Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Carla Sonheim Interview

on January 23, 2012

Today, I’m really excited to interview Carla Sonheim about mentoring! I met Carla at Journalfest when I took her “Wretched Girl Art Journaling” class. We had a great time being “wretched!” Since then, I’ve taken a couple of Carla’s on-line art classes including: Junk Mail Artist Book, Imaginary Creatures, and The Art of Silliness. I also use an exercise in her book when I am teaching my class, Writing the Picture Book!

Carla Sonheim is a painter, illustrator, and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. She is the author of Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun.


 One of her students says this about Carla, “Carla just shines and is so gentle and generous that you will work hard all day and come out energized and inspired. Most importantly though, [her] class was a touchstone in my artistic journey, giving me the courage to stop resisting, and open myself to my creative voice.” Carla lives in Seattle, Washington and shares space with her photographer husband, a game-playing teenager, and her laptop.

Can you tell us about your experience with mentoring? Did you have one? 

I’ve never had a long-term mentor, unfortunately! But a lot of artists and teachers over the years have helped me along the way, with comments, encouragement, etc. Artists I’ve never met have mentored me as well, through their writings or interviews.

Do you mentor others? How?

I wish I could say yes to this question, too! I haven’t been a long-term mentor to any one person, except possibly through my book and classes. I also taught elementary school children for several years.

Interestingly, though, I had an email just the other day from a 80-year-old gentleman who wrote that he was glad to have found me as “a mentor and a friend.” I was kind of humbled, as we’ve only emailed a half dozen times! But I’m so glad to have been some encouragement to him.

Can you tell us a little bit about some of your on-line art classes?

I’ve been doing online classes for almost two years; in April 2010 I held the first installment of “The Art of Silliness: Drawing Worksheets for Adults.” At the time I didn’t have access to video production, so this particular workshop was done entirely through PDF worksheets downloaded each day by the students, and then they would (optionally) upload them to a flickr group set up for the class. “The Art of Silliness 5” starts February 8th, and will be my last silly class in this format.

The series was such a success that I got the courage to get my husband involved and added video instruction in the summer of 2011 with three one-week classes: “Imaginary Creatures,” “Faces 101,” and “Junk Mail Artist’s Book.” This was an adventure because I’m pretty camera shy — or, I was, before doing over 30 videos!!

I try hard to make the learning and pacing challenging but fun. I comment on every image uploaded, and enjoy it very much!

You offer many opportunities for people to learn from you in on-line classes and in-person workshops. How do you juggle everything? 

I have had to pull back on “live” teaching the last year or so because it was starting to become too chaotic. My son is in his last two years of high school, and I am a new grandmama, so I’m wanting to stay at home a bit more these days!

In late 2012, though, I have two books coming out and so am now working on a little “Teaching Book Tour” for the month of October. I will be teaching in California and Colorado for sure!

Quarry Books is publishing a book on drawing and painting animals in October, and Perigee is publishing a book on “The Art of Silliness” in November.

What is coming up next for you?

Recently a friend asked me this question: “If money were no object, what would you like to do?” My answer was that I wanted to continue doing what I am doing!! I love my work!

In the very short term I am holding four online classes in January/February: Repeats of “Faces 101” and “Imaginary Creatures,” “Photo Silly Light” with Steve, and “The Art of Silliness 5.”

During the first half of 2012, we are going to concentrate on creating a solid line-up of online classes (for 2012 and beyond). Then, if all goes well, I will take a few months in late summer/early fall to work on the children’s book I’ve been talking about for years (I’m pretty sure I’m going to self-publish this, as it won’t be a “traditional” children’s book!). Then I’ll wrap up the year by helping to market the new books!

If anyone is interested in online classes, the best way to keep updated is to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Just send me an email with “subscribe” in the subject line: carla@carlasonheim.com

Where can readers find you?  

Website: www.carlasonheim.com

Blog: www.carlasonheim.wordpress.com

Twitter: @carlasonheim

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carlasonheim

Thanks so much, Carla!

6 responses to “Carla Sonheim Interview

  1. […] Today I was interviewed by children’s book author Mindy Hardwick, on the topic of mentoring. The interview is up on her blog today! https://mindyhardwick.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/carla-sonheim-interview/ […]

  2. Kay Hewitt says:

    I enjoyed reading your interview so much. I didn’t know that you taught elementary school children for several years. Were you a full time school teacher like I was? I also enjoyed your answer back to the 0 year old man.

    I wish could take that 101 class now but my schedule is pretty full as I am now taking Yoga twice a week and Zumba dance lessons twice a week in addition to playing duplicate bridge twice a week and socializing with a couple of my girlfriends at least once a week. The rest of my time is taken up with trying to keep up with all the e-mails and regular mail, keeping the cats brushed and combed, keeping up with my housework, and watching my favorite TV show (Seinfeld reruns) and good movies like “The Juror” with Demi Moore and Alex Baldwin”. That was such a good movie. Thank goodness for close caption so I know just what they are saying on TV.

    Thank you for keeping me informed of everything you do as I love hearing about everything.

    Love, Mom

  3. […] Carla Sonheim Interview–I interviewed Carla about mentoring. It was posted on my blog in January. […]

  4. […] I met Carla at JournalFest and took her “Wretched Girl Journaling” class. Last winter, I interviewed Carla about mentors. You can find that interview here. […]

  5. […] up to take one of Mixed Media Artist, Carla Sonheim’s, class, A Journal and A Purse. (I interviewed Carla on this blog here, and blogged about her book, The Art of Silly, […]

  6. […] Carla Sonheim Interview–I interviewed Carla about mentoring. It was posted on my blog in January. […]

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