Blog: creative jumpstart

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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Going Postal – Art Journal

“I breathe in, I go postal…when I am upset and someone tells me to take a deep breath”.  I was inspired by Marieke’s amazing lesson in CJS20 to make this art journal page and …am obviously making fun …or maybe not ;)

The round elements are deli paper printed circles with a gelli plate and my Art Deco Empire and Art Nouveau Wallpaper stencils as well as versafine inks.

The paint in between is goache and gesso. I added marks with a Stabilo pencil, stamped with my Small Circle Jumble rubber stamp set and drew the face with walnut ink.

Here are some of the supplies I used:

Join us for Creative JumpStart 2020 and experience tons of creative inspiration from 31 different mixed media artists! Class has begun and there is no better time to sign up:

Comments (1)

  • Cath

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    Love it – the face has so much expression!

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Creative JumpStart with the Creative Squad – Maura Hibbitts

Hello from my Creative Squad! This month the squad is playing along with Creative JumpStart 2020 and sharing their Artistic Super Power with you. Here we have Maura Hibbitts sharing hers: Colorful Imagination. Her fun little notebook uses my Signals and Art Deco Empire stencils and our theme: Super Power – this month we are joining Creative JumpStart 2020 and exploring our Artistic Super Powers. It could be your unique technique or style, the way you like to use a medium or tool, or maybe your way of approaching artmaking. What is yours and show us how you use it.


Many wishes for good health, peace, joy and creativity in the new year! Can you believe it’s already 2020? Wow, the time does fly! I’ve been so inspired by all the amazing artists at Creative Jumpstart. I think it just gets better and better every year…now to find the time to play. So, when I started thinking about what my creative super power was, I thought of how much I love color, and that it is often something people comment on when they see my work. I also thought about how much I like to use my imagination, where ideas can come from books, movies, dreams, nature, and the everyday world around me. So, I am calling my superpower “Colorful Imagination.” The outside of my notebook is super colorful, and the blank pages inside are just waiting for my imagination.

I’m using one of my favorite little notebooks by Moleskine (any blank notebook will do).

First step in transforming the cover is to paint a layer of black gesso, and run a Hakeme brush over it to create texture. (An alternative to a Hakeme brush would be to use a small broom.)

The Signals stencil and an array of rainbow colors goes over the dry gesso, starting with red. I really like using cosmetic sponges to apply acrylic paint through a stencil. When I need to change color, I just snip off the end, and have a “new” one to use.

I continued stenciling the colors of the rainbow down the notebook…red, orange, yellow, blue, green, violet…Oops! There goes that rebel green jumping out of order again!

Nathalie’s new stencil designs are awesome, and I had to use the Art Deco Empire too, how could I not? I decided to use white paint and stencil around the sides and bottom.

Final touch is a bit of work with Posca paint pens. I went over the dots with turquoise blue, and hand lettered NOTES along the side with white.

Here’s a look at the array of supplies I used to make my notebook. How about clipping a fountain pen onto the notebook in a matching color…oh yes, in that rebellious green, I see.

I called upon my Creative Jumpstart Super Power – Colorful Imagination – to make my notebook. Every color of the rainbow (yes I know, not in order…that must have been my imagination playing with me) is dancing across the cover with the Signals stencil. Those blank graph papers are calling to my imagination to fill this with ideas and sketches…I can’t wait! Why not find your own creative super power by checking out this year’s Creative Jumpstart 2020? Wishing you a creative and imaginative year! – Maura


Love your colorful notebook Maura and how you mixed up the patterns – very cool!! And definitely a super power of yours! Thank you so much !!!

Want to give Maura’s project a try? You can find all my Stencils in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Maura used:

Feel inspired? Playing along with Creative JumpStart and the Creative Squad? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Creative JumpStart with the Creative Squad – Jennifer Gallagher

Hello from my Creative Squad and today we are happy to have a post from Jennifer Gallagher to start us off this month. Jennifer is using her artistic Super Power – Layering, along with my new Space Age Modern stencil and this month’s theme: Super Power – this month we are joining Creative JumpStart 2020 and exploring our Artistic Super Powers. It could be your unique technique or style, the way you like to use a medium or tool, or maybe your way of approaching artmaking. What is yours and show us how you use it.


I  am so honored to kick off a new year of Creative Squad posts with this month’s theme, in honor of Creative JumpStart,with my artistic superpower – Layering! Understanding how to layer your paints, inks and sprays will help you create delicious texture and design that can be used in your art journals, card-making, and other mixed media projects. A lot of people are intimidated by layering and think there must be some magic formula, but I promise you it’s super easy. This tutorial will lead you through creating an art journal page with many layers of acrylic paint and art spray perfect for learning the basics of layering. Let’s get started.

In my small dylusions journal I started by laying down a thin layer of white gesso. You can work in your dylusions journal without this step, but I find that it adds a little bit of tooth and texture that I like. Once dry, I dipped a good size paint brush into water and dropped a very small drop of fluid acrylic paint in Diarylide Yellow onto the pages. Spread the paint around with your wet brush. 

While the paint was still wet, I gently rubbed a baby wipe across the surface to remove some of the depth of color.

Next, I dipped a large palette knife into white acrylic paint and scraped it across the pages. This step beats back some of the depth of color and gives us some of our white space back.

Another great way to add texture with layering is foam stamps. Here I’ve used Nat’s foam stamp Signals with Diarylide Yellow to add the dashed lines across the pages.

Next, I stepped up the size of the foam stamp design to a larger pattern. Using Nat’s foam stamp Far Out, I applied a darker yellow being sure to vary the pattern by turning the foam stamp in different directions.

So far we have a great textured background. This is when I add my main background design with a stencil. I’ve picked Nat’s new stencil release, Space Age Modern. Using a small blending tool, I applied LIquitex Basics Acrylic in Bright Aqua Green through the stencil. This color is the perfect compliment for our background. 

Looking at the page I decided that I should apply a light metallic to the page to push the green into the background a little more. I laid the Space Age Modern stencil back down and sprayed Marabu mixed media art spray in gold here and there.

I still had the hand made triangle stencil I used for last month’s Christmas card tutorial lying on my desk and decided it would be fun to integrate it into this art journal page. With a small blending tool I applied Liquitex Basics quinacridone magenta through the triangle stencil. I used a small amount of paint. I was not trying to totally cover the background but apply a thin coat of paint and allow the background to shine through.

I applied a black edge all around the art journal spread pages with black acrylic and then added some doodling around with a black gelly roll pen.

I stamped Nat’s Millie stamp on the right hand page in black ink.

Using a black fudeball pen I did some journaling around the triangles.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. It’s a new year that will be filled with tons of creative inspiraton from the Creative Squad so be sure to follow along and share what you create.


Thank you Jennifer – just love how the magenta is transparent and changes the colors underneath. Gorgeous page that really shows off your Super Power :)

Give it a try: you can find all my Stencils, Foam Stamps, and Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and here are some of the other supplies Jennifer used:

Feel inspired? Playing along with Creative JumpStart and the Creative Squad? Working on something yourself that you’d like to share?  I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next  “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Jumping with… Marsha Valk, Andrea Chebeleu, and Iris Fritschi-Cussens – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today some video interviews I did with some of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Marsha Valk, Andrea Chebeleu, and Iris Fritschi-Cussens.

First we have Marsha Valk who I have had the pleasure of working with for many years on different projects including online workshops and my Creative Squad. Marsha is from the Netherlands and she is an incredibly talented mixed media artist who always wows me with her work and her videos. In this interview we talk about the parallels between traditional printmaking techniques and modern ones that can be done in a home studio. She shares how she first learned about gelli printing. We also discuss how travel and visiting museums inspires our work.

Next is Andrea Chebeleu who runs A Work of Heart in San Jose (where I have taught workshops in the past) and is also a talented artist. In this interview she discusses ways to make time for art when you are juggling a busy schedule – which in her case includes not only running a business and family, but also fostering kittens who need homes. She champions the idea that you don’t need a lot of supplies to make art, it can happen almost anywhere with materials that you already have on hand. She also talks about a couple new materials that she has been playing with lately and her Etsy shop where you can find some of her creations.

Finally we have Iris Fritschi-Cussens who is with us for the second time for CJS this year and is an amazing expressive artists who I love to share with you. In this interview Iris talks about her personal motivations for creating art and the therapeutic benefits that she finds through creating and expressing her feelings in the safety of the creative space. She discusses authenticity, the not-so-nice feelings we all get sometimes, and allowing ourselves to be true to who we are. Iris also talks about what it means to call yourself an artist. She mentions Teresa Austin as in artist whose work she loves, as well as Egon Schiele and the Leopold Museum.

Be sure to sign up for Creative JumpStart if you haven’t already! The classroom is open and class began on January 1st. This year we have 31 amazing and diverse mixed media artists.

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Jumping with… Birgit Koopsen, Rae Missigman, and Joe Rotella – A CJS Interview Series

So happy to share with you today some video interviews I did with some of our Creative JumpStart 2020 teachers: Birgit Koopsen, Rae Missigman, and Joe Rotella. Three very sweet and talented artists to hear from :)

First up is my good friend Birgit Koopsen from The Netherlands who I have known as a friend for many years and who’s artwork I have always admired. In this interview Birgit discusses her journey into art journaling and mixed media, her natural ability to work with color, and how her artwork reflects her personality. She talks about the influence of travel on artistic choices and the lessons she’s learned from her students around the world.


Next we have Rae Missigman, who I have also known for years and who has such a wonderful fun personality that I think shows through in her art. Learn how she came to mixed media and art journaling from an interest in writing and crafting as a hobby, while today still keeping other hobbies outside her regular artmaking as a catalyst for creativity. Rae talks about carving out small amounts of time for art in a busy modern life, trying new materials without worrying too much about how they are “supposed” to be used, and the joys of her pocket journals.


Finally we have Joe Rotella, who I have also known for years and who is so much fun to hang out with that it is always a blast to have him on CJS. In this interview we joke and laugh the whole way through, but you will also learn how his mischievous and curious mind as a child sowed the seeds for his creative life to come. He talks tools, tech and magic. He encourages viewers to not be intimidated by new tools and tech. And he discusses how he visualizes and plans projects ahead in his style of working. There is definitely a bit of magic in the interview and for the ultimate laugh at the end, be sure to watch the bloopers :)

I hope you will join Birgit, Rae, and Joe and all the amazing teachers for this fun and inspiring challenge beginning in January: Sign up TODAY for Creative JumpStart 2020 and get 31 different mixed media lessons from 31 Super Hero Artists.  Hope to see you in the CJS classroom soon :)

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