Never has humanity had so many alternatives for learning stuff: schools, classes, and clinics; meetings with friends, meetings with masters, and meetings online; books, blogs and brochures; YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, Reddit, Fed It, and Let It!
At the same time, one of the chief pleasures of getting older is realizing that we don’t have to be like anybody else. Gone is that youthful drive that made us feel like we had to do everything like everybody else. Advancing years have helped me realize what I’m really good at, what I’m really bad at, and to be content with the latter.
We all learn differently. Maybe you’ve had an experience something like mine: I look at the work of some artist I admire, and they say “Here’s how I have gotten so good at art. And if you’re really smart, you’ll do it just like ME!” Then I go off and try it . . . only to pick up my crumpled self a couple months down the line and realize that what worked for Mr. Big-Shot Artist just doesn’t work for me!
I’m not even going to tell you how I learn best, but here are some of the ways that work for some people. You might find a new one to try for yourself. Better yet, zero in on one you’re already doing and take the rest as mild suggestions. Give ‘em a try (for awhile!) when you’re feeling particularly adventuresome—
• Buy a book about your favorite artist, read it, mark it up, tell your friends what you’ve learned.
• Copy a work by your one of your favorite artists.
• Take a week-long class (after Covid!) OR take a 3-hour class . . . whichever fits your schedule and your budget.
• Travel with an art teacher.
• Subscribe the the YouTube channel of your favorite artist. If they offer premium content for a charge, try that . . . if that fits your personality and your budget.
• Collect bits and pieces of artwork that inspire you; stick ‘em in a file folder. Look at them once in awhile.
• OR stick then on your mirror!
• Attend on-line critique groups (AHEM!! FALC has one of these, 2nd Wednesday of each month!)
• None of the above! Just go “deep” into who you are; get away from the rush, meditate . . . be YOU.
This list could go on and on. The main point is: DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU; don’t worry about everybody else.
So what have YOU found in the realm of continuing education that works for YOU? Share your thoughts in the comment section!