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A 12-week course to awaken your creativity, silence your inner critic, dance with your inner muse, and bring the big visions inside you to life.



PLAYING AROUND ONLINE: exploring self • creating art

Next dates TBA…


Shed your inhibitions, try out new techniques, inject your personality into your art, writing, and creative crafts — and learn to use your unique life story as inspiration!

This creativity workshop is designed to inspire, enlighten, and energize you and will focus on expression and playful ways to tap into your creativity. You don’t have to be an expert to participate (though it’s totally cool if you are!) and, contrary to the myth of the suffering artist, creating doesn’t have to be painful.

Everyone has many stories to tell, so come play with us and share some of yours!

Think of this as a playdate for the big kids. Creativity is not just for “special” people with “special” (read: superhuman/genius) abilities.

It’s for you. It is! You’re allowed!

All experience levels welcome!

What will we do? We will…

…Make a creative mess

…Learn to leap fearlessly onto the empty page

…Chop and mix and rearrange what you’ve got to make something even better

…Use creative play, intuitive painting, collage, freewriting and book arts to clarify values, dreams, goals

…Explore media and modes of expression

…Create a visual touchstone/map/reminder/inspiration to inspire you going forward

To gain clarity and insight into…

…What makes you truly happy

…Where you’re out of balance

…What to let go of and what to bring in for optimal life satisfaction

We will explore…

…Forgotten pleasures

…Turning points

…Innovation, inspiration, and accident

And you will feel…



…Confident in your creative abilities

…Excited about what you have accomplished

…Infused with the muse and ready to do more!

This is a 12-week workshop. Each week will include:

  • Specific worksheets to be done in class and serve as a jumping off point for sharing discoveries
  • An additional weekly assignment or “Artist’s Date” — also known as enforced playtime!
  • “Playshop” time, to actually CREATE an intuitive painting/collage/freewriting while we’re on the phone/web together
  • Monthly “Open Studio Hours” for Creative Sandbox Time
  • Check-in/sharing/Q&A/Coaching & masterminding



Ready to sign up?

This session of Playing Around Online is currently closed. To get the latest Poobah offerings, click here to get to Melissa’s site, and click here to get to Kelly’s site.



Want a peek into what we’ll be doing?
Here’s an outline:


Week 1: What’s your story? Who are you?

Week 2: Naming parts of your personality

Week 3: Self-portrait

Week 4: Write like an orphan/What is your hidden secret?


Week 5: Life declutter

Week 6: Limitations as innovation-inducers

Week 7: Pacing/balance/priorities

Week 8: Using what you’ve got


Week 9: Forgotten pleasures

Week 10: Imaginary Lives

Week 11: This is where the road turns

Week 12: Moving forward




Playing Around Online FAQs

Who attends Playing Around Online?

We know you are supposed to “target your niche”, but really, Playing Around Online is for everybody! If you are interested in making art, or exploring your creativity, and you’re ready for some transformation, you are hereby given permission to come. No expertise required.

We aim to create a safe place to create, period. These are not master classes and the focus is not on perfecting your technique. Our name pretty much says it all, we want you to play and if you want us, we want you!

Please note: experienced artists and creators are welcome as well. We think everyone should take some time to play.

Who are these “Poobahs” of whom you speak?

The Poobahs are Poobah Kelly and Poobah Melissa. After discovering each other on the interwebs, the Poobahs discovered they had a mutual dream of creating a place where everyone could come to play and explore their creative urges.

You can find more details on the Poobahs here, but the short story is that they have both spent their lives exploring their art interests and learning how to cram them into their everyday lives, and now they want to help you do the same. But with less emphasis on the cramming and more emphasis on ease.

Interesting fact: no one knows how many other Poobahs may be floating around the interwebs, as yet undiscovered.

What does a session of Playing Around Online look like?

We start each session with a worksheet, to be done in class, which will serve as a jumping off point for sharing discoveries. Then we move into playtime, which may include painting, writing, storytelling, calligraphy, collage… or any combination thereof.

Check-in, sharing, Q&A, coaching, and “masterminding” are also part of the process. There are plenty of opportunities to share with and be inspired by each other; that’s the point of playing together, after all!

We also highly recommend you take advantage of the following additional opportunities for play:

  • A weekly assignment or “Artist’s Date”, also known as enforced playtime!
  • The monthly “Open Studio Hours” for Creative Sandbox Time

Please note: playing is fun, educational, and good for you. There! You have just been given permission to play.

What languages do you teach the course in?

The course is taught exclusively in English*. We welcome native speakers of other languages, but do not provide materials in languages other than English or any translation services. During the workshop you are welcome to write in any language you please, but you should be prepared to both listen and share your own work and thoughts in English.

Please note: To be specific, the Poobahs speak American English, so those of you coming to us from the UK should plan to arrive fully prepared to concede that it is perfectly acceptable to refer to those crunchy potato snacks found in bags as “chips,” while the thicker sliced ones found on plates may be called “french fries” (as opposed to “crisps” and “chips”). When writing we may also make free use of the letter “z”, or “zed”, as you insist on calling it.

*The Poobahs are fluent in the language of fun and hope to give you a good foundation in it throughout the course of this course ;)

How well do I have to draw or write?

You may come to us with years of experience or none at all. The point of Playing Around Workshops is to get your creative juices flowing now and provide you with techniques you can use in the future when you get stuck. You may paint a masterpiece in our workshop or discover that you really love yellow. Either is equally valid.

Poobah facts: We love diversity and hope that artists, astronauts, and accountants will come play with us.

How does an online class work? Where will the classes be held?

Unlike our other Playing Around Workshops, which take place in really cool physical places (like Istanbul!), Playing Around Online is held in a “virtual” classroom, over the phone and (ahem) online! Our 12 weekly sessions, and the monthly “Open Studio Hours,” will be conducted on a special, private conference line, which you can dial into from any telephone, OR with an inexpensive Skype or Google Voice account from your computer. (Skype-to-phone accounts cost less than $3/month; Google Voice accounts range from free to very cheap.)

There will also be a private forum in the form of a Facebook group, where participants can interact, and a password-protected webpage where we post new content, downloads, etc.

One of the cool things about our special conference line is that it allows us to break the class into small groups, for super-fun small-group-y stuff. So if you’re concerned that a long phone call will get boring, never fear! We make it FUN!

Poobah fact: All of the weekly sessions will be recorded, so even if you can’t make any of the classes in person, you can still participate in the course.

When will the class meetings be held?

Playing Around Online 2012 will meet on Wednesdays for 90 minutes at 10:30am PST / 8:30pm Istanbul Time. (That’s 11:30am MST, 12:30pm CST, 1:30pm EST, 6:30pm GMT.)

In addition, there will be “Open Studio Hours” once a month, with times that may vary.

Are the phone calls toll-free?

The number to get into the calls is a US number, and it is not toll-free.

If this is a concern, we strongly recommend you sign up for a monthly account with skype, or a Google Voice account. Skype allows you to “dial” in from your computer, up to 10,000 minutes per user per month, up to 6 hours per day, for less than $3/month — more than enough for our weekly calls — and Google Voice ranges from free to very cheap, depending on where in the world you are.

What if I can’t make all the meetings? Will the calls be recorded?

Yes, the calls will be recorded (“god-willing and the creek don’t rise,” as they say — technology doesn’t always work the way we expect it to), and we’ll post them for you to download within 24 hours of the class meeting. It’s totally not a problem if you can’t make all the meetings. Although we hope you can come to at least some of the calls, because it’s extra awesome to be able to interact in real time, you could actually take the class and not make any of the meetings in real time, and you’d still get a ton out of it.

What are the “Open Studio Hours”?

“Open Studio Hours” are basically virtual playtime. Once a month, for 90 minutes to 2 hours, Poobah Melissa will open her studio (virtually, that is) to anyone who wants to play with her. We’ll spend the first 10-15 minutes of the “Open Studio Hours” to connect and check in about what we’re each going to work on/play with, then we’ll all go off and, well, play, before meeting up again 90 minutes to 2 hours later to share how our playtime went.

Poobah facts: The Poobahs have learned from experience that this format is remarkably effective for getting people to set aside time for creative play!


Ready to sign up?

This session of Playing Around Online is currently closed. To get the latest Poobah offerings, click here to get to Melissa’s site, and click here to get to Kelly’s site.



More Questions?

We’d love to answer them! Just head on over to our contact page and we’ll get back to you right quick! (We don’t bite. Plus remember, if you have a question, it’s likely someone else does too, so ask away, and we’ll answer personally, then add the question to our FAQs to help other people with the same question! :))