Sense and nonsense of workshops…(part4)

July 8, 2007

What do you need a workshop potentially for?

To enhance your resumé – now this may sound trivial and ridiculous at first, but it could be an important part of your art career. If you plan to apply for a future career as an art director at the MoMA in New York you should be able to present more than a workshop about “how to paint a garden”. Okay – I admit this is overexaggerating but you know what I mean.

Whatever you plan to invest in your career, you should be well aware that your educational path is important and will open you more doors than without one. Waiting for the miracle to happen of being discovered without proper education is an illusion (although it can happen).

If you can prove having studied with art professionals, it gives you some presence in the art world that is not to be neglected. It does not prove your capabilties as artist – it only proves that you committed yourself to fulfil certain requirements no matter whether someone finds your art works adorable or not.

As everywhere in real life it is important to have a proven resumé i.e. curriculum vitae (CV) that shows your sincerety and professionalism. Workshops about “how to draw a figure” cannot replace an examn at an art college. So depending on your further plans for your art career it is important how your educational path looks like.

Because you need a teacher – we are not school kids any more – are we? Teachers are not for kids only – there are reasons why you would be better off with a teacher at your side.

I have come across many remarks such as “I feel insecure” and “I don’t think I can do this”. Does this sound familiar to you? Not only kids suffer from low self assurance but many adults too, especially when they have hardly been given the chance to find their true self. Making art is the chance of your life. There is nothing bad in needing a teacher at the beginning when you realize you have some longing for making art and creating work that goes beyond pure handcraft.

It may be perfect for you to visit a workshop in your neighbourhood for your first steps. Read carefully what the workshop is all about and try to get as much additional information as possible. Maybe you can attend a lesson before you subscribe. Ask people for reference, talk to the teacher if that is possible – that never hurts and is the best means to acquire different opinions so that you make the right decision.

Start small but not too small. A workshop should offer a challenge to you not something you can do already in your sleep. On the other hand the goals should not be set too high – this can be very frustrating and demotivating.

A good teacher can always give you some guidance and helps you to enter a brandnew world. If you need intense help, be sure that you choose a workshop with a very small number of students (max 5) otherwise the teacher will not be able to support your needs.

A teacher may also help you to start a structured way into a new medium. This means s/he will help you not to start at the “wrong end” of a learning process – i.e. you need to learn how to mix colours first before your start to paint and you need to learn to draw small simple things before you compose a complicated scenery.


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