The only time I do Mighty Ugly with kids is at the University of British Columbia’s annual girls-only Maker Camp. It’s an incredible weeklong day camp run by Dr. David Ng, whom I met years and years ago through Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, and whom I’m so grateful to for inviting me to be a part of his awesome STEAM-focused camp.
It’s so different doing this exercise with tweens versus adults. Hopefully introducing them to deliberate ugly-making at this stage in their lives will help to head off some of the negative experiences we adults have with self-doubt and perfectionism.
[Kim] hosts these really cool sessions around the concept of making “ugly” things. This is a great mindset, especially in various professional fields where failure is actually a worthy experience, whether it’s to emphasize the importance of reiteration, or where new valuable perspectives are forged when a person goes against their natural inclination (to make things look “good”).
It was such a great group of kids, and I had almost nothing to do while they made their creatures. No prodding or prompting needed! Within a few minutes, they’d even invented a whole society for their creatures to belong to, complete with a supreme ruler, royal children, and a hierarchy of dignitaries and servants.
I love that there’s a girls-only Maker Camp in town, and that the organizer, UBC prof Dave Ng, includes crafty pursuits alongside the mechanical and coding projects.
A couple of months ago, I got a Twitter mention from the Chattanooga Public Library in Tennessee, about a Mighty Ugly workshop they were going to host for Valentine’s Day. And I nearly fell out of my chair. I mean, how perfect is that?! It’s totally perfect. So of course I told the librarian how excited I was, and I sent her a signed book to give away, and I recorded a wee video intro for the event.
Here’s the video (in which I explain why Mighty Ugly and Valentine’s Day are a perfect match, natch) and some tweets from the event that made my heart sing. (If you’re a librarian who thinks this idea is swell, or you’re just an average person like me and you’d like to ask your friendly neighbourhood librarian to host a Mighty Ugly event, check out this link with loads of info to help!)
I’m still finding my way around Periscope, and one of the things I love most about it is that people can comment as you record, so you can respond to what they say or ask. I just love it. Anyway, as I’ve been experimenting with the platform, I find I’ve been chatting with people more and more about daily making and Year of Making, so I did a scope highlighting five reasons to do a Year of Making. The video of my five reasons is below, as is the link to get the free worksheet I promised in the scope!
My online not-really-a-class: Daily Making Jumpstart. (That’s what you’ll find at the website I mention in the scope: camp.kimwerker.com. In a few weeks, I’ll launch my next class on there; sign up for my weekly email to be the first to find out about it!)
Several weeks ago, I got an email from the manager of an art-supply store here in Vancouver, asking if I’d like to teach a collage workshop in the store – specifically about how/where to start when you haven’t a clue. One of the things I love about Opus is that they have a very liberal view of whom they consider to be an artist.
Of course, I don’t really do collage. Like, ever.
But I want to. And I’ve wanted to for a long time.
So I considered the where-to-start thing to be totally in line with my goal of experimenting with collage, and I said yes. An enthusiastic yes to teaching this workshop.
Because though I know very little about collage, I am an expert in doing things I have no idea how to do. In fact, I have spent my whole life honing my not-knowing-where-to-start skills.
And very specifically, I’ve become truly ace at not knowing where to start and starting anyway.
So the way I see it, and the store manager seemed to agree, I’m totally qualified to teach this workshop. And teach it I will.
The first thing I had to do to start preparing for the workshop is to start starting. So I laid out my ideas for how to start a collage when you don’t know how or where to start, and then I started executing those ideas.
It’s tremendous fun. You should give it a shot!
Stay tuned for more workshop details. I’ll post about it on Instagram and Twitter (and also here on the blog, obviously) when registration opens!
Note: the very brief bits I wrote about collage in Make It Mighty Ugly were bits I really struggled to write, because I knew I was writing good advice, but I also knew it’s advice I’ve had a very hard time following. I think this workshop will finally be the death of those particular creative demons. Hallelujah!