For LA being such a creative “hub” if you will, I’ve still found it somewhat difficult to actually find new ways to continue the creative learning process (without having to sign up for school/ a course). Obviously there are plenty of activities like Paint Night, pottery classes, or random one-off creative events around town, but for the longest time I hadn’t really been able to find a place I could consistently count on to offer simple creative type classes.
After graduating with a degree in Art from Chapman in 2011, it was genuinely sad for me that I couldn’t keep up with my painting, or “art-ing” in general. I had no space to paint, no inspiration to draw, and no one to push me. I’d eventually given in to taking courses at OTIS, which for a more in depth look into a subject I still highly recommend, but I couldn’t keep shelling out $500 at a time every time I had a creative craving. But then, just one month ago actually, I was introduced by a friend to a place called Makers Mess – aka everything I feel like I’ve been looking for in terms of continued creative learning in a short, easy, and fun way in LA.
Makers Mess is a self described “creative space for artists to learn, collaborate, and inspire.” Makers Mess was founded by lady boss Brandy Lewis with the intention to create a space in which people could feel free to make messes and/or masterpieces while “discovering and perfecting their artistic talents”. The small cozy art studio is located in Silverlake and actually offers classes for both kids and adults – separately of course. For kids they’ve got classes every Saturday from 9:30am – 12pm with each week having a different theme, as well as holiday day camps and a Spring Break camp. For adults they’ve got classes all throughout the week ranging from “natural bundle dying”, to watercolor, figure drawing, macrame, abstract painting, block printing, cartooning, Japanese embroidery, beer brewing (true story), calligraphy (which is the class I took!) and OH DOES THE LIST JUST GO ON AND ON!
Seriously though. How freaking cool is that. One little studio, tons of different types of classes, just a couple of hours each. Even if you aren’t necessarily “artistically inclined” this is the type of place where it really doesn’t even matter. All you have to do is walk in and want to learn – it’s impossible not to have a good time when all you’re doing is playing!
As mentioned I was really interested in taking a calligraphy class at Makers Mess so that’s the one I chose to test the waters with. The class was lead by Shinah of Crooked Caligraphy and totaled around 3 hours. In that time Shinah took us through her starters guide, gave us pens/nibs/ink to work with (which we were all able to take home), and introduced us all to the fundamental elements to mastering calligraphy.
Am I the most amazing caligrapher now? No, but am I way better than I was before and do I have a desire to keep practicing? YES. And that’s really what I love about Makers Mess, it provides a wonderful place to get away and get creative for a few hours without having to make any crazy commitments. The older we get the harder it is to make those types of commitments, especially to learning new hobbies, but with Makers Mess if you can commit to a few hours here and there, you can commit to investing a little more in yourself.
I am so beyond thankful to have found this place and absolutely COULD NOT resist sharing with the rest of you, it’s places like this that make me so grateful to live in a place like Los Angeles amongst such incredible, creative, and inspiring people. There’s a class for everyone at Makers Mess, what’s piquing your interest? (I don’t know about you but I will DEFINITELY be at the “Intro to Fashion Illustration” class with Jeanette Getrost in April – LOVE her work and can’t even believe she’ll be teaching a class!)
MAKERS MESS // 602 North Hoover, Silver Lake, CA 90004