Be Fearless: Ways of Working Without Worry — Amity Parks

Amity Parks
2.5 days
Intermediate to Advanced
$8 materials fee

Instructor Bio
Amity Parks is an artist and calligrapher living in Missoula, Montana. She has spent many years studying calligraphy in weeklong and private tuition classes with internationally renowned instructors. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tulsa and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana. Her work has been featured in national and regional exhibits and publications. She has been a long-term active member and teacher in her local and state calligraphy guilds and travels within the US and internationally to teach workshops, including serving on the faculty for the International Lettering Arts Conference in 2014 and 2015; SSIW in Melbourne, Australia; and the Midwest Art and Lettering Retreat in 2016. She spends many hours in her studio on her personal and creative work, finding a balance between her teaching commitments, her business, and her own busy family life. More information and artwork can be found on Facebook and at her website,

Class Description

Imagine having time dedicated to focusing and exploring a series of works that combine meaningful words and images in multiple ways. Our focus will be on layout and design, layering lettering techniques, combining text and images, and, most importantly, learning to work on multiple pieces at once in order to overcome the “fear” we develop when the investment is focused on a single, precious piece. The freedom of multiples allows us to take more chances, to do the unexpected, and not settle on the first solution to a problem. By working in a series, we forget the preciousness of each piece knowing that not everyone will be successful and embracing that freedom to make mistakes. Throughout the class, we will employ a variety of techniques, such as painting, drawing, collage, and image transfer in combination with our calligraphy.  While not strictly a lettering class, we will incorporate our calligraphy throughout the process. Layering, masking, and photo transfer techniques with a variety of mixed media allow for risk-taking and experimentation as we discuss layout principles and make thoughtful design choices. You will work in a small scale in multiples, focusing on the development of a series of work, refining your designs and the integration of images, words, and letters into your pages.

Supply List

Because we are using a variety of tools and techniques, I could tell you to bring everything in your studio. So please, bring what you can manage from the list below without buying a bunch of stuff. I will bring extras and we’ll share or buddy up for whatever you don’t have.

• Paper: a few 9×12 sheets each of Strathmore 400 series drawing paper or whatever you have at home and a few sheets of smooth, 9×12 watercolor or heavyweight paper that you have
• Secondhand book with interesting text or pictures that we can cut the pages out of and share with each other (atlas, dictionary, science, art, foreign language, music)
• Ruler or triangle
• Scissors
• X-ACTO knife and blades
• Small cutting board
• Writing tools in all sizes (pens/nibs, ruling pen, automatic pens, round and flat brushes)
• Couple of 1-2″ cheap, flat bristle brushes
• Plexi-glass or smooth plastic (9×12 or so) to use as a large, flat palette and a regular palette for mixing gouache, etc.
• Water container
• Pipettes
• Paper towels, tissues, baby wipes, or rags
• Small spray bottle
• Small scraps of matboard or old credit card to spread stuff
• Framing corners
• Masking tape
• Glue stick
• Pencils
• Erasers
• Inks: black, sumi, walnut, several colors of acrylic, etc. (a variety of colors is good)
• Gouache, watercolors, liquid acrylics, metallic powders, etc.(whatever you have, we can share)
• White gesso, small jar
• Matte acrylic medium, small jar
• Texts of different lengths that mean something to you
• A few images, decorative papers, maps, or other flat items that fit with your texts for collage

Optional: Apron, hair dryer (just a few), drawing board, brayer, pastels, colored pencils, graphite, different papers (whatever weight/color)

Note: If you want to use your own images for the photo transfer exercise, please email me a few of your images that I will print ahead of time for you on my laser printer. Otherwise, I will bring a variety of images for you to use. If you have a laser printer, you can print a few 2×3 or smaller photos for yourself to accompany your texts. Reverse the images, if needed, and print on regular copy paper, not photo paper.