We got back late yesterday from New York where we presented a few sold out workshops and one extremely crowded talk for the National Art Education Association's annual convention. It was an exciting week, with lots of connections, journaling, and a bit of mischief.
We took the train up from Baltimore on Tuesday, and began the convention with a sold out, full-day journaling workshop. It's always great presenting the visual journal to a group of eager art educators, and there was a lot of creative energy flowing the whole day.
I am always astounded by what participants in these workshops do, whether they're art teachers, professional artists, or creative hobbyists. I love connecting with them, and sharing my passion.
But the journaling wasn't confined to just the workshop spaces, and at any given time we could be found working in our big books or our pocket sketchbooks, both at the convention hotel and out for dinner and drinks.
This convention was pretty special, too, because we were able to connect with some vendors, who graciously donated some awesome materials for our participants. A special thank you goes to Nasco Arts and Crafts who not only supplied us with paint and glue sticks, but also arranged for watercolor pencils and markers from Jolly Austria and brushes from Royal & Langnickel. Another special thank you goes out to Canson who supplied small sketchbooks for our collaborative journal workshop, tet[R]ad - Draw and Play Here. The teachers were so excited to walk out with these materials.
Of course there was time for adventures, silliness, and a little mischief. David met a new friend out and about on the streets of NYC, and even bed time was an adventure with roommates like Sam.
But for me the best moment was when we filled our talk, Confronting the "One and Done" Mentality to beyond capacity. Now we weren't the only presenters to do this. Many of the the rooms were on the tiny side, and there were over 7000 attendees at the convention. But filling a 200 seat room with around 350 people was pretty awesome, and there were many people standing out the door trying to hear our talk. It was a great feeling to have the support of so many!
If you were one of the unfortunate ones who stood at the door, or wanted to attend, but just couldn't because it was too full, then please see our website for a free download of the PowerPoint and notes.
We are grateful to everyone who came out, sat in a cramped room, and wanted to hear what we had to say.
Even on our last day in the city and on our way home on the train, we found time to journal, doodle and draw.
Thank you to the NAEA for accepting our proposals to present, to the vendors who donated materials for us to share, and mostly to everyone who attended a session, who talked with us in the in-between spaces, and who shared their passion, enthusiasm, and creative energy with us. It is that connection that keeps us doing these things.