Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NAEA CDs and Kits

I just finished updating the JFJ website, and I have included the CDs from our presentations at the NAEA Convention in our Shop. Available for purchase for $13.00 each (includes shipping and handling). So if you missed picking one up, go to the Shop, or click the Buy Now buttons below.

The Journey to Choice
This CD includes a wealth of information and images making it valuable to any art educator who wants to move away from cookie cutter projects and into more authentic means of artmaking for students.
The CD includes:
  • The PowerPoint and Notes from the presentation
  • Assessment information
  • Nearly 40 instructional menus including clay, paint, collage and more
  • 100 images of student work
  • Photos of Eric's classroom and center set-up
  • Several sample lesson plans
  • A free journal tutorial and a free print out of prints and cards
includes S&H

Visual Journals 101
This CD includes a wealth of information and images about the visual journal making it valuable to not just art educators, but to anyone interested in the visual journal. 
The CD includes:
  • The PowerPoint and Notes from the presentation
  • Assessment information
  • Assignments and Prompts
  • 100 images of Eric and David's journal pages
  • 100 images of student pages (high school)
  • Resources and How-tos
  • Workshop Packet
  • A free journal tutorial and a free print out of prints and cards
includes S&H

I have also included two journal kits that we have used in recent workshops including our Pre-Convention Workshops for NAEA. For more information, go to the Shop.

Journal Kit 1 - $37.00, includes shipping and handling.

includes S&H

Journal Kit 2 - $32.00, includes shipping and handling

includes S&H

Monday, March 30, 2015

NAEA in New Orleans

We just got back from six days in New Orleans for the National Art Education Association's annual convention. Over 5000 art educators from around the world ascended on the Big Easy, and it was a truly amazing time.

We arrived on Tuesday, a couple of days before the official start of the convention, and enjoyed walking around and taking in the some of the sights. Of course, we stopped in at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter for coffee and beignets. Well, Dave had the beignets since they're not vegan.

We kicked things off on Wednesday with two Pre-Convention Workshops on the Visual Journal, and we had about 30 participants in each session. We shared a variety of ideas for working in the journal, and there was just a positive buzz in the air.

The official start of the Convention was Wednesday, and it was awesome running into so many friends, like Melissa Ledo above, and colleagues. Dave said that it was like being at a family reunion except you like everyone. We also rocked two presentations that day. The first focused on my journey to teaching a choice based curriculum, and the room was packed (see the photo below). There was such a crazy amount of positive energy flowing in that space, and I was completely floored by the sheer number of people who came in. People were standing in the back and sitting on the floor. Unfortunately, I ran completely out of the CDs that I made with lots of information and resources about Choice Based, but I will be making them available for anyone who missed out. Stay tuned.

photo by Michelle Harrell
Later in the day on Wednesday we had a panel discussion on the visual journal and how it can be used in the classroom at any level - elementary through university. Our friends Sam Peck and Michael Bell joined us for the talk as we all shared what we did and how we engaged our students.

Dave and I did another packed presentation on Friday on the visual journals, and we think that we got a lot of educators excited about the journal for themselves and for their students. Again, we ran out of CDs for the session, so we will be making them available for purchase on our website and blog.

On Saturday, we got to meet and talk to a lot of wonderful people as we signed books at Chester Book Co. in the exhibitors hall. We are very grateful to Alan and Heather for giving us the opportunity to promote our books.

Dave and Sam also got to share about their collaborative journal project tet[R]ad on Saturday, and they had a bunch of excited people flocking to hall in order to be a part of the project. And finally, Dave presented with a colleague from Australia, Lexi Cutcher, about their international collaboration they organized for themselves and their university students.

It was a crazy busy convention, but well worth it. The energy of the location, the people, the conversations was all extremely positive and motivating. It is a true indicator that we are moving in the right direction. Thank you to everyone who came out to one of our workshops or presentations, who stopped by Chester Book Co. to buy a book, and who stopped and chatted. We are grateful for the support.

Though the convention was fantastic and it was wonderful being surrounded by so many dedicated art educators, it was good to get back home to my wonderful wife and my snuggly animals. I am always appreciative of my wife's support that allows me the opportunity to travel and share, and I am always in awe of the comfort and love my animals bring. It's always nice to travel, but it's always nicer to get back home.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The JFJ Gear Up for NAEA

We're gearing up for the National Art Education Association's annual convention in New Orleans next week. We're excited to be presenting something each day, so make certain to check out one of our sessions if you're an art educator and will be attending.

We fly in on Tuesday so we can kick the Convention off with two Pre-Convention Workshops on Wednesday, and we present at least one thing each day. And there might be a book signing in there as well. We're also going to have artwork, books, stickers, and CDs for sale!

It's going to be a busy four days, but we are excited!

Here's what's going on, so mark your calendar:

Wednesday, March 25 - Pre-Convention Hands-on Workshop - Hilton Hotel/Elmwood/3rd Floor
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Initiating a Successful Visual Journal Practice

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Visual Journals: Developing Rich Layers of Meaning

Thursday, March 26 - Presentation - Convention Center Room 223
12:00 PM - 12:50 PM - The Journey to Choice and Authentic Artmaking in the Art Room

Thursday, March 26 - Panel Presentation - Convention Center Room 222
4:00 PM - 4:50 PM - The Visual Journal: Hinge Pin to a Successful Art Curriculum with Michael Bell and Samuel Peck

Friday, March 27 - Presentation - Convention Center Room 206
11:00 AM - 11:50 AM - Visual Journals 101: A Crash Course

Saturday, March 28 - Presentation - Convention Center Room 222
2:00 PM - 2:25 - Building a Creative Community Through Arts-Based Collaborations with Samuel Peck

Saturday, March 28 - Presentation - Convention Center Room 217
5:30 PM - 5:55 PM - International Collaborations: Preparing Visual Arts Teachers Through Shared Art Making with Lexi Cutcher

We can't wait to rock New Orleans!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

And the Winner Is...

First of all, thank you to everyone who entered the JFJ's first materials give away! I loved reading about all of your favorite materials, and I definitely need to try out some of the ones I'm not familiar with.

I went old-school with how I picked a winner. I typed up a list of everyone who entered and printed it out. I cut the list up into strips, and I folded them up and put them in a bowl.

I swirled the names up for a couple of minutes, and drew out one name. And the winner is. . .

Dana of the blog The Daily Dose!!!! Congratulations!

Dana wins the Journal Fodder Junkies basic supplies kit, and it contains some great materials for any journaling practice. Dana please email me, or private message us through the JFJ Facebook page with your contact information, and I'll get you prize shipped out as soon as possible.

Congratulations, Dana!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The JFJ Giveaway!

We had some kits left over from some recent workshops, so we thought that we would give one of them away before putting the rest up for sale. This will be the first of many giveaways to come!

We are often asked what kinds and what brands of materials we like to use, so we put together a basic kit. Now's your chance to enter and win some of our favorite journaling supplies.

The kit includes:

  • a 9.5"x7.5" mesh zipper bag
  • a 12 color set of Prismacolor watercolor pencils
  • an 8 color set of Prang watercolor paint
  • a jumbo UHU glue stick
  • a yellow Crayola marker
  • a black uni-ball Vision pen
  • a silver metallic Sharpie
  • an official JFJ sticker
That's $45 worth of merchandise! And we're giving it away - FREE!

How it works:
We're going to pick one lucky winner from the comments to this blog post, and only this post. To be eligible to win, you must leave a comment below describing your favorite material to use in your art or your journal. You have until midnight Eastern Time on Friday, March 13 to enter. We will randomly select and announce a winner from all eligible entrants on Saturday, March 14. The winner will then have until Wednesday, March 18, to email us with their shipping information, and we'll ship out your prize - FREE! All you have to do is leave a comment. That's it!

Don't need the materials? Enter anyway! The kit makes an awesome gift for a friend or relative.

Enter now by leaving your comment below. You have nothing to lose, and make certain to share with all of your artistic accomplices!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Heroes - Dan Eldon

Dan Eldon was born to an American mother and a British father in 1970, and at an early age he and his family moved to Kenya. Despite his extensive travels, he always considered Kenya home. As a child, Dan received his first camera and developed an interest in photography that he would pursue for the rest of his life becoming one of the youngest photographers for the international news agency, Reuters in 1992.

Moved by stories of famine in Somalia, he travelled to the country to see for himself. He stayed in Somalia as the civil war raged on documenting the strife and the UN’s attempts to manage the situation. His photos find their way into Time and Newsweek. Dan’s life was unfortunately cut short at the age of 22 by a mob that turned on him as he was trying to cover a bombing in Mogadishu.

Dan is probably best known for his 17 volumes of visual journals that he began keeping around the age of 15. He filled his journals with newspaper clippings, photos, labels, writing, and much, much more. He poured his life into the bulging books as he cut, glued, painted, and drew. He included pictures of his family and friends and evidence of the places he travelled and visited. Dan’s mom, Kathy shared a wide selection on Dan’s journal pages in 1997 in the book The Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon published by Chronicle Books. It quickly became a great source of inspiration for many, many people who were moved by Dan’s story and his rich journal pages.

These layered pages hint at a life filled with passion and adventure, and Dan documented the people he met, the places he went, and events that took place in his life. As a photographer, his journals are filled with many of his own photos, contact sheets, and negatives which he often cut apart reimagining the pictures and the stories of his life.

Dan’s journals and his life have inspired me greatly as I have tried to record my life and to think about the kind of legacy that I will leave behind. In many ways, Dan’s short, yet inspiring life makes me wonder about what I have done in my life and the impact that I have had on the world. Dan seemed to have lived life to the fullest, and his journals reflect that packed life in rich, luminous detail. I am constantly amazed that Dan filled 17 volumes of journals in about 7 years. He put so much time and energy not only into his journals, but into the art of living.

It is because of Dan Eldon that I continue to work in my visual journals and that I continue sharing with anyone willing to pay attention. In continuing Dan’s legacy, I hope that in some small way, I am changing and challenging the world.

For more information about Dan, his life, his activism, his art, and his journals, visit www.daneldon.org.

Monday, February 23, 2015


David and I spent the last couple of months working on our part of the 21 SECRETS project for this spring. We are joined by twenty other talented journal artists in this ebook and online workshop by Dirty Footprints Studio. Over the coming weeks we will be giving away two memberships to this awesome venture. Stay tuned.

Our Workshop:
Rethinking the Page: Creating Interaction and Connection Within Your Journal

The Journal Fodder Junkies guide you through an open process that will transform your mundane journal pages into surprising, interacting, and secret filled spaces. Using an arsenal of prompts, techniques, and ideas, David and Eric take you on a journey that will have you delving and discovering, painting and writing, cutting and ripping as you transform the static surface of your pages into dynamic places filled with cut outs, fold outs, flaps, pockets, hidden spaces and secret passages. This workshop focuses on the use of prompts to guide you through a creative process that will have you engaging and transforming your pages in a whole new way.

On April 1, 2015, the 21 SECRETS ebook will be released, but pre-orders are being taken now, and you can even save if you act fast. Order now, and you will receive the following in the spring:

A downloadable 150+ page eBook that contains 21 art journaling workshops packed with videos, full color photos, printouts and instructional content.

Unlimited access to all the workshops at once! You pick and choose which ones you do when and go at your own pace!  There is no time limit--these workshops are yours to keep!

Membership to the private 21 SECRETS Facebook community where you can share your art work, be inspired by others, and receive warm, supportive feedback from your peers.  In the 21 SECRETS community we celebrate everyone's unique expression while supporting each creative spirit to become more confidant as an artist.

The opportunity to learn a variety of art journaling approaches, techniques, and processes that will energize your creativity and touch your Soul while in the comfort of your own home or studio!

To find out more about the artists, their workshops, and general information about 21 Secrets, click here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Art Unraveled 2015

If you missed our latest workshop, don't fret. We have plenty of things coming up in the year, and we keep adding more. Here's one of those things.

Although registration has been opened for a while, we are pleased to announce that we will be returning to Phoenix for Art Unraveled this August, and we're looking forward to teaching three new classes, one of which is a night class - our first time doing a night class at AU.

Sunday, August 9, 2015 - 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Building Layers: A Mixed Media Approach

Monday, August 10, 2015 - 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
The Journal Stripped Bare

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Cultivating Creativity: Working with Spontaneity and Wonder

We're planning on participating in the Shopping Extravaganza and Saturday Evening Gala as well. Make your plans now, and we hope to see you in Phoenix.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The JFJ Invade Galax, VA and the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts

Dave and I spent a journal filled weekend in Galax, VA teaching workshops at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts. The school calls a renovated bank its home in downtown Galax and is a great space for a workshop. The original vault door was very cool.

We were put up for the weekend at Mary Guynn's cabin, and we checked out Creek Bottom Brewing for pizza and good craft beer. Being originally from the Pittsburgh area, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the brewery carried Iron City Beer.

When not teaching at the school or hanging out at the brewery, we enjoyed the fireplace at the cabin as well as playing cribbage and enjoying a beverage or two.

But the highlight definitely was the enthusiasm and energy of the ladies in the classes. We had a great time sharing our ideas with Penney, Kathy, Glenise, Deborah, Debbie, and Kavi. On Saturday, we shared a lot of ideas for working in the journal, and on Sunday, we shared ideas for creating interaction among the pages. The ladies dove into painting, writing, drawing, cutting, and gluing, and was so nice to see them so open to exploring and experimenting.

We thoroughly enjoyed the the weekend, and we are hoping that it will turn into an annual event. We would go back in a heartbeat. Thank you to Penney Klaproth for organizing the weekend, to Mary Guynn for the hospitality of her cabin, and to Debbie, Deborah, Kathy, Glenise, and Kavi for spending time with us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Staying Engaged

I have been staying engaged with my journal a lot more recently, and I have been pretty good about working in it nearly everyday, even if it's just a few minutes before bed. That engagement has carried over into other areas as well, and I have been posting more here on the blog as well as on the JFJ Facebook page. I have also been more fully engaged with life in general.

This has all been an attempt to stay more connected to myself, to my art, and to others, and I am sustaining the momentum.