The Human Touch

Posted August 01 2016
Here at CCP, we obviously love learning from DVD workshops. But we also understand the value of learning from a human standing directly in front of you. And while many artists take advantage of workshops, there is also incredible power in taking a weekly class from a local instructor.

 

Now, finding that instructor may not be as easy as you think. I’ve taken a lot of drawing classes with little to no success. The best of those classes were uninspiring and the worst of those classes actually made me take an art break for awhile while I recollected myself. Even if you like the person’s work, you may not connect with their teaching style and that’s a big (a very big) deal. I took a few years off from even looking. Recently I realized that I needed to get back into the game and so I signed up for a figure drawing class at a local Portland studio and within the first hours, I knew I had found a new home.


Being an artist is incredibly rewarding work, but it can also be exhausting. You are both trainer and trainee. You decide when and where and how much you work...and then you have to do the actual work. You’re the one yelling. You’re the one sprinting. It can wear you down.


Having a local teacher not only gives you connections to your art community but it gives you a place to go where for a few glorious hours each week, you don’t have to make the decisions. You can put away your whistle and focus solely on your form. You can dedicate all of your mind to the process of learning.


For me, finding a local teacher and a drawing class gives me a rhythm to my week. Even if the world is falling down around me and my studio is filled with the dust of inactivity, I go to my drawing class. I walk in tired and leave excited about art again. In the four months I’ve been going, I’ve seen dramatic improvements in my drawing abilities. Plus the things I’m learning through the weekly class help me get more from my Creative Catalyst drawing DVDs and vice versa.  


So the next time you’re feeling a bit stagnant, think about the possibility of a weekly in-person art class. It may take a bit of trial and error, but speaking from experience, it’s really worth it when you find the right teacher.


How do you use local art classes as part of your art learning? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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Artist Kelly Anne Powers learns from where ever and whoever she can. You find her writing about that learning at her blog