When the concept for You Can Folk It first launched, it was purely to create a teaching system for teaching beginner painters. I wanted to create quality education and materials all in one box. Then as the concept started to spread to countries throughout the world, enthusiastic students asked if they could use the materials to teach their own lessons. Of course, I was delighted that others wanted to pass on the knowledge I had created, so I labeled them ‘Ambassadors’. I created a private FB group to support and encourage them and allowed the ‘Ambassadors’ to purchase You Can Folk It supplies at a discounted price to use in their classes and with their own students.
As the ‘Ambassadors’ group organically developed, we’ve loosely used the names; ‘Ambassador Group’, ‘Ambassador Programme’, etc. But as we grow, it’s now time to get a little more official. So it is now:
I feel the word ‘initiative’ sums up perfectly the type of community I want to create for those who want to use the You Can Folk It Method of Folk Art Painting to teach.
Initiative = The ability to assess and initiate things independently.
Here are some statements that sum up what the Ambassadors Initiative:
•An Ambassador is someone who has a passion to share the You Can Folk It method of Folk Art.
•There is no accreditation process in place for ‘Ambassadors’ - I trust the Ambassador can assess and initiate things independently. They know when they are ready to pass on their knowledge to others.
•All Ambassadors are independent. They are responsible for setting their prices, creating & promoting their classes, using the education & tools available to them through the ‘You Can Folk It Ambassador Initiative’ in their own unique way.
•Ambassadors support one another and understand that their classes are unique. There are enough students for everyone, and exclusivity doesn’t kill their competitors, instead, it kills the growth of Folk Art Painting. ‘There are no unique messages, just unique messengers’.
•We provide a private FB community for Ambassadors, along with teaching materials and supplies to Ambassadors. Ambassadors are free to take what is useful to them and leave the rest.
•August 2021 will see the launch of ‘The You Can Folk It A.I.M’ (Ambassador Initiative Mentorship). This is a paid monthly membership where Carol will guide Ambassadors in all areas of setting up their business and teaching the You Can Folk It Method of Folk Art Painting.
Carol Sykes, Queen of Brushstrokes
Founder of You Can Folk It!
Folk Art Painting Skills. Describe what Folk Art Painting you have done to date.
I learnt Folk Art Painting when I lived in Perth Australia in the early ’90s. I attended a Studio run by Vicki Nicholson - Folk Art Design Studio. Vicki had an amazing teaching structure and created the foundation for me to understand the foundation of Folk Art from the first brushstroke. Since then I’ve attended too many workshops to list, some good, some not so good, each one teaching me something.
Teaching skills. Describe any teaching experience you have had.
Starting in 1995, I taught classes in Sheffield (UK) from 2003-2006 and I worked as DecoArt Helping Artist Co-ordinator leading teachers throughout Europe & South Africa and showing them the skills of teaching Folk Art using DecoArt Americana. In 2015 I founded You Can Folk It and between 2006-2015 I did little teaching as I focused on managing my son’s clothing business www.dropdead.co
Where: Do you already have a vision of where you want to teach?
I want to make learning Folk Art Painting accessible to all. I love creating teaching systems that anyone can follow and are easily accessible from anywhere. I want others to easily create a teaching business with my help.
Who: Do you already have a vision of who you want to teach?
I love to teach new painters the foundation of Folk Art Painting and mentor teachers to teach beginners. I love the quote ‘There are no unique messages, only unique messengers’ - that is so true and I feel it applies to students too. There are so many unique students looking for a class that suits them, my vision is that I can provide guidance and tools to help every teacher attract the right students for them.
Why: Please let me know why you want to teach?
I’m really good at it and it lights me up when I create lessons that will help both learners and teachers reach their personal goals. At first glance, Folk Art Painting might not seem life-changing, but when you see first-hand the transformative effects on students, you know that it’s selfish to keep this great skill to yourself.