Meet Our Instructor: Briana Goetzen

Photo Credit: Submitted by Briana Goetzen
We hope you enjoy to learning about our artist instructors, adding another dimension to their classes.  Their stories are also the stories of Marine Mills Folk School and our mission and values – creating community and sharing the joy of creating. Briana Goetzen started her career as a preschool teacher, then took a jog when her son was born and she focused more on creating and sharing art. But through it all, she’s recognized the importance of ‘process over product.’ She’s a big believer that it important not to focus on how something looks but rather on the reward of being in the moment with creativity. She’ll be sharing her skills and passion on April 4, Abstract Alcohol Inks on Canvas.

What was the reason you formed your studio, Orange Spiral Arts? I come from a long line of educators and studied education as an undergraduate. After teaching preschool for many years I got my masters in human development, where I studied spirituality, creativity and healing. Coming home to a toddler after a day with preschoolers seemed like a bad idea, so I started a small business and studio. I wanted to combine my belief in the power of art and the benefits to people of staying in the moment, with my love of teaching.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Briana Goetzen

Did you have mentors growing up? I always enjoyed art, I usually had markers or crayons and paper in my hands! My mother was and is very creative, always thinking about ways to make our home more welcoming and beautiful and using her sewing skills to accomplish her vision. She was a role model for me. I eventually got interested in journaling, which is a big part of my life and something I enjoy introducing others to.

What is alcohol ink and how did you get interested in it as an arts medium? It’s a dye based fluid medium that has primarily been used on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or non-porous paper. I got curious about it after seeing it at a craft store and began experimenting with it. I like it because it is unpredictable. Because of that uncertainty, people are forced to drop their expectations and be in the moment. This class will involve alcohol inks and a treated canvas that helps keep the ink on the surface.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Briana Goetzen

What do you hope people take away from your class? That they leave feeling they have the freedom to explore and ‘play’. Perhaps not just with art but in all aspects of their life. I know some people have a harder time than others letting go of their plans or expectations, and of being in the moment. My studies in creativity have given me some tools to help participants work on letting go. I love seeing people ‘light up’ during the creative process, and I want to help them get to that moment.

Why do you think the interest in ‘hands on learning’ is growing? I think because of the fast-paced expectations of our modern society. People are feeling overwhelmed. They are attracted to the ‘back-to-the-basics’ approach of folk schools, as well as the emphasis on community and connections.

Photo Credit: MN DNR

Irrationalfear: Heights
Unusualfoodcombination: I like raw onions on just about everything! I’m a shy person and that seems like a big taste for someone like me, but I do love them
Favorite place in nature: I absolutely love the tall pine forest in Itasca State Park. The smell of pine, the height of the trees, the light…..wonderful
Skill you wish you had: To be honest without too revealing
Recommended bookPigments of Your Imagination: Creating with Alcohol Inks, by Cathy Taylor