You know this already: When I don’t schedule creative time, I lose it. But you might not know this: When I schedule creative time with people who care about me, I’m far more likely to show up. I’m also more likely to enjoy myself. Working on projects with people makes me happy. Honestly, this is news to me. I thought I had to be alone to make real art. That, evidently, has changed. Having people around, people who care about me, and people who also want to make stuff, it helps me focus. Sharing studio with good quality people is dang good quality fun. Sometimes there is music, sometimes snacks. This week it got hot, and someone came in with watermelon. Occasionally the stressful world comes in the door with them, but soon everyone settles in, and becomes relaxed and happy. It usually takes a little while – about 20 minutes of friendly chatter. Then, one by one, each person’s attention turns to their project, and the chatter turns to rustling. That’s about the time Lendy catches me deeply engrossed in scribbles, my tongue sticking out like a little kid’s, and I realize I haven’t heard a word anyone has said for…. how long was I gone? Shared experiences, the moments when I get to say “Hey look what this ink did!” or “How the heck do I do this?” or “Look! I made a thing!” and friends look up and say “That’s fabulous!” – those shared experiences, they feel good, and they build camaraderie. When I have a creative date with people, I show up. I catch the infectiousness of their interests. I try things I wouldn’t otherwise had tried. I make stuff. When I don’t, well – you’ll likely find me on the computer again, or doing things that are supposedly important, but really could wait another day. So I’ve learned to schedule my creative time with classes. The set studio times secure my creative dedication on the calendar. Surrounded by other people who make stuff, I am constantly expanding, and sharing experiences with a growing community of people who care about me. I feel focused, honed, and connected. Art classes make me happy. Hey look, fall classes are up. Come join us!