How to Decide if a Class or Workshop is Right for You

Cabin Lake by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Whenever a new class begins, I receive plenty of questions.

The gist of the questions is: This class looks enticing, but is it right for me?

Most often, my response isn’t a simple Yes or No, but a volley of questions in return intended to help the inquisitor come to a conclusion.

Here’s what those questions look like.

Will you be physically at your home or studio to implement the lessons?

The lessons in Creative Content Camp can be consumed and implemented from anywhere in the world as long as there is connectivity.

On the other hand, the organizing class I previously taught required organizing a physical space. That’s a program you wouldn’t want to be away for.

If you’re going to be on vacation for one or more of the lessons, the decision whether or not to enroll in a class depends on your answers to a couple of (more) questions:

  1. Are you planning on doing any work during your travels? If you have built in a few hours a week to work, as I do during many of my trips, perhaps it’s doable.
  2. Can you make a plan – and stick to it – for your return? If you get your affairs in order so that you pick up (and catch up) where you left off, you’re likely to be more successful after the break.

Can you devote the time to the lessons and homework?

I tell students that

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Dear John: So Your Kid Wants To Go To Art School

William R. Struby Art

Parents are rightly concerned about their children’s future, but with preparation, an art student can excel in life. In honor of Fathers’ Day week (Can I declare a week for all dads?), I share this query from John G. from my Facebook page and my response.

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Best Gifts for Budding Artists

Art Biz Coach post on Facebook

Last week I posted this question on the Art Biz Coach Facebook page: A kid just graduated from high school and is headed to art school. What would you give him as a graduation gift besides fair warning? Some people were glib, but most of my fans too the question seriously.

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The Secret to Attracting More Fans for Your Art

Everyone knows that the #1 way to attract fans for your art is to make amazing work. That’s no secret.

But I’m going to let you in on a hush-hush marketing strategy that will draw even more people into your circle: education.

Before you doze off at the word “education,” consider why you should heed my advice.

(Video has dated material about a past workshop.)

Most of the population was raised without an art education. If they were a student of the 1960s or 1970s, as I was, they probably had to make clay ashtrays or embellish turkeys from an outline drawing of their hands.

But that’s about the extent of it. Most adults haven’t been trained how to

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Don’t Waste Your Investment in Learning Opportunities

Tip: No single workshop is going to give you everything you need. Even if it did, you still have to be responsible for making sense of all the information. Promise yourself that you will absorb as much as possible without being stressed about implementing every idea right away. (+ 5 more tips for preparing to learn)

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Syllabus for teaching with my book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio!

Attention all college professors! Need help preparing your students for life after school? Painting professor Sandra Reed has designed a course for graduate students at the Savannah College of Art and Design using my book as the required text. The course is “Fine Art M.F.A. Self-Promotion.”

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Deep Thought Thursday: Ghosts

Every artist has a hero–whether verbalized or not. We admire artists we know, but there are also artists in the past that we wish we had known and rubbed elbows with. Who would you like to study with and why? What would you hope to learn?

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Listen, read, act, repeat

It’s been said that the four most dangerous words in the English language are “I already know that.” These words create a mental barrier that shuts you off from any additional information you might receive by listening. More importantly, saying “I already know that” closes the door on new experiences that could enrich your life and your art.


Christen Humphries, Winter Elegance. Oil on pergamenata, 39 x 27 inches. ©The Artist

As I tell students in my classes and workshops, it’s important to stop yourself before uttering–or even thinking–these words. When the thought crosses your mind that you’ve already heard something before, ask yourself one of the following questions.

–Am I living it? –Am I doing it? –Did I act on it? –Will it hurt to be reminded of it again?

Consider the

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Lay Out Your Curriculum

Jennifer McChristian, The Chair. Charcoal on paper, 14 x 11 inches. © The Artist

Our local schools have started back up and university students are moving into campus housing. It’s also a time when I notice a spike in activity on my Web sites and interest in my classes. It’s time to go back to school!

For those of us who have been out of school for some time, it’s easy to think we’ve had our education. But I believe that the more you learn, the more you realize that you know only a scintilla of what there is to know. We should always be learning–regardless of the field we’re in.

As an artist, you are probably inspired by your learning experiences in one way or another.

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