It’s time to get inspired! While an art class can be a big investment, there are lots of ways to narrow down your search and find an amazing art class that will ignite your imagination.
Many students take up tutoring to help them excel in school and art classes come in all shapes and sizes, and for all levels of ability. Perhaps you’re looking for a certificated class to add to your résumé? Or wish to improve your technical skills? Maybe you need a nudge to nurture your creative side, or you’re seeking a new art or craft for their wellness benefits? Or it could be that it’s a great excuse to gather your friends together and visit some galleries?
Whatever is motivating you, there are some key questions to ask which will help you to find a great art class.
What are the practicalities of the class?
Simply put – time and money!
Figure out how much time you can reasonably commit, for the class and your practice at home. The typical weekly course is particularly good for art classes, which give you time to practice what you’ve learned at home and really maximise the benefits of the course.
However, a one-off workshop may be a great jump-start for your skills, or an intensive weekend could give you some in-depth insight. Shorter courses may also be a great way to test out a discipline or a tutor.
Also, think whether you need an evening class or a daytime art class, or if you are more flexible.
Art classes are also available at an accessible range of price points. Decide what you can afford early on – and don’t forget to factor in the cost of materials! To reduce your material costs, consider hiring equipment or taking a subscription (for example for photography courses where you might choose to hire a camera and take a monthly software subscription) or sharing costs with classmates. Bulk buying canvas material or other items can be very cost-effective.
Stay home or venture out?
Now that you have some thoughts about how much time and money you want to put into your art class, it’s time to think about where (and how) you want to learn.
While the traditional idea of an art class is in a specialised studio, there are some fantastic classes taking place all over – from your local community centre to the beach. Virtual art classes are also booming, and can be really flexible and incredibly rich experiences, too.
If you would prefer a class that you go to, it’s worth getting an idea of what the commute is like. A pleasant drive or picturesque walk will set the scene for your class.
Real-life classes have some additional benefits, too. An adult learning art class can be a fantastic way to meet new people, and you might choose a class for this very reason. Check out the facility hosting the class and the nearby location – a class in a lively part of town might give you more opportunity to socialise afterwards than one in a remote rural studio.
Some people feel that real-life classes offer a greater level of concentration, too. By physically going to a classroom, you make a space for yourself to learn and think. This can improve your sense of ‘flow’ in your making, which can have powerful wellness benefits.
If you choose to go virtual, you can access some really phenomenal resources. Firstly, consider what kind of dialogue you want with your tutor. You might be happy learning from online resources, which are great as you can access them however and whenever you like. Perhaps you’d like feedback from a tutor, for example by email? Or maybe you’d prefer to learn directly under their supervision on a video meeting?
Finally, research the tutors! Finding a well-qualified, competent tutor is great, and it’s even better to find one with these qualities that you also find inspiring and engaging! See if you can find their bio to get a sense of their interests, or a video to check if you like their delivery style. Look if there are any reviews of their classes.
Also check if the class you are interested in has one tutor throughout, or different tutors with different specialities.
Virtual classes have the benefit of offering access to some incredible tutors that would be very difficult to secure an in-person class with. For example, Masterclass hosts virtual classes by some tutors who are pioneers in their fields.
What do you want to learn?
Think about the experience level that you are at and the skill level that you want to achieve. You may have a very clear idea of what you want to learn in your art lessons, or you might have a broader approach, for example, a genre or a medium to explore, or simply wish to expand your creative horizons. It pays to be open-minded – a class that you take just for fun may give you fantastic, unexpected benefits in your primary art practice.
Whatever you choose, art history or an art theory class is always another great addition to your creative tool kit, giving you context and analytical skills that underpin your other activities.
What other benefits are there?
Don’t forget to check the fine details – there may be some additional features of the course that are really helpful to you. Perhaps there is a kids’ club, so you don’t need to worry about childcare. See if the course connects with any others. Does it build to a larger qualification? Maybe there are some study trips away that really interest you!
Starting a new art class is really exciting, and with a little bit of planning, you can give yourself the very best opportunity to fuel your passion.