I relish the opportunity to engage an audience about a topic I'm passionate about. Whether for intimate gatherings or large keynotes, my excitement is the same.
Topics I'm most excited about include:
- Creativity, in the context of fear of failure (with a healthy dose of nudging to take risks). This topic, as I treat it (often in the context of Mighty Ugly), is especially suited to creative and crafty businesspeople; crafters, artists and makers; and educators.
- Writing in crafts, the importance of effective communication. Read: It's not only about the pretty pictures.
- Crochet, for knitters. That's right, I enjoy stepping boldly into a hostile environment. (I kid.) (Kind of.) I'm pleased as punch to have opened more than one mind to the beauty and potential of crochet, and I am eager to open more minds to it.
- Crochet, for crocheters and other crafters. Yup, I also enjoy preaching to the choir and to people who are generally interested in crafts or, more specifically, fibre arts.
Workshops & Teaching
Having worked as a solo creative entrepreneur and contractor in the crafts industry for nearly ten years, one of my favourite things to do is connect with other creative businesspeople. My favourite workshop topics include: embracing the terrifying aspects of running a solo creative business; pitching products or stories to blogs and magazines; crafting an effective web presence (how to communicate in writing online, using social media effectively); and publishing (exploring publishing options, including self-publishing, indie-publishing and big-press publishing; crafting a book proposal; the anatomy of a crafts book).
These creativity workshops come in two forms – hands-on and discussion-based. Hands-on workshops involve making an ugly creature and talking about the experience. Discussion-based workshops involve a heckuva lot more discussion, and no actual crafting. Mighty Ugly workshops are as suitable to a business conference or corporate retreat as they are to a gathering of artists or the general public. Each workshop is geared specifically to the audience, and can focus on team building, creative problem solving, brainstorming, combatting perfectionism, or just plain-old having fun.
Crochet for Knitters
Though I've written several books on crochet, teaching beginner crochet has always completely stressed me out. Teaching crochet to people who already know a yarn craft, however, is super fun. Plus, I'm also a knitter. And I know how awesome crochet is. My crochet-for-knitters classes build on the knowledge knitters already have to quickly and painlessly introduce the basics of crochet. Not with a focus on edgings and embellishments, but with a focus on building a true understanding of the craft and its qualities.
Photo credit Aura McKay
Watch my Creative Mornings Vancouver talk:
— Fiona McLean and Amanda Milne, Knit Social