Thursday, July 18, 2013
Which Online Illustration Class Should I Take?
I recently asked for questions and tutorial requests on my blog. I'll start with Joanne's question. Joanne says:
"I have been looking into the multitude of reputable online classes for illustrators, but am having trouble deciding. How did you go about choosing Oatley Academy, and how can an illustrator get the most for their money from a course like this?"
Thanks for the question, Joanne. Last fall I took Painting Drama 1 from Chris Oatley at the Oatley Academy. I am now taking The Art of Personal Projects from Cory Godbey at The Lampost Guild. Each is a very different and unique experience, but both are a wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the top industry professionals.
Always A Student...
First, let me say that there is a huge variety of classes being offered. I think many of these classes could benefit any artist. Even if you have been an illustrator for years. Maybe you think since you graduated with a BFA in illustration 10 years ago, and you have been working in the industry ever since, you don't need to take any more classes. Well, my friend, I believe every artist should always be a student. There is so much you can learn from another artist. Whether it be taking one of these amazing classes, or learning from the masters, or reading art books. We should always be trying to learn more, no matter where we are in our careers. Never before have we had these kind of opportunities- to take amazing art classes from some of the best in the industry. But with the internet, it's possible!
How do you choose who to take classes from and which classes to take? All the different online art schools are always offering different classes at different times. So what do you want to learn and when do you have time to take a class? You may feel that you don't ever have time to take a class because you are so busy working on freelance work, or you are busy with a day job. But try and make time to take a class. It will be well worth it.
Who should you take classes from? Look at who is teaching classes. Do they produce amazing work? Are they inspiring to you, not only through their artwork, but also through their communication skills? Do the things they say resonate with you? Why did I choose to take my first online class from Chris Oatley? Well because I knew him through his podcasts and blog posts. He always inspired me. He made me want to be a better artist. So when he offered his first class, I knew that I wanted to learn from Chris. I wanted to take a class from Cory Godbey because he always produces amazing artwork. I bought one of his personal project books a while back, and I appreciated that he took time to personalize the book just for me. He always inspires me with the personal projects he produces.
A Lesson in Social Media...
This is also a lesson in social media, my friends. Always be giving. Always take time to inspire. Always produce great artwork, and publish it. I take classes from these people because I've already learned a lot from them, and I know they will be good teachers in a class setting. So if you see a class being offered, but you are not sure if you should take it or not, start following the teacher on his/her blog. Do they produce good artwork, and are the things they say inspiring to you? Then they will probably be a great teacher also!
How to Get Your Money's Worth
How can you get the most for your money from one of these classes? Work hard. Work dang hard. Put your heart and soul into learning. Do the work. Finish the work. If you get discouraged, don't give up. If you put in the work, you will grow leaps and bounds as an artist.
New Opportunities for Everyone
Something I've learned from talking to Chris Oatley and also Will Terry and Jake Parker, who just started a school, The School of Storytelling, is that they are all amazed at how many people are interested in these online classes, and how many countries from around the world are represented. A lot of people from around the world are hungry for this knowledge that comes from these industry pros. A lot of people around the world have never had many opportunities to receive good art education before, and now the internet has opened a whole new world for them. I hope you, my fellow artists, will see what a wonderful opportunity this is for you, and take advantage of a great illustration class out there!
Here's a Few Illustration Schools to Check Out!
List of just a few illustration schools, that are either taught by good reputable artists that I know, or have been recommended to me by fellow illustrators/concept artists:
Oatley Academy of Concept Art and Design
School of Visual Storytelling
The Lamp Post Guild
Concept Design Academy
Drawing Tutorials Online