As 'You Can Folk It' has evolved yet again for a new decade, we take a look back on where it all began and how it has changed over the years.
Carol discovers Folk Art in Australia. Realising her lack of artistic skills are not a barrier to learning this style of painting, she attends as many classes and workshops as she can to build her skills and use them in her own home.
Relocating back to England, she opens 'Something Special' with her sister Janine, teaching Folk Art workshops from her sister's garage and later from a studio and shop in her home town of Sheffield.
Carol approaches 'DecoArt' about working with them. As a helping artist, she builds on the lessons she taught at 'Something Special' and begins creating her own lessons and learning packs to teach many painters around the world.
Carol kept feeling like she wanted to create a product that would introduce people to Folk Art. Not just a product for people who could attend workshops but one that would be available for everyone. Going through a tough time, she found herself gravitating towards her painting room every morning to find her calm. The ideas she had developed became about much more than educating people, she knew she wanted to show people that this was something they could turn to, to help de-stress and encourage those mindful moments we so crave in today's busy world.
The Folk It Round Brush Course was launched at the very first 'Handmade Fair' in Hampton Court and received fantastic reviews. For years to come, the 'Handmade Fair' was the highlight of the year as Carol introduced so many to the joy of Folk Art and met with so many customers, old and new.
Once again, back at the 'Handmade Fair', Folk It launched their second range of kits, this time with the aim to teach painters the skills of the Flat Brush.
Since developing the kits, something unexpected happened. Small businesses and crafters saw the potential in these kits as a teaching tool and approached Folk It to find out if they could use the range to run their own Folk Art workshops. Over the course of the year, the Folk It Ambassador program was born and the first group of teachers began to spread the joy of Folk Art in their own areas.
As the Ambassador group continued to grow, once again, Carol felt that Folk It needed to move forward. Knowing she wanted to build on the knowledge she had provided so far to customers, Carol thought that to add to the current range may be somewhat overwhelming or confusing for new customers. The needs of the Ambassadors were also evolving and she wanted to build on the support and resources available to them.
The idea of a booklet to merge the skills of Folk Art took hold and over the next few months, she began to develop it at home collating her favourite designs and ideas.
The first draft of the The Ultimate Folk Art Painting Masterclass was complete. A beautiful collection of designs for beginners, it finally felt as though everything had come together and ticked every box she had on her wish list for the new product.
Despite the pressures facing so many the world over, Carol had the time and space to create the Masterclass of her dreams. Filming and editing all 13 lessons was a massive undertaking but she had a vision and she wanted to adhere to it. Finally, in July 2020, the lessons were complete, the lockdown was lifting and the gorgeous workbooks were back from the printers.
Never before has a Folk Art workbook combined patterns and ideas with space for a painter to practice and create. What we begin with is a fantastic resource full of information and support for the customer's painting journey, but what it develops into is a beautiful journal that they can refer back to, time and time again.
September - December 2020
During the last part of the year, Carol began quietly working on the next part of her vision. Building on the success of the Folk Art Painting Masterclass for Beginner painters, the Masterclass for Intermediate Painters was launched in December 2020. Using the same brushes from the Beginner's Masterclass, Carol begins to develop your painting techniques to help you paint more flowers like roses and pansies. The masterclass also introduces you to new brushes and techniques to help you paint designs such as Strawberries, Poppies and Father Christmas.
So what next?
Although these two Masterclasses are the only one's Carol will create, plans are being formulated to create different types of resources for you to develop your painting skills even further.
Until next time x