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Art Education - Part 1

Hello!


This is the first part of a three-post look at art education: (1) The differences between learning venues, (2) how to choose which option is best for your career, and (3) how you can share your education with others.


So, what are some of the educational avenues available to artists?



There are options for everyone! No matter how you are limited by your time, budget, location, or preference, there is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn just around the corner.

 

This is as comprehensive a list as I could collect, but if you have more ideas or resources that you have found helpful I would love to hear them in the comments! If you are interested in my thoughts on only a few of these, you can stroll past the others to specific sections. I have each section header bolded and underlined for clear distinction! The pros and cons listed for each option are subjective, so what may be a deal-breaker for some could be a benefit to another.


- Ateliers

- Tutors

- Art focused colleges

- Local art courses

- Life drawing groups

- Live Artist Demos

- Workshops

- Online workshops

- Patreon classes

- Artist DVDs

- Artist Podcasts

- Art Education Books and Monographs

- Artists Instagram/Facebook Pages

- Blogs

- Youtube videos


Now let's dive into each option and its pros and cons!


Ateliers

An Atelier, by definition, is " the private workshop or studio of a professional artist in the fine or decorative arts where a principal master and a number of assistants, students, and apprentices can work together producing pieces of fine art or visual art released under the master's name or supervision. "

I have not studied at an Atelier, so my knowledge concerning them is purely second hand and is quite limited. Please bear this in mind as you consider whether or not you are interested in attending one.

From my understanding, an Atelier is a school that offers classes and workshops by master artists who regularly teach there, as well as occasional guest teachers (similar to a college). Generally, students study under one specific artist, most often accompanied by an assistant or two. It is a prestigious education to receive, focused heavily on discipline and long hours - qualities that are necessary to your career regardless of where you learn.

They are renowned for a very precise and academic approach, with varying levels of focus on high realism and the exact copying of your subject.


Here are some website links to prestigious ateliers for you to learn more about!


Pros:

Organized and consistent practice and study

Learn to be an excellent draftsman (drawing accurately)

Learn anatomy

Learn techniques and tools to achieve high realism

Daily personal critique by your teacher (assuming they are attentive and communicate clearly)

Exposure of your work to master artists and artistic connections

Strong artist community

Scholarships available

Very connected to the fine art community

Great education regarding art history


Cons:

Teaches a limited style

Enforces specific subject matter and time spent on each piece

Less encouragement for individual expression/style

Little time for outside projects

Does not guarantee artistic success (although no one can guarantee you that!)

Does not focus on connection with your subject/capturing the essence of them.

It is very expensive unless you are chosen for a scholarship


- Tutors

Tutors are a wonderful way to receive personal and specific instruction. Since you are the one choosing who you will learn from, you can target specific styles, subject matter focus, or main medium based on who you seek out to be your tutor. It isn't always guaranteed that you will be able to receive one-on-one tutelage from your ideal choice. Maybe there is a waitlist you can ask to be on, that particular artist may not have the time or desire to tutor, or you may have to be invited or chosen by that artist.

If you are lucky enough to be tutored by a caring and experienced artist, you will be sure to have access to valuable critique of your work, a great learning opportunity, and regular occasion to pick your tutor's brain!


Pros:

One on one instruction (even if there are a few other students present)

Regularly critique and practice

Opportunity for new connections and experiences through your tutor

Education specific to your desired medium and style

The occasion to converse with your teacher privately about their careers and questions you might have

Likely a valuable and meaningful relationship with a mentor


Cons:

You might not have access to your ideal tutor

It will most likely be expensive

Might have a long commute


- Art focused colleges

Art-focused colleges may seem very similar to an atelier, but from what I have heard from artists who have studied at each institution (including my older sister) they are vastly different.

With a college versus an atelier, you will likely have to take other classes that are not related to art. These can still be very helpful if you use them intentionally for your career. Science can teach you great lessons about how you see light and color, anatomy and biology, and other physical matters relevant to painting. Math will be helpful for the marketing and business side of your art. Just like with any other information you learn, it is up to you to use it or not. If you are intent on learning, most things can be used to teach you more about art

Art education through a college is often a liberal environment. Also, in contrast to an atelier, it is very focused on a range of medium and subject matter. Personal expression is often encouraged, and sometimes you might be given vague instructions to challenge your creativity. Something I have noticed (second-hand) is that there seems to be darker and more abstract art pervasive in this community.


Pros:

Encouragement of personal style and expression

A wide variety of classes on mediums/techniques (drawing, painting, sculpting, metalwork, etc.)

Regular critique and practice

Opportunity to ask questions of your instructor

Strong artist community

Experience

Other venues for art-related income (You could earn a degree to be an art therapist, art teacher, graphic designer, etc.)


Cons:

Less focus on classical fine art

With a variety of classes, it could be harder to refine a specific medium or technique

Limited time for outside projects

Non-art specific classes required

Expensive

Possibly a long commute

Does not guarantee career success for the time and expense required

You will likely have to spend ample time on projects you're not inspired by

Might not as connected to the fine art community (more focused on careers like art therapy, art teacher, art historian etc.)


- Local art courses

Local art courses are often available through schools, libraries, galleries, and art centers. These are great for learning about specific mediums, styles, or subject matter. While it can be a lot of fun to attend one of these local art courses, they will probably be less advanced and less focused on creating professional-quality art. It is a wonderful way to meet other creative people and make connections in your community. Who knows, maybe one of your fellow students will become a collector or commission your work!


Pros:

Easily accessible

Generally less expensive/free

New connections

Artistic community

Specific instruction

Shorter time commitment

Fun!

Not a big risk (financially or personally)


Cons:

Less intensive

You might not learn advanced techniques in these courses

Your experience will greatly depend on who your instructor is (although this can be applied to any learning venue)


- Life drawing groups

Life drawing groups can be a fantastic way to connect and work with other local artists, practice painting/drawing from life (which is almost universally encouraged as the best way to learn), and devote a consistent time to your art.


Pros:

Great artist community

Often strongly connected to the fine art world

Practice from life

Very affordable models (artists often pay as little as $6 for a whole three hours of a live model!)

Consistency (although that depends on you)

New connections

You are generally able to select your own spot (which angle of your subject most inspires you)

Freedom to work in your own style and pace

Flexibility

Opportunity to receive critique (though you will probably have to ask for it)

Not a big risk


Cons:

There isn't usually a speaker or instructor (which is a con if you are looking for direct instruction)

You don't choose the model set up/pose (unless you are welcomed to be proactive in this area)


- Live Artist Demos

Live artist demos are often free to observe at art shows/exhibit openings, in galleries, libraries, and festivals.


Pros:

Often free

Flexible

Not a big risk

Close observation of an artist at work

Opportunity to ask questions

You are free to choose exactly who you want to watch

Art community

Friendly environment

New connections

Easily accessible


Cons:

You may only be able to watch a small part of their process

Enjoying close-up observation isn't always possible


- Workshops

With many of the same pros as attending local art courses, workshops provide specific instruction on select mediums, styles, techniques, etc. Workshops have been my primary choice for art education with their intensive approach, frequent demonstrations, ample time to practice, personal critique, new connections, the occasion to travel, your choice of who/what/where you study(since you are choosing which workshop to attend), and the wealth of knowledge you are able to draw from. (Pun not intended.)


Pros:

Close observation of an artist at work

Opportunity to ask questions

Art community

New connections

Specific instruction

Shorter time commitment

Fun!

Lots to soak up in a short amount of time

You are generally able to select your own spot (which angle of your subject most inspires you)

Freedom to work in your own style and pace

Flexibility

Opportunity to receive critique


Cons:

Often expensive

There are generally travel expenses as well

Not all workshops are good experiences (maybe the instructor is too harsh/doesn't take charge/doesn't communicate well/doesn't have time for everyone)

(My experiences have thankfully been wonderful thanks to the artists I have studied with: Robert Liberace, Tina Garrett, Sherrie McGraw, Daniel Keys, Richie Carter, Kenneth Yarus. I highly recommend them!)

Depending on your budget, you may only be able to afford one or two workshops a year. Not as consistent.


- Online workshops

I love online workshops. With nearly all of the benefits of in-person workshops, you are also often able to rewatch these workshops multiple times after attending/purchasing them!


Pros:

Usually more affordable than in-person workshops

Close observation of an artist at work

Opportunity to ask questions

Art community

New connections

Specific instruction

Shorter time commitment

Fun!

Lots to soak up in a short amount of time

Freedom to work in your own style and pace

Flexibility

Opportunity to receive critique (depending on the workshop and website/app)

Usually extended/unlimited access to recordings of the classes!


Cons:

Still relatively expensive

Your questions might not be chosen, depending on the time constraints

You are not able to have that priceless face-to-face connection with your instructor and classmates

Personal critique is not always available

You aren't able to work from life or see your instructor's work in person.


- Patreon classes

Patreon classes have piqued my interest many times with the fantastic artists who utilize it. Stephen Bauman, Scott Waddell, and Susan Lyon to name a few! For as little as $1 per month, not only can you have access to a wealth of information and demonstrations, but you could be supporting an artist in their dream career.



Pros:

Flexibility with cost (you choose how much you spend!)

No commute

Huge resource for information, video demonstration, and education

Available wherever you bring your electronic device

No time limit on available teaching materials (the videos will stay available once published)

Supporting other artists

Great online art community

Building blocks for friendships with other artists

You can unsubscribe if you're not able to afford the monthly payment


Cons:

Monthly payment

Not face-to-face

Portfolio/work critique isn't always available


Artist DVDs (or USB flash drives)

DVDs generally aren't as popular as online streaming nowadays, but there is a wide selection of artist DVDs available for you to choose from. Recently, more artists have offered their videos as downloads as well, so a physical copy isn't always necessary!

Whatever you are interested in learning, from plein air painting to charcoal portraits, there is sure to be an artist who has dedicated innumerable hours to providing an in-depth video on that subject/medium. One of the best instructional videos I have watched is Tina Garrett's "Painting the Portrait from Photos". Tina's ~6-hour video is a gold mine of information. She teaches how to use photoshop in your painting process, shares advice on oil painting, and includes hours' worth of high-resolution demonstration videos. I can't recommend it enough.


Here are a few links to videos you can buy! Daniel Keys offers some wonderful shorter demos.


Pros:

Workshop-quality instruction available as often as you like

Range of expenses to choose from ($ - $$$)

Close up views of demonstrations

Uninteruppted learning

Supporting other artists


Cons:

Can be expensive


Artist Podcasts

Artist podcasts are a fun and accessible way to enhance your art education. Often relaxed and personable, listening to podcasts can be a really enjoyable way to keep learning wherever you go. Listening to artists' interviews and conversations not only provides answers and insight, but spark great questions you can ask an artist you admire.


Pros:

Easily accessible

Most often free

Fun

Lots of variety to choose from

Readily available


Cons:

(I don't really see any cons to this one! You can simply choose to stop listening if you don't care for a particular podcast.)


Art Education Books and Monographs

Ahh, art books. What a lovely thing to possess. Pages of HQ photos and close-ups of artwork, in-depth descriptions, enthusiastic stories, and a massive resource for instruction... surely there are no cons for this category!

Here are a few that I own, and a couple that I'd like to!




Pros:

Easily accessible

Range of prices ($-$$$)

For discounted prices, check out Goodwill stores, local second-hand book stores, amazon.com, ebay.com, or thriftbooks.com

Fun

Lots of variety to choose from

Readily available


Cons:

Physical copies could become worn or damaged over time


Artist Instagram/Facebook Pages

Many artists share updates and progress photos through their social media accounts. Following your favorite artists online (there are even accounts for artists long gone!) is an easy and enjoyable way to constantly see beautiful artwork, helpful progress photos/videos, and an inside look at the artist's life and career.


Pros:

Frequent photos and demos of artwork you admire

Usually, artists are very open with their process, struggles, and tips!

Free

Easily accessible

Enjoyable

Large online art community

Opportunity to reach out to an artist you respect


Cons:

This is a venue that will perahps only be educational if you are seeking out instruction. Some artists might not express their methods verbally, so it will take your desire to understand and observe to be able to learn from what they post. If you look carefully, many times you will see how they painted/drew/sculpted something. Their brushstrokes, marks, and application can teach you a lot. Again, with any venue you choose to pursue art education, you will learn if you really want to understand


Blogs

Artist blogs are such a great resource for learning! (Not that I am biased!) When you find a blog with photos and posts from an artist you really like, it is such a fun way to learn more about what you love. There are lots of artists who write regularly on their blogs and have an extensive online gallery of their work. I highly recommend this as a resource to utilize! Here is a list of some great artist blogs!


Includes in-depth instruction, advice, and/or tutorials:


Artist Websites


Pros:

Easily accessible

Free

Lots of information

HIgh quality photos of artwork

Readily available

Enormous variety to choose from

Possible online connections!


Cons:

It does take time to sit down to read an article (as you well know) but this applies to books and videos as well.

With variety comes contrasting advice. This is also relevant to any educational venue, but particularly in an online space where an artist has the freedom to share their candid advice and opinions. Just take everything you learn with a grain of salt, and really consider what they are teaching you and how it compares to other instruction you've received.


Youtube Videos

If you wish you could just watch blogs instead of reading them, Youtube is perfect for you! (Even if you also enjoy reading!)

There are so many Youtube channels and videos with demonstrations, reviews, tutorials, advice, and discussions. Bonus, if you subscribe to a channel you enjoy watching, you are supporting the artist and sharing their work!


Pros:

Easily accessible

Free

Lots of information

Readily available

Enormous variety to choose from

Possible online connections!


Cons:

Ads


That's all I have for now! I hope you found this post helpful. I would love to hear anything you may have learned from reading this or any suggestions./experiences you have had with these venues!


Happy learning!


Kate

Yorumlar


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