Graduating CVP

So before I get into this post the first question I want to address is ‘would I recommend CVP’?  And the answer is a very definite ‘yes’.

CVP Painting – Nemesis

What is CVP?

CVP is a three month, online art course provided by Art2Life with Nicholas Wilton. Nicholas is a very charismatic lead and importantly a heavy weight in the art industry.  It attracts a mix of attendees. From professional artists, through to complete beginners, and welcomes people located all over the world.  The course is centred around principles with ‘differences’ between the main theme.  And as we explored differences in design and value the concept really resonated with me.  Maybe this message was more poignant as we were under lockdown so feeling quite flat. The topic meant we fully appreciated how we need the stimulation of differences to keep us interested and motivated – in both our life and our art.

The mindset stuff is probably the biggest element – and also the hardest to get your head around. But the course isn’t just mindset based.  These themes are combined with really informative technical guidance that helps you move forward in your art.  The quality of teaching, set up and content is head and shoulders above other online courses.  And the guidance is practical and applicable to learners, advanced artists and artists of all mediums. 

So, has it improved by art?

As a recent graduate, I can honestly say that this course has had a bigger impact on my art than anything I have done previously. (You can see one of my earlier posts.  The course is intensive. What you get out of it very much depends on how much you invest.  I did, at times, struggle to keep up. There are a lot of instructive videos to watch each week. And, that’s alongside the group and coaching calls and art practice – you definitely get a wealth of content! 

Feeling you are falling behind can create a bit of anxiety. You need to keep this in check and remind yourself the content is available for 12 months. This means if you want/need to, you can move through at your own pace.  (Although the downside if you do is you aren’t really able to engage with the very active Facebook community.)  That said as someone who works full time I did manage to stay within a week of the course. 

Packed full of hints and tips

What was a real eye opener was how helpful some of the seemingly little hints and tips were.  An example? Previously I wouldn’t have dreamed of heading to the studio with only an hour or 30 mins to spare. Nick reassuring us that “little and often” is the way to improve changed that. It has meant I’ve been able to fit more painting in around my working day. This was helped, of course, by being in lockdown for most of the course.

I’m amazed how much I managed to get done, even working full time: both watching videos and painting. I haven’t yet finished all of the pieces but just to give you a sense of volume….

Snapshot of CVP Boards

Still Processing

I’m still reflecting on everything. Once I get more organised I’ll capture my learnings in a blog post.  The best endorsements for the course are the sheer number of people who partake and the repeat attendees each year.  However, the number of participants is also a bit of a downside if you are a first time attendee. 

Managing expectations

This comment is not to knock the training. (I learned so much, the trainers and coaches, content and quality of video are all excellent). I say it only to warn you to manage your expectations if you’re considering this course in the future.  If you sign up expecting any 1-2-1 support you will be disappointed.  The team do an excellent job of answering all questions that are posted and this shouldn’t go unrecognised.  Given the sheer number of posts in the portal and Facebook group the Art2Life team and returning alumns provide almost instant responses.  But don’t expect to see your work critiqued or recognised. 

The course’s structure does include a large volume of image adjustment examples where they select work and show how to improve.Thousands of people take part, so the likelihood of being selected is very low, even if you submit each week.  And as a first timer this can be disheartening and can knock your confidence.

But overall – definitely an experience I’d whole heartedly recommend!

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