Learning in Public

IMG_0417This week I am listening in to The Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit. The first speaker was Lisa Congdon.  Her Line Drawing class at Creativebug really threw on lights for me.  It was the beginning of a near-daily art practice that has brought me so much joy and satisfaction.

Through Wednesday you can subscribe + see Lisa’s interview for free.  I transcribed a little of her interview.  Here she’s describing her life as a working artist, but much of what she says applies equally to the fine art of homeschooling:

Imagine the perfect day, and work backwards to get the nitty gritty action steps.

What are the stimuli that make me feel happy + productive?  Like my favorite tea or my favorite music or I make sure I’m in a comfortable place, working in good light, surrounded by a beautiful environment. I change things up.  I go to a cafe to work, I go to my studio, I work from home.

I also think it’s important to remember that there’s only so much you can accomplish in a day.  If all you’re doing is focusing on work, you are going to burnout.

I used to think that eventually, someday I’d wake up and figure out the perfect formula for my life.  I’d know exactly what to say yes to + what to say no to so I’d have the perfect amount of work with the perfect pay + the perfect amount of free time + I’d have plenty of time to finish my work + I’d never feel stressed out.  And I realized that that is just never going to happen.

Line DrawingWhen Danny Gregory interviewed Melissa Wiley, she mentioned Lisa Congdon’s year long exploration of hand-lettering.  Here was a skill that she wanted to improve, so she hand-lettered a quote every day for a year + shared it on her blog.  Melissa called it Learning in Public. A lovely aside: as I was clicking around, reading about Lisa Congdon, I came across her hand-lettering of Sister Corita’s Rules for Learning + Life…which of course reminded me of our trip to see Sister Corita’s hand-lettering work! 

This year, one of my Lenten practices is drawing every day.  For the first half of Lent I drew on the pamphlet that came with my Moleskine.  All of these drawings were done first in non-photo blue pencil, then inked with 05 Microns in a variety of colors.  The top photo shows my favorite drawing.  I colored a rainbow using Neocolors, then drew a Japanese fairy on another page.  The pressure on the Neocolors made this rainbow print!  I love peeking into other people’s sketchbooks, so I’m sharing these photos too…even though there seems to be a pterodactyl in that pelican’s nest–she really is merciful!

Wednesday with Words


  1. Nitty gritty action steps. I love it. Years ago I read ‘Wisdom and Eloquence’ and they had you think about a 12-K education, I love the idea of doing that daily.

    I’ve also been thinking of practicing calligraphy, this only adds fuel to the fire.

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