Instrumental: Ten Tips for Creating Your Own Art Camp

Yesterday I shared the story of how I escaped to Art Camp. How would you like to create your own art camp? I’m sharing some tips to help you make that happen!

Ten Tips for Creating Your Own Art Camp

  1. Choose your fellow camper(s) wisely. It may be one, it may be two or three, but be quite certain your fellow campers are complementary and harmonious, can operate independently as well as together and all have a stake in completing a project or goal. Perhaps it is a deadline, an assignment or a tutorial, but have a personal purpose in mind.
  2. Share the load. Whether it is helping out at one person’s cottage with food expenses and doing dishes or sharing expenses evenly, make sure all are vested in both work and play. (If you’re lucky a camper will go above the call of duty and help paint your window trim!)
  3. Private time is fine. If one likes to walk, another swim, another do yoga practice and another just wants to read for a bit, that’s OK. We all need downtime, private time. In fact, for some of us, it’s essential.
  4. Document your time. Whether it is in photos, a blog post, a drawing or a journal entry, keep a record of the time together. It’s fun to look back and remember how your time together has evolved.
  5. Choose your location carefully, to fit your participants. Not everyone has a cottage available and one may have to rent a spot, whether for two or ten. Look for a place where nature is at hand, daily news is at a minimum, the environment is safe and there is ample work space and individual space for all. Whether you are in the mountains, on a lake or in the woods, it is important to feel safe.
  6. Consider road trips. You may be going to do art but if your time permits, consider a road trip, whether it is to wander the nearest town or visit a somewhat more distant site. Depending on your projects and state of mind, you may find inspiration where you least expect it.
  7. If you are a visual artist who works in a variety of media, pick one (or two, max!) to work with. Rather than hopscotch from mixed media to painting to a fiber craft, you will find that you are more likely to complete or make better headway if you focus your effort on one or two types of projects. And it makes packing a heck of a lot easier.
  8. No matter where you are, check the weather before you go! And don’t always believe it! There’s nothing worse than getting caught without a jacket during the one cold spot in a warm summer or being without shorts on an unexpectedly warm day. Yes, you can probably shop “in town” but who wants to? And don’t forget things like a swim suit, sunscreen, insect repellent or other items specific to your locale.
  9. Food allergies or special needs? Cover your bases and bring what you might need. It may not be easily available in the area where your camp is.
  10. Start small, work up! Kate and I started art camp as a weekend. It worked for us, we were compatible and we gradually added more time. There’s nothing worse than starting out with someone for a full week or two and finding out that as much as you like each other at home, too much togetherness could damage your friendship. And really, when it comes right down to it, enjoying the time with a friend or two is what it is all about.

Are you ready to create your own art camp?

About the Author: Jeanie Croope

Jeanie Croope bioAfter a long career in public broadcasting, Jeanie Croope is now doing all the things she loves — art, photography, writing, cooking, reading wonderful books and discovering a multitude of new creative passions. You can find her blogging about life and all the things she loves at The Marmelade Gypsy.

4 Replies to “Instrumental: Ten Tips for Creating Your Own Art Camp”

  1. Hello, great info for the artists. I am sure your information is helpful to anyone who will be setting up their own art camp. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jeanie – I am not planning an art camp, but I am going to start a every-other-week crafting get-together at my house, and some of these tips were very helpful. Enjoy your upcoming trip!

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