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New York, New York (and beyond)

May 2, 2018

Let’s talk about NEW YAAAHHHHHKKKK (said with jazz hands and exaggerated vibrato)

I am going to New York city for the very first time, and while I’m there will be doing these exciting things:

Yeah let’s go back to that third little one there. The one that makes my hands shake and my stomach shimmy, the one that I knew I had to be courageous and say “yes” to because it is my dream (my dream I tell ya!) to work/talk/celebrate/share with and encourage creatives all over the world. So yes, I’m leading a workshop in New York city, next month. (Not in New York? Please read through)

What it is

Although this workshop is about your artwork, it’s really more about storytelling. Workshop participants will be guided through an encouraging and freeing lecture about:

  • What a story is (your unique experience as a human)
  • Why stories matter (it’s your special sauce)
  • How stories are told (subject matter, style, delivery)
  • Examples of stories artists and brands have been telling us

After we’ve gotten all excited about what and how to tell your story, we’ll work together with various art supplies to create a self portrait.

Cue the squealing brakes sound effect✋

Asking artists to create a self portrait is one of the most loathed assignments, because we often get caught up in making a piece that looks like us, a feat most of us fail at unless you’re already a portrait artist. But fear not, once you understand the opportunity for story telling in your work, you realize your physical resemblance to the figure has little to do with connecting the work back to yourself in a meaningful way. Which btw, feels like gold. This is the power of storytelling. This is what the workshop is alllll about.

The Details

Who: Me x Skillshare
Skillshare is the reason for this workshop coming together, as they graciously (and alarmingly casually) asked if I wanted to lead a workshop while I was in town, oh and they would host it, and provide snacks, and help market it. All the love to Skillshare <3
What: A 3 hour workshop, split between lecture and play, focused around how and why to tell your story with your art
Where: Skillshare Headquarters (35 E 21st St Fl 5, New York, NY 10010)
When: Saturday, May 19th from 10am-1pm
Why: There’s a lot of information on HOW to make artwork, but not a lot of information on how to make artwork that matters to you, and sets your work apart to your audience. As they say, people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it, so it’s important to be in tune with what story you’re putting out there (and trust me, your work is already telling a story).
How: Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased here. Tickets include workshop admission, art supplies for the project, and light refreshments.

And Beyond

Most of the above information can be found reiterated in a more eloquent way on the event page, but I’ve exhausted my copywriting skills and just want to talk to you casually, about this HUGE thing. It hasn’t surprised me that teaching has become part of my work, but it is surprising how important the duality of my career is to me: I can’t imagine not being a working artist, and I can’t imagine being a working artist without also teaching. (Sorry for that sentence structure) They are two halves that make up a very fulfilling whole.

My own journey as a working artist has been difficult and fascinating and relatable to so many other creatives. There are times when I have the energy to create but no ideas; a plethora of ideas and no time; plenty of time and no energy. It seems like there are endless lessons to be learned and obstacles to overcome just to get some painting done, and that fricking FASCINATES me. I’m fascinated by our fear and our courage and our urge to create. I love losing track of time talking with other creatives about these obstacles and learned lessons. I love opening a fearful creatives eyes to acceptance, patience, and action. I love moving forward, always forward.

I picture myself in 10 years traveling the world, making art for a living and teaching art making. This starts by saying ‘yes’ to a workshop in New York, in May of 2018, on a topic that although isn’t flashy, is supremely near and dear to my creative heart. This starts by saying ‘yes’ before I feel ready, it starts by trusting that what I find value in, others will too. I say yes, and if you’re in the New York area, I hope you’ll say yes, too.

If you aren’t in the New York area, the second part of this announcement is this is the first of what will be many successful, inviting, encouraging, kick-in-the-creative-butt workshops in cities all over. My schedule and list of destinations is open, so you tell me where you want me to host a few hours of creative gathering; to work on our artwork, but to also talk about the bigger and deeper things that we’re all feeling and experiencing as artists. And when you reach out to tell me which cities you want me to visit (my girl already put in a request for Dayton, OH, so, no city too small, folks), also please tell the best time of year to do so ????

I’m excited. So super excited and ready-but-not-quite-ready, which is always where the magic happens.




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  1. Diane says:

    This is all such amazing news!! You are a gift and so so glad to have you out in the world spreading your love, passion, talent, encouragement and just plain awesomeness!!! Thank you and can’t wait to hear about the trip. And hope to be a part of one of these talks at some point. ????????

  2. Lori Burt says:

    DENVER, CO PLEASE!!!! Love you!!!

    • Dylan says:

      Omg I don’t want to promise but….Lori there’s like a 90% chance you’ve sold me. I’ve always wanted to go to Denver! Love you!

  3. Erin B White says:

    Love, love, love this announcement! And of course I am going to say that no tour is complete without a stop in Texas! Head to Dallas and we will host you like crazy! XO

    • Dylan says:

      Erin!! You know I’m headed to Texas, even if it’s just to gab with you and make you show me how to make prettier letters 🙂 <3

  4. Riana Nelson says:

    Dylan!!!! This is outta this world awesome ???? I have friends in NYC and will send them your way. Please put Portland OR, and/or Olympia/Tacoma/Seattle WA on your tour route, I would looooove to take your class! Really anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. It is a dream of mine to either host or attend some kind of retreat in the San Juan Islands (!!!) so if you made that happen I would definitely come. I will be following you for more updates, can’t wait. Congratulations!!!????

    • Dylan says:

      Riana! I can feel your love and excitement jumping off the page, THANK YOU!!! Yes, PLEASE send your NYC friends my way 🙂 and girl, you know I’m dying to go to the PNW <3 <3

  5. Alisha Loc says:

    Dylan this is awesome! I know it’s scary making big moves but I know you won’t regret this. You’re an amazing teacher online and I’m sure you’ll be even better in person. I’m in Cincinnati so if you do a Dayton, OH workshop I’ll be there!

    • Dylan says:

      Hey girl! I can’t tell you what your kind words do for me and my confidence in moving forward! It’s VERY likely I’ll do a Dayton or Cincy stop, since I’m a midwest girl 🙂 <3 Thank you thank you!!

  6. Tessie Snow says:

    I’m so incredibly excited for you Dylan!!! Also, you should DEFINITELY come to Minneapolis some day! I would be more than happy to host you 🙂

    • Dylan says:

      Tessie! Minneapolis was one of the first cities I jotted down! I’ve been dying for an excuse to travel there 🙂 <3 I might have to take you up on that!

  7. Mel says:

    Yesssss, congratulations!! I’m so sad I can’t make it, but PLEASE come to Boston and run a workshop on literally anything. I think you’d also LOVE our local maker shop, Gather Here. Any time after mid-July of this year would be perfect for me (haha), but Spring/Summer/Fall are all great options. Excited to hear how it goes!

    • Dylan says:

      Hey girl!
      I’ve been dying to go to Boston forever, so you definitely don’t have to twist my arm on that one 🙂 Thank you for your excitement mama <3

  8. Kristen Slade says:

    YES, oh yes. A pal and I will be in NYC to shop for prints for our day job, so….. we’re IN! SO EXCITED!

    • Dylan says:

      Eeeeee!!! Yay!! Did ya’ll buy your tickets yet? I don’t see your name on the list 🙂 Can’t wait to meet you both <3

  9. Bryn says:


    Congrats!! I have only been following you for a couple of months now BUT I feel like I know you and when I read this I was so happy for you/proud of you! (That might be kind of weird but it’s true, so I’ll roll with it). You are one of my favorite people on the internet. Keep doing you, girl. Also, you should come to Grand Rapids, MI. Or really anywhere in Michigan, I’d drive! ????

    • Dylan says:

      Oh Bryn, ohhhhhhh Bryn, this comment makes my heart so happy. If you’ve been following me for more than a day then you know I love sharing feelings and telling people how I feel, so when it’s returned I just feel so giddy and loved. I’m originally from Michigan, and would love to do one or even two workshops there! (Maybe Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor?). Either way, I’m sure I’ll be back in the mitten to teach. Thanks for the love and support mama.

  10. Vanessa says:

    Please do this event again! I actually am finishing up my semester at FIT and my last class is this Saturday. Good luck and I’m so sad I have to miss this ????

    • Dylan says:

      Vanessa!! I’m sad you have to miss it too, but girl, your LAST class of the semester? Congratulations! Good luck to you, as well, I’m sure we’ll find a way to connect at future workshops! <3 DM