Guest Author - Christine Sharbrough
Choosing an art class seems so simple and yet many people are unable to make a decision, or make a decision only to stop attending after the first class or two. So, how do you choose an art class? Or should you?
First, decide where you are in the artist spectrum. Are you a whiz at decoupage but have never held a paintbrush outside of spreading Mod Podge? Do you love to draw but cannot seem to paint with colors that do not end up looking like a mud puddle? Or, are you a landscape artist who wants to paint portraits? Somewhere in-between? Once you have established what you want to learn and where you are in the artist spectrum it is time to think about what you would like to learn or increase your skill level in.
If you seek additional training in a particular type of painting or art technique, often times the local craft stores will host inexpensive classes that include materials or a minimal materials fee to get you started down the creative path and help you hone your skills. If you are unable to travel or cannot find anything interesting or within your budget, YouTube has a wealth of free art offerings based on almost anything you would like to learn.
When thinking about how to work creativity into your life, think about what you do on a daily basis. Art takes time. Granted, it can take bits and pieces of time, but time none the less. If you are a working mom with little kids at home, chances are an evening art class is going to be out of reach due to time constraints and the double payment of sitter and class. Perhaps a weekend class might be a better choice.
Think about your cicadian rhythms. Are you more alert in the morning? Evening? Afternoon? When is your creative brain ready to work? If your creative brain is wired at 5:00 a.m., it is highly unlikely that you will find a class outside of your computer's internet connection. Same goes for the late evenings. Internet art offerings are great if this is your situation. They can be downloaded and watched at any time. Also, many public libraries purchase dvds of art classes and painting projects that are great to watch.
Finally, think realistically about how much time you have to devote to your art. Start small and work your way towards something larger. I was introduced to tangling two years ago. I started with a book, then moved to YouTube, then to an actual class. In Fall of 2014, I will attend the official Zentangle Seminar. I have worked my way up to being able to spend the time, energy and money to hone my craft. I have tried many different types of projects and crafts, this is one of the ones I found that worked for me.
You know yourself better than anyone else. What works for you?