It was with some trepidation that I did my first Gyotaku Print experience in my studio this month. I've been talking about running workshops for a while now but I'm always put off the idea as I know I'd find it really stressful. I'm not used to dealing with groups of people, and making sure I have got everything with me is also another source of worry, in fact, it's the sort of thing that has me lying awake at night. Of course I was worried that what I was offering wouldn't seem like a good deal or more that I wouldn't be any good at it.
So I've opted for what I feel works for me. I'm running a max two people workshop in my studio. This works well for me. I feel comfortable with a couple of people, I have all the materials and resources I need on hand and ready to go. I don't have to drive around with fish in the car (big bonus) and if there is ink left after the session, I can use it up myself, so less waste.
I'm now three workshops in with two more next week and I'm loving the experience. I'm aiming for an hour and a half, during which time I explain a little of the history, show examples of other artists work and styles, look at some of the materials and tools used and then finally we get on to the printing.
I've been really impressed at how much care and attention people give to their art. It seems that others also find a very different way of engaging with a fish. It really does make you stop and look harder.
So I hope that the work shops will become a regular activity going forward. Sometimes it's nice to have a bit of company in the studio.