Goals of the Copic Certification Class
The Copic Certification Class encompasses education of the most important aspects of Copic's product lines and includes hands-on education of product knowledge, blending techniques, answers to common problems and how to test and select your inks and papers. We will show you how to demonstrate, teach and sell Copic products. You will receive a complete curriculum filled with reference material, techniques and class instructions, as well as a teacher’s kit of products for demonstration (valued at $85.00 US MSRP) which includes one of each type of product from these lines. You will have an opportunity to use all of these products hands-on as we cover their function and differences between each one.
You will learn about three common mistakes and how to identify, test and use your materials.
You will learn four different blending techniques.
You will learn how to create texture and erase mistakes
You will learn how the markers are labeled – with what I personally like to refer to as The Copic Periodic Table of Colors.
You will learn how to choose colors that work well together from the Copic Color Wheel – which I personally refer to as the Galaxy of Copic Colors.
You will have an opportunity to airbrush with both the ABS-1 and the Air Compressor / ABS-3 setup and understand how each works.
You will have the opportunity to network with other peers in the industry
Certification is geered towards store owners, employees, designers and instructors in the paper crafting industry. Attending class covers all of these topics. But remember, if you are not able to attend a certification class near you, that almost everything that is taught in the class is covered on the Copic Product Specialist's blog, which is currently located at ilikemarkers.blogspot.com. There are a few tidbits that I elaborate on more in the class than what is on the blog, but I know that for people who avidly read the blog and practice what is covered there – then the certification is a lot of repeat. If something is talked about in certification that is not on the blog it's mostly because Marianne hasn't gotten around to writing it up yet. Many of the attendees do not have a chance to follow the blog, so the class is geared as a summary and intro to everything Copic and stamping-related.
While certification is not an art lesson or a place to make samples or projects, it is a chance for learning techniques and seeing up close how it works- the little "a-hah! that's what I was doing wrong…" kind of things so that you can build upon your skills with the information that is presented during class.
If being certified isn't as important to you as having a hands-on class and opportunity to learn about Copic markers or if a certification class is full, you may have the opportunity to attend a consumer class at that same location on the day before. Many locations at which I have booked the certification classes have chosen to have me come in a day in advance to offer 2-hour workshops, such as Copic 101. Perhaps this will suit your purposes instead? Contact the stores listed to see what they may be offering prior to the certification event.
After you are Certified…
Once you are Copic Certified you get a lovely little certificate to hang on your wall and you can say you're certified on your blog. Now you need to practice, practice, practice. What else do you get from attending the class?
What you Can do:
• Listed on our online Instructor list– this is located on the Copic Website under Instructors. It is currently being updated, so if your name is not on the list and you took a class after November, don't worry. Soon you can expect it to be updated within 2-3 weeks after each certification class, tough there are a lot of certification classes taking place this spring so please be patient.
• Offer in-store demos– ask your local stamp store if they would like you to do a demo or make-n-take. You need to provide all your own product supplies and make 'n take parts, though we are happy to offer literature and support materials. Please allow 2-3 weeks shipping if you request literature.
• Teach a papercrafting class- Take the techniques you learn and turn them into a workshop. You can print off any posts from this blog as instructional material, though you need to credit where the info came from. Again, if you need literature, just let us know with advance warning and we'll be happy to help. For a sample class instruction plan I actually follow the Stamping with Copic brochure that is included in the packet. I try to step through the techniques in that brochure so you can adapt it to your own classes because that brochure is mass-printed and easy to provide to an attendee (again, no finished projects, just techniques). You would have to take what you know and adapt it to your own projects. I personally don't like to be told in a rigid format how to do a project (I teach techniques, not finished cards) so I don't have any step-by-step outlines. On request I provide attendees a sample outline of my popular "Copics 101" class with a picture of some card samples if you want to create your own class of this type.
If you are teaching a class and you will need markers please remember: Copic markers are in very high-demand and you will want to place your order at least 60 days (preferrably 90 days if the colors are very specific) before your workshop especially if you order direct through Copic. Don't set up a class before you have product arranged- this will just make people unhappy. Ditto for stores trying to set up a Copic Club. Please have product before you hype an event.
• Peace of mind- You'll know that you heard information about Copics straight from our official representatives. If you ever have a question or problem just bug one of us and we either find the answer or take it straight to the manufacturer in Japan.
• Blog – Go ahead and share anything you learned in the class on your blog. Just cite where you learned the technique from if it is unusual or if others might have questions. If you have a blog and are certified and need the logo send me an e-mail with the city you were certified in and I will be happy to send that to you.
• Get asked by other people to teach – Occasionally we have a need for a demo or workshop across the country. We may contact you or another store might contact you. For this reason, be sure that your blog shows good, high-quality use of Copic products so that if someone comes looking for your services they'll know what kinds of things you make.
• Use the status to get on design teams – I know that it means a lot to some design teams if one of their candidates is Copic Certified, however, you still need to prove though high-quality work that you know what you learned and to get them to pick you.
What you can't do:
• Get Frustrated. If you're certified you still need to practice, it won't magically work the first time. Those of you who have taken the class know what I mean. Some of the blending techniques are tricky and you might not have mastered them during the class. Just keep practicing and you will improve. This is why you can re-take the class. We know you won't get it all the first time.
• Certify others. Sorry, to be able to certify others is a long, involved process and we are NOT looking for new instructors at this time. You can teach local classes but nott official Copic Certification classes.
As you can see, Certification is geared for people who plan on going and sharing what they have learned with others via store, classes, or online through their blog. We want everyone to be able to have access to high-quality Copic classes, even if they can't attend a certification themselves. If anyone takes a class from someone who is certified and has a good experience, please contact us. Likewise, if you have a bad experience please let us know why and how they can improve.
I hope this helps you understand the process a little better. We want everyone to be happy with their product knowledge and we are always looking for ways to improve our education events. In 2009 and 2010 we hope to visit many more cities and offer classes in places that have not had them before. You can see a map of current and other locations in the works on Google Maps.
Have patience! It may take a while to come to your region, but know that we still love you.
*portions excerpted from Copic blog