Summer classes on sketchbooks, indie sewing, design, and typography

This summer, I'll finally get to teach a class I've long been considering: Binding sketchbooks and finding creative ways to fill them.

A lot of my people look at my books and worry that they're two pristine to write in, but in this class I'll show how I use my sketchbooks and urge my students to put theirs into action. It'll be a great way to teach bookbinding while jumpstarting creativity at the same time. I get to teach the class twice, first with teens and then with adults, and I'll be curious as to how each group gets engaged.

The class is one of many I'll be teaching through the Watkins College Community Education department. I'm also branching out beyond bookbinding to teach an indie sewing class for kids as well as my ever-popular graphic design class for adults.

To register, please call the Watkins Community Education office at (615) 383-4848 or register online. And to view the complete summer course catalog — for classes like paper marbling, screen printing, and creative writing — click here.

And don't forget that I'm also teaching the graphic design classes for the Pre-College Program for high school juniors and seniors. Watkins College is still accepting applications on a rolling basis for this exciting art experience, and I encourage all creative teens to apply.

Handmade sketchbooks in Nashville
Sketchbooking: Bind and Fill 
When: Mondays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; July 8 - 29 (4 weeks)
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $100, plus $30 materials fee
Description: Learn to bind your own sketchbook, and then discover creative ways to fill it both inside and out. The class will begin with an introduction to the world of handmade books as each student creates his or her own sketchbook. Through a series of prompts and activities, students will transform their blank books into a work of art using pencil, ink, paint, found objects and collage. Students will leave the class with a handbound sketchbook filled with their own drawings and observations, and the inspiration to continue exploring and documenting the world. No previous bookbinding or drawing experience is required. 

Graphic design class Watkins College Community Education
Introduction to Graphic Design and Typography
When: Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; June 4 – July 30 (9 weeks)
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $205, plus $20 lab fee
Description: Learn the fundamentals of graphic design including composition, the grid system and color theory. In particular, the course will cover the expressive and conceptual use of type in design. You’ll become familiar with Adobe InDesign, an essential program for designers, while working on projects such as calendars, posters and business cards. Through projects, hands-on use of the software program and critiques, participants will leave with a thorough understanding of design and how they can incorporate it into their own lives. Basic experience using Mac computers is required, and students should bring their own external storage device.


DIY Sketchbooks
When: June 19 and 20; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Ages: 14 years old and up
Cost: $150
Description: The sketchbook is an important part of the creative process for an artist. Work with a professional bookbinder to create your own and learn ways to put it to use in everyday life with drawings, text, photographs, collages, and more. You’ll leave with a durable, functional, portable sketchbook and inspiration for ways to fill it.

Indie Sewing: Plush Creatures and More
When: June 24 – 28; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Ages: 11 years old and up
Cost: $325
Description: Girls and boys alike will have a blast creating stuffed animals, monsters, robots, and other imaginative creatures in this indie-sewing camp. From plush toys to functional bags, campers will learn the process of hand-sewing through sketching ideas, then making a pattern, choosing colors and fabrics, stitching, and embellishing.