In Summer 2022, as one of their Associate Artists, I was asked by Unison Colour, the British premier soft pastel manufacturer to host a 5 day challenge for their followers on facebook. Each day the challenge members would receive my 10 minute recorded tutorial taking them through the steps to painting a soft pastel picture called Take Me to the Beach. Each evening I would do a 30 minute live to answer any questions.
The actual date of the challenge was put back from August to November which meant that although I had longer to prepare, I also had longer to stress about it. For many years I had developed and delivered workshops on different topics so it was fairly straight forward for me to begin teaching art to beginners at local workshops and having spent many years speaking in public I had no fear in that area either. In fact, I found I loved doing it but it was the labour intensive, carting around all my equipment etc that I found a challenge. So taking my teaching on line made a lot of sense for me. I had already spent many hours on zoom with customers through my corporate job which I left in 2021. What really challenged me though, was getting the tech set up in order to be able to record my tutorials. There were so many moving parts I didn't understand. Ipad or camera? Where does it need to be? How does it stay in place? Lights, microphones, live streaming? How does all the equipment work together? The list was endless and of course it wasn't like just recording myself speaking to camera, it was far more complicated. All in all, I think I was held back by the tech for a couple of years but once I had committed to Unison that I would produce this tutorial for them there was no way back. I couldn't back out, although it did cross my mind fleetingly!!
I had some super support from Nina Squire, one of the other Associate Artists at Unison who had established all her online teaching through lock down so she had learned the hard way and was happy to share her knowledge. Eventually, I did it! Everything recorded and delivered and on the week of the challenge we had over 1000 people in the group. I was blown away. What was even more wonderful was the feedback I received and the eagerness of the people in the group to learn more from me. So I began to do live facebook tutorials. I learned how to edit my videos and so it began....
November 2022 found me kind of falling into an online business, something I had been dreaming of for years. I have been amazed at how intimate, friendly and supportive the online community is, I am now doing regular workshops, I have created a new website an in 2023 I plan to launch a membership with the aim of providing structured learning in a supportive environment. And do you know what? I am absolutely loving it!