Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ever taken art classes? How did it go?

Most of you know that I teach adult beginners and some intermediate classes (those are much harder to fill because the vast majority of people are beginners).

There are some things I've heard over and over again about peoples' previous experiences:

"My instructor said I had no talent."

"Someone made fun of me and I quit."

"I didn't really learn much."

"It was great, but then I [got married/moved/had a child/insert other life-altering event]."

Because I'm always looking to improve as an instructor, I'd like to hear whether you've ever taken art classes (yes, high school counts) and what you thought. What you got, or didn't get, out of the experience. Was it great, or awful, or somewhere in between? Do you still draw, paint, whatever it was, or did you stop? Be anonymous if you like; I don't mind.


  1. I've taken art classes and I haven't been successful with them at all. Let's just say, I never considered myself very talented. Surprising, because I made my living as an artist for many years.

    Recently, I started creating mosaics and finally feel that I'm making something that looks good. I had one class with a great and very patient instructor and I'm in love with the art form.

  2. Neither of my junior high school art teachers was very encouraging. I did what I had to do to pass, and they focused upon the kids who could draw, who had always been able to draw, and pretty much ignored the rest of us, apart from the occasional rant. As a jaded and inept artist, I knit, and that's about it. So much depends upon good teaching...


  3. Lauri, it was great to see your big mosaic in progress this morning. You need that play-time and the mosaic medium seems perfect for you.

    Dear Wombat, when we meet again, perhaps you can teach me a bit of knitting (which is currently beyond me). The kids who could draw couldn't always draw; at some point they learned. If you ever want to give it another go, Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes is a great book that has helped many, many adults pick up the skill when they thought they never could.

  4. I took art classes as a kid and in high school (and I actually think that I draw pretty well from life and have a decent sense of color), but I haven't taken classes since (unless you count Stampin' Up! workshops). Why not? Don't know. Perhaps because I'm a dabbler who would rather try something new (like pottery) if I felt I could commit to a series of classes. Perhaps because writing seems to have become my main creative outlet (along with photography when I'm traveling).

    In general I think art classes can be really fun... except when the instructor wants you to focus on some weird niche thing that s/he does (like my high school teacher who wanted us to draw engine blocks, or something, I have no idea what they were actually, and color them with various techniques). I think I'm more motivated if I get to have some choice of the subject when that's possible.

    And darn it, blogger won't accept my ID. This is Flywoman.

  5. Knitting is easy - casting on and finishing is trickier, but very satisfying. We have a deal.