A few years ago, I decided to go back to school to get my degree in graphic art & design. I didn't let motherhood or my chronic illness stand in my way. I did it for my family but also for me. I just graduated in January with a bachelor's degree. That's not the only type of schooling I have gone through over the past few years. I have also been taking online art courses from some amazing artists. These artists are very inspiring with their own books, online art courses, and original artwork for sale. They also are very fun to follow on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Since I am often asked how I learned to paint, I thought I'd post about some of the many ways there are out there to learn to create your own artwork.
When I started my own digital art company, I decided to further my digital art education by studying graphic design. I did this online through Full Sail University. It is one of many online schools that offer art degrees online. This allowed me to continue working on my business and my usual parenting duties while perusing a degree, and it takes less than 3 years. You can click on the image below to check out the program I went through for my degree.
Just as valuable to me was my physical art education perused via online art courses taught by self-made artists/entrepreneurs. The first online art instructor I took courses from was Juliette Crane. I didn't even know what mixed media art was before Juliette. I found her through Pinterest and before I even purchased her course, she answered all my questions through email and helped me find the right supplies. All of the instructors are this open and friendly and support each other and their students. My goal is to eventually teach my own art courses. I am currently working on collecting the right equipment and set up to do some free YouTube videos to get me started. Below you will find some of the online art courses I have taken over the years with short testimonials about them. I highly reccomend all of these instructors and courses for anyone just learning to create mixed media art or even those who have been creating for years.
Above are the two online courses I have taken from Juliette Crane. These courses teach how to create whimsical and unique characters using a variety of art supplies. Juliette has a soothing voice and teaches in a hands-on, extremely unique way. She also incorporates inspiration from her travels and the world around her. Check out her courses HERE.
I first learned from Flora Bowley during a Lifebook 2015 lesson where Flora taught us how to paint abstractly using food, yes food. She is so open and paints freely with no plan in mind. It's very inspiring and she's so intuitive and natural about her art. I recently started purchasing her Studio Diaries lessons a la carte. Each month she has a different theme and core lesson. My favorite so far was about developing your own style. Check out Studio Diaries HERE.
Probably the most influential of the courses I have taken is Lifebook. It's a yearly, year long course where new video & PDF lessons, artist interviews, ATC swaps and more are posted every week. While many lessons are by the creator, Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts, there are many guest instructors who change each year so you get to learn from dozens of artists which is amazing. Check it out HERE.
Another very inspiring artist to learn from is Mindy Lacefield. My style is just naturally closest to hers. Even before I had seen any of her art, my art resembled hers in it's whimsical, raw style. She introduced me to Target's Handmade Modern paints which I love and taught me how to be more loose and primitive with my art. Check out her classes HERE.
I have taken a few courses from Alisa Burke who I learned about from Life Book. Her courses are the most economical compared to her peers and she uses affordable art supplies and found objects to make art. She's a huge fan of "work with what you've got." I learned some great background techniques and how to make unique marks from Alisa. Check her out HERE.
While I can't always afford most of the amazing $100+ courses I come across, some of these same artists also have written books which go for under $20 on Amazon and are just as inspiring as the online courses. Above are my 2 favorite, Beautiful Faces by Jane Davenport and Creative Girl by Danielle Donaldson. Click on either to find it on Amazon.
In addition to all of the paid art courses available online, there are also thousands of free YouTube videos on all types of art. Just do a quick search and you will be immersed in inspiration. However, my favorite way to get some quick inspiration is Pinterest. I have boards for everything from cooking to kid's party ideas but most of my pins are dedicated to art. Check out my Pinterest page HERE.
I hope that this post has been helpful at inspiring you to get back out there and learn. No matter if you want to learn to paint or carpentry, there's always many ways to learn from YouTube to a Bachelor's degree. I will never stop taking courses and wanting to learn.