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  • Writer's picturejuicysart6

When I Say "Awesome"...

...I really do mean it. I mean I am experiencing awe. For me, awe is akin to joy, but on another level. I can feel awe in the wide smile on my face, the butterflies in my tummy, the goosebumps on my arms, the tingle on the back of my neck, and sometimes, the catch of my breath and a tear tumbling down my cheek. This intense feeling of delight, joy, glee...it's transcendent.


Right now, I am in awe of the abundant curiosity, creativity, and joy I am seeing in all of the artwork of my students in Fodder School 3. My month of lessons features making fodder for ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). Because ATCs are small (only 2.5 x 3.5 inches in dimension), they are either easy and quick to create, or for some, a tedious chore. But students are challenging themselves. If they are okay working small, they're creating piles of ATCs (I'm in this group because the process is so fun...and a little addicting...for me!), or they are making ATCs for the first time, working through a little discomfort, and creating something they love.



Creating fodder for ATCs is a process of engaging in smaller mark making. I find this process very meditative, and many students report the same. We add layers and detail to Kitchen Sink Fodder so that they are rich and complex, even when torn up into small bits for ATC collages. And once our collages are done, we add even more embellishment and detail to the cards so that they are truly magnificent little pieces of one-of-a-kind art.



But wait! There's more! In Fodder School 3 June, we are trading our ATCs! This month has been a creative wildfire of joy that has become awe for me! First, we made our fodder and shared the joy of what we made. Then, we shared our ATCs - little 2.5 x 3.5 layered artworks filled with joy. Then we created envelopes and prepared our cards for trading. We have been posting photos and sharing the joy of sending our art away to make someone else's day! And finally, we are starting to receive each other's ATC happy mail in the post! My heart is full, my face is sore from smiling, and the goosebumps won't stop!



I'm currently reading Dacher Keltner's book "Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life." In it, he discusses the concept of "collective effervescence." A term introduced by sociologist Emile Durkheim, collective effervescence is communal awe - a group experience of joy, shared attention, contagious feeling; a convergence that leads us to feel more connected, collaborative, and cooperative because we see ourselves as part of a greater, joyful whole. Right now, that's what I am feeling in Fodder School 3! I know it's an online class. I know we are not physically together. But seeing the joy in the photos of student work, experiencing it myself in making my ATCs to trade, and then witnessing all of the joy that surrounds the physical exchange of our art, has got to be a form of collective effervescence! I sincerely hope that everyone in the class is feeling this, too!



Thank you for reading my blog! As I end my month of teaching in Fodder School 3 and head out for a much anticipated family vacation, I wish you all the continued feeling of collective effervescence that is Fodder School!


Enrollment is always open, so if you haven't jumped in, it's not too late. You'll have "lifetime access" to all the lesson videos for all the time you'll need to follow and create with me and the eleven other wonderful teachers as we show you how to Make Fodder and Use Fodder. You'll be welcomed with open hearts into the student community the Facebook Group where everyone continues to work at their own pace. I hope to see you in class!




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Ophelia Chang
Ophelia Chang
Jun 26

This was breathtakingly beautiful and just what I needed on this previously ugly day. Thank you so much! I can't wait to see your lessons on FS3 and experience this joy. I am a little behind, but I'm working on a way to "skip to the best parts," in both life and fodder school. OK, here's my confession: by "a little behind," I mean, still working on enjoying the things that FS 1 has to offer. I bought FS3 for my future self, in which I only do the necessary parts and the fun parts. Isn't that enough? Please know that you've given me even more to which I will look forward with hope and optimism.

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juicysart6
juicysart6
Jun 26
Replying to

Thank you so much Ophelia for this touching comment! It means so much to me that this post brought you some joy and encouragement! Please don't hesitate to email me if you create some ATCs and trade with me in either FS1 or FS3 (I teach ATCs in both courses!). XO, Sarah

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