can use them. There is nothing like showing and sharing what you know and seeing that light in someone’s eyes when they realize all the possibilities. Believe me when I tell you – what we can accomplish with art is endless and there is always something new to learn and explore.
I have done a lot of demos and sometimes I have just “winged” it and sometimes I have planned it down to the very last detail. I want to talk to today about planning, what strategies I use when preparing to share my knowledge and teach fun projects or just basic techniques. Today I want to share with you how I plan and execute a successful demo using Encaustic Paint, Mixed Media supplies and my favorite thing – The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils.
There are a few things to take into consideration when planning a demo; who will be there, what could I possibly need, what can go wrong, what can go right, how can I be sure to have everything I need for what I want to demo and last but not least – where will I be during this demo.
Last weekend I was asked to give a 45 minute lecture on encaustic painting and then demo for the rest of the day. I thought about what I would bring, what I would need for a successful demo and lecture. I think I may have brought too much, but I felt better to be over prepared than underprepared. One of my favorite things to use in encaustic painting are The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils. They are so versatile and easy to use, easy to clean up and they are great for demoing from beginners all the way to professionals. There is nothing like using a stencil and seeing such immediate and awesome results with stencils.
Ok, so I thought about what I needed to bring – Next I needed to think about who was going to be attending the lecture and the demo. I asked the manager/owner of the store who he thought would be attending and he said all new encaustic students will be attending the lecture and he wasn’t sure about the demo. It is always best to teach to the lowest common denominator. I talked about the basics; how to set up your studio and safety. Next, I talked about all the fun things one gets to use in the studio. There is so many fun things one can use in a studio such as heated pallets, colored bees wax, professional and found tools, blow torches and practically anything else you can think of.
After my lecture I went out into the store to demo for the rest of the day. It was great fun! I was able to work on a bunch of different projects all at one time. I talked about the projects along with teaching all types of techniques. It was like a bunch of mini classes all during the day. I was prepared for all types of questions and there were some really good ones. It’s so exciting to watch people learn and understand what you teaching. It was great fun!
The last thing I wanted to do to prepare for this demo was to make a list of all the different things people could do with encaustics. I made a list of all the different projects and brought more than enough material for each project along with extra substrates incase something got messed up. I have found that it is important to go with the flow and not worry too much, it seems there will always be something you weren’t prepared for. That day it was electricity. The extension chord didn’t work – no big deal – just finish setting up while it got fixed. I sometimes forget that people attending are flexible and will wait.
I was prepared for all types of questions and there were some really good ones. It’s so exciting to watch people learn and understand what you teaching. I guess the most important thing to remember about demoing: HAVE FUN!
Here is a picture of me having fun!