Featured Course

Creative Sketchbooks, Journals and Altered Books

Ever feel like life just keeps throwing things your way? Illustrator, alumna and ArtCenter for Teens instructor Mary Yanish (BFA 78 Illustration) knows the feeling. In fact she’s structured an entire summer workshop around it.

In Creative Sketchbooks, Journals and Altered Books, students spend a week creating wildly expressive and personal works via a variety of mixed-media techniques, including drawing, painting, printmaking and collage.

“The workshop invites the students to work with materials that they might not have normally chosen,” says Yanish, whose professional clients have included Mattel, Los Angeles Magazine and Teleflora. “Figuring out what to do with those materials and making them their own is what stimulates their creativity.”

Those materials can include old books and magazines, cutouts from maps, tickets and other items not normally considered art supplies. “I ask them to bring in their own ephemera and then show them how to alter them,” says Yanish, who teaches them how to scratch, cut, layer in backgrounds and make image transfers. “I also encourage them to bring in prints of personal photos.”

The final projects vary as greatly as the students who make them, ranging from abstract to illustrative. But the end results are really not the point.

“This class as much about the process of making art as the finished work,” says Yanish. “Whether you’re an absolute beginner with no skills or an experienced artist wanting to try something different, sketchbooks, journals and altered books are perfect mediums for experimentation and personal exploration.”