Betsy Beier

Meet your sketchbook journal teacher and travel with Betsy to Paris, France in September 2024
Art Walk France

About Betsy Beier

Illustrator, author, and teacher, Betsy Beier creates workshops, art classes, travel guide books, and wanderlust inspired products to help you add creativity and artistic expression to your everyday life. Betsy believes that creativity is contagious. Her mission is to help people of all art abilities develop their own artistic practice and see the world through a creative lens. 

Her unique and approachable teaching style encourages storytelling through multiple mediums – drawing, painting, photography, writing, and collage. She is passionate about providing historical context and uncovering the creative details of a location many times overlooked by travelers.

“Betsy is such a wonderful teacher. She makes art totally accessible for her students.”

Linda

Betsy Beier teaching sketchbook art workshop

Corporate to Creative

Built on a foundation of a BFA (University of Colorado, Boulder) and MFA (Pratt Institute, New York City), Betsy Beier’s rich and diverse 35 year art career has spanned from Art Director at creative firms to UX Architect at a large software corporation. When her kids were born, she left the corporate world to build a thriving entrepreneurial career. This allowed her to license and publish her art with top companies such as TJMaxx, ABC Studios, Quarto/Walter Foster publishers, Shutterfly, True South Puzzles, West Margin Press and many others. Once her children headed to college, she and her husband packed their bags and moved to Paris, France to finally have their own “semester abroad”! 

Betsy is passionate about building community through creativity no matter the medium. Her mission is to help people of all art abilities develop their own artistic practice and see the world through a creative lens. Betsy was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She and her husband are currently splitting their time between California, Paris and London. You can find her online at www.wanderlustdesigner.com, www.betsybeier.com, and on instagram @wanderlustdesigner & @creativewanderlustcommunity.

Betsy Beier Sketchbook Journal Gallery

Artist Interview: Betsy Beier

Why do students attend your courses? What will they get out of it?

Time and time again I have had students tell me how much fun they had while on one of my creative wanderlust adventures. How they learned things they didn’t know before. How they tried things they thought they could never do. 

I think students attend my courses and come back for more because beyond just creating art, relaxing and enjoying the moment; they also gain confidence in their own creativity. And once that happens, it’s hard to turn off the desire for more creative time!

What attracts you about travel journaling?

I have never regretted creating a travel journal in my life, and I have been making them ever since I was a young girl!

Inherently the act of taking the time to create, embeds the memory of the trip or day deeper into my mind. It can be jotting down some notes, doodling a simple image, collaging found ephemera, or watercoloring an intricate scene. Creating makes the experience more memorable. I now may see a post on instagram of a building in a random city, or a book talking about a specific street, and I can hands down say, “I’ve been there, I drew that!”

The memories these journals hold for me are constant reminders of my day to day, the trials and tribulations of my life, all are truly priceless.

How do you work? What is your teaching style?

When it comes to creativity and art making, I am all about NOT following rules! Yes, there are plenty of art techniques one can master to get exact renditions of a portrait, say, or 3 point perspective, and for those that find this exciting, I say go for it! 

For me, though, I’m much more flexible in my teaching style. Creativity and art should not be a chore, it is a continual experiment. We have so many tools at our disposal (hi-end cameras embedded in our phones, apps that create masterpieces, AI, etc.). If you’d like to use them, do! Or, if you prefer a brush, while I’m demonstrating with a pen, then have at it. Do you want to doodle on sight, and add color later? Perfect!

My goal is to encourage my students to be as creative as possible in whatever way works for them. I find when I provide guidance (hand outs, prompts, ideas), yet also freedom to express themselves how they see fit, the magic happens!

What inspires you?

I think the real question is what DOESN’T inspire me. My family and friends know, I have an insatiable curiosity to discover the world. I’m fascinated with culture, history, people, travel and of course anything artistic. I’m invigorated by nature but energized by cities. My current obsession is learning a second language. (Which language, you ask? French, bien sûr.) The process, albeit challenging, has definitely added polygot to my lifelong bucket list.  

Why do you do what you do?

The easiest way to answer this is I just can’t imagine doing anything else! Like so many other artists, I’ve always loved making. I’m a production bee, and get great satisfaction when I’ve created something – a drawing, a book, a recipe, pretty much anything! I also find immense joy when I can teach others to see just how creative they are as well. 

I can’t tell you how many people have told me flat out that they are NOT creative, or some person in their life, way back when, told them their art was horrible, and they stopped. It breaks my heart! When I work with these students and see the creativity light bulb go off in their head, it is so incredibly fulfilling. It will fuel me for weeks. 

What is your background?

In my 35 year artistic career I have worn many, many artsy hats. In looking back, I think this wardrobe change is just indicative of who I am, a curious creative! 

Some memorable projects throughout my career have been: designing an interactive experience for Apple Computer at Epcot Center; creating endless numbers of drink tent menus (you find at bars) for Seagram’s beverages; designing and installing a Coney Island-inspired exhibit at a large science museum; storyboarding a CD-ROM game (yes, CD-ROM); being a “webmaster” at a classic Silicon Valley startup (ask me the definition of webmaster sometime!); teaching 1,000s of software engineers at a giant computer company how to follow the user-interface standards I had written; watching a Criminal Minds television show episode looking for my artwork in the background; providing 100s of party ideas and designs for themed events; illustrating, authoring and publishing 5 creative travel/art on the go books; illustrating 13 detailed puzzles that are sold across the US; leading creative workshops and classes in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Paris, and other locations; and many other random, rewarding experiences!

Join Betsy Beier for an art-filled adventure in Paris

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