05/01/2011 by Sarah Ritchie
For the education and development of an artist, I hold that taking courses in art are vital. Art classes not only help an artist to move to the next level in their knowledge and skills, they create an environment of interaction, collaboration and mentorship which can be a welcome support for the solitary artist.
However, art courses do not come cheap. I have been looking for night school options for Term 1 of 2011. For an 8 week course at a community college, classes start around NZ$95 and go upwards from there.
If one does not (or cannot) attend an art class, what are the alternatives?
- THE LIBRARY: The New Zealand library system is a free resource for all residents. The ‘trust’ system – that the library is based on – means I can waltz out of the building with dozens of resource books at no cost to me other than the petrol it took to get to the library!
- YOUTUBE: The YouTube phenomenon has swept the globe, bringing with it some excellent art and design-focused videos. One can learn a new technique, find out how to use various materials or watch a painting being created. If you want to know how to do something, chances are very high you will find it on YouTube…at no cost other than your internet connection and time.
- ART GROUPS: I can’t talk from experience on this one, as I do not belong to any art group…yet. However, many years ago I belonged to a local photographic club. Meeting together with like-minded people – where it is OK to talk obsessively about your common interest – can be a great time of sharing and learning. I am sure the same would apply to art societies and art interest groups. Finding a local art group to join is on my “to do” list for this year, so I will keep you posted.
- ONLINE GROUPS: There are countless online groups where you can discuss and learn about art. They range from discussions and forums (e.g. www.triiibes.com), peer review sites (e.g. www.paintingsilove.com) and blog sites, through to participating in online webinars (web-based seminars), online conferences and development courses.
As you can see, the artist need not be too concerned if they cannot attend an art class. Nothing can quite match a real live tutor and classmates, however I am very grateful to have all these other low or no-cost options available.
On Day Five of the new year, what are you grateful for today?