Time for a paradigm shift!
Our work, shopping, social interactions are increasingly taking place online and this is our new normal. With learning, we are facing some persistent stereotypes that are keeping many from benefiting from effective learning tools.
Online learning is often considered second-rate to classroom education. Similarly, online degrees can be viewed with suspicion and this can discourage many people from pursuing them. In art, with a tradition of learning by doing, the move to online learning can be even harder to accept. Here is why it is time to shift this paradigm.
Student for life
Spending x number of years in an art school then finding a job to apply our skills for the remaining of our career is not something that is viable anymore.
With an accelerating rate of change in technologies, our tools are changing faster and we need to learn to use them to keep up with our trade or craft. Yes, pencils and brushes will not go away and there will always be a need to master traditional media like drawing and painting. However, media like digital art and photography are taking center stage by making use of powerful digital tools. Even traditional media artists benefit from learning to use tools like Photoshop and photo filters in smartphones. If you want to keep creating, especially if it is for making a living, you better be ready to study and learn for the rest of your life.
Advantages of learning art online
1 - Learn at your own pace.
OK, you will have to learn continuously… Being able to set the time and pace of your courses or interactions with your online teacher makes it much easier than having to go to a weekly course, somewhere!
2 - Learn anything
You are not limited to a course that you can find in a limited radius around your home. You can find awesome teachers for virtually any art media that you can imagine.
3 - Learn fast
The flexibility of learning at your own pace and at home ultimately means that you can have many more study sessions of varying lengths. You will lose less time and master your art sooner how? By seeking help and focusing on what you really need instead than having to listen to theories or critiques that are not necessarily relevant to you.
4 - Learn better
Having access to some of the best art teachers in the world makes a huge difference in the quality of instruction an art student receives. Many platforms will post reviews and ratings for the teachers which helps with your selection. You often also see artworks created by the teacher to make sure it is a good fit for you.
So, are there advantages to taking in-class art courses?
I am an art teacher who has been teaching for many years in his studio class and offering in-class art courses by other art teachers. You should expect a long list of positive points for traditional art classes but frankly, I can see only a few. Here they are!
1 - It creates an obligation
By signing up for a weekly art class, you are more likely to attend the class than an alternative online learning period without commitment. This can change however after someone finds the right teacher online and start getting the benefits of receiving the right type of help when needed.
2 - Classrooms have a social aspect
Learning art in a group can be stimulating for people who enjoy the company of other students/artists. Seeing the progress of other student’s works can even light up a positive competitive side in some. Realizing this need, some online art classes include a social component on their platform to let students exchange images and comments.
3 - A teacher can intervene on your piece
With the student’s permission, I often show how to fix small problems with their drawing or painting. Learning by seeing a teacher’s demonstration, especially very specific problems, is very valuable and this is perhaps the greatest advantage of an art class. It is especially true when working from life.
However (yes, there is an however here too…), there are new online tools such as whiteboards that allow teachers and students to interact remotely on a shared image. A teacher can “touch up” a student’s work or demonstrate a technique. This is a feature that we will be adding to ARTZOK which we will call the virtual studio.
And the winner is...
Seriously, the advantages of learning art online are stacking up progressively higher. With countless YouTube videos, blogs, online lessons, on-demand support like ARTZOK and new interactive tools, the choices are as varied as are the needs for continued learning. A mobile device is often all that you need to sign up and use an online learning platform. You can receive the information, help, and support to learn a new media or to perfect an existing skill.
When looking at costs, learning art online is almost always at an advantage. With industries recognizing the need for continued training for artist, graphic designers and others, the value of online courses is being more and more recognized and compensated by employers.
ARTZOK a unique model
I started ARTZOK to initially give my students a platform to receive help whenever they needed troubleshooting on an art project. I had noticed that during my summer and Holiday breaks, many students simply stopped practicing their art because of a fear of making too many errors without me to guide them. With ARTZOK, they can simply upload a picture of their work at any stage of its creation and rapidly receive tips by email on ways to improve it and move it forward. This way students can work from home why receiving the advice they would get during an art class.
ARTZOK is now available for any art student and our teachers provide support in a continually growing list of media.