“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
There is nothing quite like teaching. It’s the one thing that always lights me up. Being in my studio is first and foremost, of course, but whenever I experiment and discover something interesting, my first inclination is to share it with others.
I started teaching in 2003 at my local paper arts store, which had a mixed-media/collage bent from the beginning. I began with teaching chunky book/mini book techniques; layering paint, ink, rubber stamps, vintage and new embellishments. As time went by, other store owners contacted me and I was traveling and teaching in Arizona and California. In 2008, I taught my first national art retreat and have been doing so ever since.
As of 2017, I am truly living my dream – organizing, teaching, hosting and manifesting my very own art retreats. My first one in Temecula, California at a gorgeous private home sold out Seventeen ladies and I had five glorious days of Deconstructed/Reconstructed art making in jewelry, collage and assemblage. We shopped vintage, we bought unique objects, we deconstructed, we reconstructed, we laughed so hard we cried, we shed a few tears, we shared our stories and each of us transformed in some way. The idea of doing my own retreats is something I’ve been creating in my mind’s eye for more than a decade. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead…
Through traveling and teaching, I’ve met amazing, talented women (and some great men too!) Explaining my artistic process has made me acutely aware of how I work, why I make the creative and technical choices I do and why absolutely everything about the making process is important. These creatives have taught me much over the years and made me a better studio artist. Of all the things I do, teaching has truly been my heart.
Come join me in my home studio, another retreat or mixed-media store. If you have a group of artsy friends and a good open space to make art, send me an email to see about hosting me in your hometown. Whatever we’re making and wherever we’re at, I promise we’ll make magic together and have lots of laughs in the process.
Deconstructed Art Retreat, 2018
Seventeen beautiful women joined me January 24-28th 2018 for my first Deconstructed Art Retreat in Temecula, California and it was AHmazing! We gathered, we shopped for vintage treasures, we learned dozens of new techniques and made incredible mixed-media jewelry, wax and photo collages and fun mixed-media house assemblages. We ate, we laughed and we all experienced some kind of creative shift. Stay tuned for more of my Deconstructed Art Retreats at beautiful locales in the future. And for now, check out my brand new Deconstructed Studio art deep dives beginning in 2019, where I’m bringing all that I do and teach home. Join me in my working studio in the woods at most most favorite place in the world, Pine Arizona. Check out all the details here on my special Deconstructed Art page.
Art Unraveled – Phoenix, AZ
August 1, 2018: Art Unraveled Phoenix, AZ. Register here
The Queen’s Ink – Maryland
October 19, 20, 21, 22nd 2018: The Queens Ink Savage, Maryland.
She’s Come Unhinged Make N’ Take Oct. 19th 6 to 9 p.m.
Skeleton Key Assemblage with Frame Oct. 20th 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wrist Full of Words Wrap Bracelet Oct. 20th 3:30 to 8 p.m.
Love Your Selfie Wire, Wood and Wax Oct. 21 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What students say about Jen’s teaching style…
“My first mixed media workshop with Jen was life-changing. We explored new techniques and mediums and stretched our creative muscles, all within a safe and fun environment. Just when I thought my project was turning into a disaster, Jen was there to encourage and show me the possibilities (it’s amazing what a little glitter can do!). She nurtures and inspires students creatively and rounds out the whole experience with practical business advice for those wanting to pursue careers in art. Jen’s workshops are like art therapy. I laughed, I cried–I re-discovered my creative self. Jen is Artist, Teacher, Mentor, Friend…all wrapped up in one amazing, inspiring and talented bundle!” — Shannon H.
“I evaluate teachers for a living and Jen is one of the best I’ve ever seen.” – Jana M.
“I love Jen’s classes! She brings such a playful, joyful attitude to the classroom. I love how she helps students see “mistakes” as opportunities to try something new. It enables the student to forge ahead without fear of failure. I never feel stressed out and always learn something new that can be expanded upon and incorporated into my work with my own style. Her cheerful, laid back approach creates a wonderful classroom environment. Pure fun!” – Stephanie B.
“It’s always a pleasure to take an art class from someone who is an excellent artist AND an excellent teacher. Jen Cushman is one of those who has mastered both “expertises” when teaching her highly-sought-after art. It’s clear that she has a plan in mind, and a well-designed path to take her students to a successful outcome. When I recently took a metal etching class from her, she showed technical skill with the medium, even one that can be unpredictable. She had a warm and humorous teaching style that set a comfortable, nurturing tone for the day. Finally, even with a full class, she gave each of us individual attention and support that led each student to walk out with pieces we loved. I look forward to taking more classes from Jen, an outstanding artist and wonderful teacher.” – Lorie G.
“Jen Cushman goes beyond consummate professional to skill-builder extraordinaire. She has an unending desire to build not only her own knowledge base, but also those who flock to her looking for inspiration. Jen adeptly balances kindness and professionalism in a way that makes you want to work with her again and again.” – Jenn M.