Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.
This week, we meet Gail Green of Gail Green Designs! Gail will be teaching two Workshops in January: Color Your Canvas with Mixed Media and Mixed Media in Motion. Sign up for these classes to learn one-of-a-kind mixed media projects that can be for adults and children, and for a chance to win raffle prizes!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Chicagoland artist, craft book author and magazine columnist who has been a CHA Designer member for over 25 years. Known as the “designer in the hat”, I love to inspire others with my rubber-stamping techniques; I am always exploring new things to do with stamps, ink and surfaces.
As creator of the Sweet PETatoes® art brand, I license my illustrations on products in multiple global markets, including my own line of rubber stamps with Impression Obsession. I currently work behind the scenes for a number of industry manufacturers…and wear many hats. For more information, visit my blog.
How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?
My hat and I have been part of the CHA Shows for at least 25 years.
What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?
If I had to pick just one thing, I would say being where everything creative happens and with all the people making that possible.
How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?
Participating in a live workshop is like being on stage with your favorite band; You leave the stage having found your voice and knowing how to play an instrument, sing, dance, or in our business, how to achieve your current business objective. The pace is fast and the learning curve high, but the experience will totally transform you.
Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?
Retail stores have become experience destinations, so it is essential for the craft shop owner to continually offer their customers a great experience in the form of demos, make-n-takes and workshops! Color Your Canvas with Mixed Media and Mixed Media in Motion will introduce you – teachers, shop owners and staff – to new products and techniques your customers and students can successfully master, which means more sales. My workshops will inspire buyers and creative professionals alike to bring that enthusiasm right back into your own workshops and stores!
How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?
Both workshops include mixed media concepts. One workshop is based more on the paper craft mixed media angle and the other from the textural textile mixed media perspective. New products and emerging trends are introduced in both workshops, while also incorporating the existing fascination with mixed media.
What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?
Walk the aisles, talk to people, soak in all the creative energy around you…and make sure you make time to take some workshops! The hands on experience of a one to three hour workshop is a great way to learn new techniques, get familiar with new products and also let your creative spirit be encouraged!
What do you love most about the creative industry?
Everything! This is my tribe…these are my peeps. In my experience as a licensing artist in several industries, there is NOTHING like the creative industry! The creative energy is so intense at the CHA MEGA Show, you can feel it all around you–almost as if you can just reach out and hold onto it. Plus, the people in our industry are amazing. Not only are people off-the-chart creative, but they are also extremely giving, sharing and caring.
The MEGA Show is more than just a craft industry trade event. Someone once said we all come together at the MEGA Show to learn, conduct business and reconnect…but it is also the “craft family reunion”. So many of us consider each other as an important part of our lives – as family. That is what makes our industry so unique, and such a wonderful industry of which to be a part.
Where do you see the creative industry in five years?
The creative industry will continue to evolve. Crafts and the creative process play such a significant part of childhood development and keeping seniors’ brains strong and healthy. So much pleasure and joy come from the creative experience. That need isn’t going away any time soon.
We will always find ways to adapt and appeal to the new generations that will follow. After all, we are not only creative – we sell creativity. Plus, we work together. More than any other industry, the creative industry has the ability to both individually and collectively think outside the box. Our industry will survive and only get stronger.
What do you love most about CHA membership?
I am proud to be a member in this industry. As a CHA member, I am part of something much larger than my little niche of creative exploration. Membership gives me the ability to not only attend trade shows and conferences, but also to be directly involved in helping make our industry much more than any of us can individually imagine.
Register to take Gail’s Workshops, Color Your Canvas with Mixed Media and Mixed Media in Motion, and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog this Thursday when we meet Trish Hansen, who is teaching a Workshop sponsored by Hampton Art and DecoArt!