If you’ve read my previous updates you may have guessed I’m a bit of sucker for a workshop. As we seem to have been in lockdown forever this has meant switching from physical attendance to virtual learning.
Benefits of Online Training
On the plus side, virtual courses mean you get to work through at your own pace. With the pressures of the day job this can be a real benefit and it opens up access to international courses that might otherwise have been off the cards. Recently I took part in the Art2Life Breadcrumbs challenge delivered by the wonderful Nicholas Wilton. I’ve been a fan since subscribing to his YouTube channel and was waiting to apply for CVP in February. Because of lockdown restrictions, he’s taken advantage of the situation to launch a new course – Spark. It’s a 21 day course but as its all online you can move through at your own pace…and I’m running slightly behind.
I wasn’t sure how I’d find it. It’s less focused on technique and more on mindset (although the technique bits are also excellent!) but I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The course is a combination of:
- bite sized videos
- art exercises to put into practice what you’re learning,
- and live calls each week.
It’s a great distraction from the pressures of the day although I admit that spending time focusing on limiting beliefs and reframes was a tough one!
As with many of these courses there’s a very active Facebook community. Here you get to see what everyone else has created. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback.
What’s lovely about the teaching is that it focuses on play. It has taken me a while to get my head around letting go and not worrying about how the finished page looks, but I feel I’m gaining a lot from the experience.
I’m not sure I’ve quite pushed myself far enough just yet, but having a full day just mixing paint and creating collage pages was lovely. It felt like a jolt back to almost childlike playfulness.
I’m almost finished module three, and I’m really pleased with how my Spark book is transforming into a key reference for the learnings…even if I’m not 100% happy with all of my output.
I need to spend more time working on my free pages and worrying less about playing catch up. It is a temptation to try to keep on track with each module opening up. Despite that, I’m starting to see how “difference” and “design” could improve my work. I just need to rein back a bit as my pages are all a bit too busy.
I guess the downside with online courses is that whatever free time you get is generally spent “studying”. True, it’s done in a fun and playful way, so my plan over the next few weeks is to work through the final sections. When I’ve finished I’m going to look at how I start to put this learning, along with some of the techniques from Lorna Crane’s course, into action. Then? I guess I’ll see where they take me, art wise.
I’m not sure what path this will take me on, but I’m looking forward to some discoveries…and no doubt some disappointments.