Blog: creative jumpstart

Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 2 – Online Workshop Bundle

Today I’m happy to announce that Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 2 is now on sale! This is the second bundle of mixed media lessons by some of our amazing CJS artist teachers, this bundle includes videos from Creative JumpStart 2016.

For just $9.99 you will receive access to download links for 12 inspiring Creative JumpStart lessons from 2016. Here are the stellar teachers and lessons in this bundle:

  • Marsha Valk – CJS16 Picasso – Cardboard Wall Installation
  • Mystele Kirkeeng – CJS16 Kahlo – Stucco Panel Portrait
  • Rae Missigman – CJS16 Matisse – Colorful Art Journal Blooms
  • Andrea Gomoll – CJS16 Kahlo – Watercolor Floral Portrait
  • Natalya Khorover (Aikens) – CJS16 Kiefer – Abstract Stitched Canvas
  • Nathalie Kalbach – CJS16 Kiefer – Texture Exploration on Canvas
  • Birgit Koopsen – CJS16 Basquiat – Heart vs. Head Portrait
  • Julie Fei-Fan Balzer – CJS16 Matisse – Watercolor Stick Portrait of a Lady
  • Michelle Ward – CJS16 Matisse – Stencils and Spray Paint
  • Catherine Scanlon – CJS16 Picasso – Floral Painting Inspired by Words
  • Jane LaFazio – CJS16 Kahlo – Watercolor Flowers Collage
  • Jodi Ohl – CJS16 Basquiat – Out of Your Head and On to The Canvas

Sign up HERE today for a nice bundle of technique and project lessons from the Creative JumpStart archive!

And if you haven’t yet, you may still sign up for Best of CJS Vol.1 with videos from 2014 and 2015. Stay tuned for more Best of CJS video bundles and enjoy Jumping with us again :)

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Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 1 – Online Workshop Bundle

I’m happy to announce today that Best of Creative JumpStart Vol. 1 is now on sale! This is a bundle of mixed media lessons by some of our amazing CJS artist teachers from Creative JumpStart 2014 and 2015.

For just $9.99 you will receive access to download links for 11 inspiring Creative JumpStart lessons from 2014 and 2015. Here are the teachers and lessons in this bundle:

  • Anna Dabrowska (Finnabair) – CJS2014 Teaspoon assemblage
  • Catherine Scanlon – CJS2014 Monoprinted art journal
  • Pam Carriker – CJS2014 Stenciling techniques
  • Diana Trout – CJS2015 Painted landscape
  • Jimmy Leslie – CJS2015 Mixed media collage techniques
  • Marsha Valk – CJS2015 Painted cardboard panels
  • Natalya Khorover (Aikens) – CJS2015 Dryer sheet photo canvas
  • Jodi Ohl – CJS2015 Mixed media panel
  • Ronda Palazzari – CJS2015 Art journal cover
  • Joe Rotella – CJS2015 Acrylic skin decor
  • Julie Fei-Fan Balzer – CJS2015 Hand cut stencils

Sign up HERE today for a nice bundle of technique and project lessons from the Creative JumpStart archive!

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Jumping with… Mary Beth Shaw Part 2 – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Mary Beth Shaw. I have known Mary Beth for years and she is also the amazing woman behind StencilGirl Products. In this interview Mary Beth talks about her CJS lesson and the fun you can have from “making something out of nothing” and getting insight from the thought process behind creating an artwork. Mary Beth also discusses her new live video projects, her focus on self care during these difficult times, and the power of technology and creativity to help us maintain social connections and keep us engaged.


I hope you join me later today at 12noon EST for a live Kaffeeklatsch Get Together chat on Facebook! It will be fun to check in with you this week :)

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Jumping with… a Creative JumpStart Student! Interview

So happy to share with you today a special interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 students: Christine Conley! I wanted to interview Christine because her experience with the online workshop was very special and super inspiring: she completed every single lesson (one each day in January as the workshop was first coming out) and posted her work  on her Instagram for everyone to see and enjoy.

I was so impressed with her dedication to creating that I knew I wanted to learn a bit more about Christine. Here is a little interview I sent her and some of her gorgeous CJS inspired artwork too.


1. What is your name and where are you right now? Christine Conley Monroe, North Carolina

2. How did you learn about Creative JumpStart and what prompted you to Jump? I learned about Creative Jumpstart from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog and it sounded wonderful so I signed up immediately during the discount period.

3. How many of the 31 lessons have you tried? I completed all 31 lessons and loved them all!

4. What was it about CJS that motivated you each day to create? The lessons were very well done, by highly engaging artists. I felt so excited each day to get up and see the new lesson.

5. How did you maintain your dedication all through January? I had no trouble. I couldn’t wait each day to do the next lesson. Of course, I am older and retired so I am blessed with more free time than many.

6. At the beginning of January, did you have a goal? My goal, which I met, was to complete all 31 lessons.

7. What kinds of artwork and craft projects do you typically enjoy creating? Before Creative Jumpstart, I made cards, jewelry and pottery. I donate some of them to the gift shop at a missionary organization, and I use the rest for gifts.

8. Did CJS inspire you to use any different materials or techniques? Yes, I learned so much about different drawing and coloring materials, and I was inspired to make collage papers and do some journaling.

9 What would you say to a friend who is thinking about doing Creative JumpStart? I would recommend Creative Jumpstart to any person who enjoys making things, or who wants to get started making things. The instruction is clear and very interesting.

10. In 3 words, how would you describe CJS? Three words I would use to describe Creative Jumpstart are: motivating, exciting and excellent.


Thank you Christine for sharing your CJS experience! I just love hearing about your excitement and motivation through it all.

If you’d like to join us in the Creative JumpStart classroom and have access to 31 different mixed media lessons by 31 different mixed media artists – sign up and get started right away. Work at your own pace, try different materials and styles of creating, and download the video lessons for future inspiration too. You can even challenge yourself as Christine did to work on one a day. Regardless of how you approach it, it’s fun, it’s inspiring, and it’s a great community of artists and crafters to meet. 

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Jumping with… Tonia Jenny Part 2 – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Tonia Jenny. This is Tonia’s first year teaching with CJS and I am very happy to be chatting with her again to see what she is up to these days. In this interview Tonia talks about how she is taking advantage of more time at home both with art, craft, and with some culinary adventures. Tonia also discusses some of the projects on CJS that she is excited to try, she describes a bit more about her own lesson including possible variations on the process, and even shows us a special variation on the idea as a response to the reality of present times. I hope you enjoy this uplifting conversation.

Thank you Tonia!

You can learn more about Tonia (including links to her social media) on her website.

Sign up now for Creative JumpStart 2020 if you haven’t yet and make use of our special sale now – just $45 through the end of April 2020. If you have already jumped into the classroom, check out some of the tutorials and also work of other students again. There is so much inspiration in there: 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Tonia.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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Jumping with… Nancy Curry Part 2 – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Nancy Curry. I have known about Nancy for many years as an arts educator and author and this is her first time teaching with CJS. In this second interview Nancy talks about the inspiration behind her lesson and the joy she experiences from seeing student work and how they transfer the ideas and skills to other projects. She also discusses her current artmaking and the meaning behind the imagery that she is using, her journey to work through some fundamental art skills, and how she likes to experiment with new materials.

Thank you Nancy!

You can learn more about Nancy (including links to her workshops) on her website.

Sign up now for Creative JumpStart 2020 if you haven’t yet and make use of our special sale now – just $45 through the end of April 2020. If you have already jumped into the classroom, check out some of the tutorials and also work of other students again. There is so much inspiration in there: 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Nancy.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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Jumping with… Kae Pea – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today a special video interview I did with one of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Kae Pea. I have known Kae Pea for years and in addition to being a talented artist and educator, she is also the head of RubberMoon and ArtFoamies. In this interview Kae Pea talks about her artistic super power, a surprisingly approachable way to use watercolor paints, and an encouragement to use some of the stamps in your stash that you haven’t for a while. She also discusses her business and the heart that goes into that, as well as her educational content on Patreon. And we end the interview getting good and mushy so you definitely want to check that out!

Thank you Kae Pea!

You can learn more about Kae Pea (including links to her Patreon) on her website.

Sign up now for Creative JumpStart 2020 if you haven’t yet and make use of our special sale now – just $45 through the end of April 2020. If you have already jumped into the classroom, check out some of the tutorials and also work of other students again. There is so much inspiration in there: 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists like Kae Pea.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

Comments (1)

  • JoAnn Campisi

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    Enjoyed your video. Congratulations on purchasing Art Foamies – love them. I enjoyed your CJS class Kae Pea and I immediately bought the da vinci watercolor brush that you recommended. But…….it is still in the package it came in…..need to fix that. Need to revisit CJS 2020.

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Special Offer: Creative JumpStart 2020 just $45!

I am having a very special sale in response to these unprecedented and difficult times – Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2020 will be just $45 through the end of April. Yes, this is the online workshop CJS that started back in January – the Super Power edition. I know many of you are at home these days and looking for activities, a sense of community, and artistic inspiration. Join us for Creative JumpStart!

Here is the promo video to introduce you to our amazing group of 31 artist teachers. They have each contributed a lesson with the theme Super Power:

These super talented artists are sharing their artistic Super Powers with you through a project or technique lesson. There are 31 teachers and 31 lessons, spanning a wide variety of styles and media. The goal is to JumpStart YOUR Creativity. Learn more HERE.

And check out a peek of some of the artist’s lessons below:

Creative JumpStart is also about Community. The goal is to have a place to get together with other creative and artistic people. In the classroom you can comment on lessons and share your experiences and ask questions. There is a Show & Tell page where you can share your artwork and see what other students are creating. And of course we invite you to interact on social media with hashtags like #cjs20 and #creativejumpstart20.

We are a community of over 1000 people – and now is the perfect time to join in and make some new online friends :)

Already participating in Creative JumpStart 2020? Come back to the classroom and say Hi! Maybe revisit some of the lessons that you loved or techniques you haven’t tried yet. Show & Tell, post on social media, let’s get the conversation going and all enjoy a break from things with some artistic FUN. 

These are unprecedented times of crisis and now more than ever we can see the beneficial powers of artmaking and getting involved with arts communities.

This special sale ends April 30th at 11:59pm EST. Sign up today!

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One More Time – Art Journal

“She looked at her old life one more time, took a deep breath, and whispered I will never see you again.” This page was inspired by Jane LaFazio’s video for Creative JumpStart – boy oh boy I haven’t sketched in a long time either and that was really hard and and also a really fun challenge for me. Definitely time to do it more :) 

I loved sketching my watch that I wear almost every day in my studio. You notice so many details of something you wear everyday and maybe don’t even think about. I used a Derwent 2B sketching pencil and Daniel Smith watercolors for the watch, and a calligraphy pen for my journaling.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Comments (1)

  • Cath

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    Wow, that’s a powerful quote – great layout.

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