Take an Art Class!

My magnolia sketch.

My magnolia sketch.

We are 10 days into the New Year! How are you doing? I'm super energized and have a full plate of activities and goals that I’ve set out for myself this year.

My first class on Skillshare.com is live! It's called Post a Video on Instagram in 3 Easy Steps. It’s exciting to see new students take it, learn something new, and leave sweet and supportive comments. The class is only 24 minutes long and you can use the skills you learn beyond just Instagram. I delve into how to use iMovie, the video editing software that comes free with your Mac. Once you master iMovie, you can use videos on social media, your blog and website, and for marketing. If you are interested, please use my private link to access the class: http://skl.sh/2C3aVAP

I'm participating in two creative challenges right now: a 31-day painting challenge and a 100-day sketching challenge. This is very new for me! I’ve never participated in a challenge before, let along two. My motivation for participating in them is to help me develop a daily creative practice, produce new work, and ultimately see my own personal style emerge more clearly.

So why did I name this blog “Take an Art Class”, you wonder?

I’ve been exploring my creative side for the past three years and I'm having a blast. I discovered online art classes and I love them because I’m an INTJ (an introvert who relies on her intuition and her thinking and judgment skills) and I'd rather create in the privacy of my own home than travel to a classroom full of people I don’t know.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like to meet other creatives and get inspired by their work. Online classes enable that too, generally through private Facebook groups.

Here are four of my favorite online class resources. I hope you explore them and perhaps one of them will appeal to you? I’m not affiliated or paid by any of these, except Skillshare and I only get paid by Skillshare if you take my class specifically.  

These are my current FAVORITES and I'm taking classes on each of them.

https://www.carlasonheim.com/  Carla and her family live in Seattle and she has been teaching online art classes for years. She teaches some of them herself and also hosts classes by other artists. Her classes are very affordable ($25 to $198) and vary in length 2-8 weeks. The one exception is, at the beginning of each year, she offers a year-long class. I sign up for it every year. This year's class is called 365. A new creative prompt every day!

There is a very special place in my heart for Carla. When I decided three years ago to dip my toes into creating again, I signed up for her year-long class called Y is for Yellow. I was so excited that I posted this picture on my website right after registering for the class.

My art supplies mess.

My art supplies mess.

One quick story about me is that I’ve collected art supplies for years but never used them. It was fun and kinda funny for me to do this mash up photo! Truth be told, it’s actually the picture I used initially on the “welcome” page of the first iteration of my website: annelafolletteart.com.

Anyway, back to Carla and her fabulous classes. Once you purchase a class, you join a private Facebook group and you receive emails that contain class videos.  Videos are generally 20-30 minutes in length and explain a particular technique while you watch the teacher actually doing it. You are encouraged to upload your work into the FB group but if you aren’t comfortable sharing your work, that’s totally fine. It’s great to see what other people are posting and the community is warm, encouraging and incredibly supportive. Once you purchase a class, you have lifelong access to it. Here are some favorite pieces that I created in the Y is for Yellow class.

https://www.skillshare.com/home  I’m a teacher on Skillshare now so this is a bit of a shameless “plug”; however, I spent ALL of last year taking classes on the platform and I absolutely love it.  I found teachers who I now follow outside of Skillshare.  Several of these fabulous women have become informal mentors for me.

Skillshare's premium member costs $9 a month and that gives you access to thousands of classes on all kinds of topics. While I focus on art classes, there are classes on pretty much any topic you can think of: business, marketing, UI, UX, animation, graphic design to name just a few.

Skillshare classes range in length from 20 minutes to several hours. For each course, you watch a series of videos to learn the course material and there is a class project area where students post their work in progress and their finished projects. You don’t pay anything extra, just the monthly subscription fee. You can search for the class topic that interests you most and all of the teachers offering classes on that topic pop up. Several teachers have become favorites but I find new ones all the time!

Teachers are accessible through the class project and discussions areas for each class. In my experience, they are very responsive and eager to answer questions that pop up. Students interact with each other through both of these areas as well and “like” each other’s projects. Once you find your favorite teachers, you can follow them and you’ll get notified when they publish a new class.

If you decide to check it out, please use this private link: http://skl.sh/2C3aVAP

Full disclosure: I’ll receive $10 for each person who signs up for a premium membership through my link. So please use it. $10 isn’t much but every little bit counts!

Here is just a sample of work I’ve created from a class called: Illustrating Florals by Dylan Mierzwinski.

https://www.creativebug.com/  Creativebug is another subscription service that costs $4.95 a month. As the name implies, it focuses on creative classes. I’m currently taking Lisa Congdon's 31-day January painting class. Lisa is a Portland-based artist, illustrator, and author. She is wonderful and makes class fun, engaging and approachable. Class content is provided via short videos so it's not a big time commitment.  Most classes are self-paced so when you log into the site, you can access the entire class and watch the videos whenever it's most convenient for you.

The site is very colorful and approachable with a search function and “save” feature so you can tag classes that you want to take next. There are no additional fees, just the monthly subscription. Teachers are also accessible through a discussion area and you can post your work in the gallery for each class.

Here is a video of one of the pieces I created for the class. Week one was all about pattern design.

If you enjoyed the video, I teach all the techniques I used in my Skillshare class. I hope you check it out!

https://every-tuesday.com/  At some point last year, I became interested in hand lettering. There are TONS of creatives who post beautiful time lapse videos of their hand lettering work on Instagram. And Teela Cunningham, the woman behind Every-Tuesday.com is among my favorites. She lives in Atlanta and offers FREE tutorials every Tuesday (hence the name!).

You can subscribe to her email list (FREE) and get each tutorial on Tuesday morning delivered to your inbox. Or you can subscribe to her YouTube channel (FREE) and watch them there. You can also watch them directly on her website.

Teela is a hand letterer and graphic designer who packs incredible information into short videos that are generally no longer than 8 to 10 minutes! Some focus on hand lettering, others on techniques for graphic designers and illustrators using Illustrator, Photoshop and the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

She sells font making classes through her website along with graphic design and illustration elements such as watercolor background textures, vector brushes and other items. I purchased one of her fonts called “miss magnolia”. It’s the font I use for my name in my logo and I absolutely LOVE it. She continues to evolve her business and I’m a huge fan. Her class offerings range from $27 for her bounce lettering class to $297 for her very professional and comprehensive font making class.

Those are my top 4 recommended resources and I highly encourage you to explore them and Take An Art Class!

I’m very passionate about this topic because the process of creating “art”  - that's art with a little “a” - is very relaxing, therapeutic and quite simply fun!

I hear people say: "I can’t draw." all the time.   But that’s not true. We all drew as children and had no judgment around it. You think you can’t draw, or paint because you have this idea in your head about what’s good and what’s bad. But that's not the point.

Take a class and see where it takes you. These creative communities are SO SUPPORTIVE.

I hope you are as excited as I am to explore one or more of these resources and sign up to take a class. It’s the new year and a great time to add a creative practice to your life.

Remember: It’s Never Too Late To Create!

See ya next time.