How do you like to learn something? We humans are not a one-size-fits-all species. Despite mega corporation and social media giants that try to limit what we see and do. When it comes to creative pursuits our different personalities are important.
In this article I want to tell you more about the exciting possibilities for learning art in this era. Whether you are an art student, or taking up painting for the first time or looking for specific guidance you can find a coach to help you.
The Old System
In the old days if you wanted to learn how to paint you had the options of:
New Age New Options
The old ways generally meant you had to figure it out on your own. If lucky you have a group of similar minded friends and you meet to provide support.
The internet has changed the traditional route dramatically. It is a revolution all right. Now every art student has the option to learn from masters all over the world.
You can obtain a fine art degree, diploma and certificates if you like. Whether from colleges offering online courses you will find any topic you prefer. But there remains one area of learning still in short supply.
The Demand for Personal Attention
The traditional learning institutions have tutors to teach small groups. This gives more personal attention to students. But this is changing too as formal training struggles to meet demand. There are also cost hurdles to overcome. This model does not offer anything for home based artists looking for something less than a formal qualification.
How does all this help the part time art student? Even more ambitious artists looking for a second income? Where to find cost effective learning channels that offer personal attention too?
This niche market provides an opportunity for teachers and students alike.
The Traditional Workshop
As a workshop host I know that this approach has definite benefits for students. A closer look at the teacher's methods. An opportunity to work under pressure and focus on problem solving. The teacher remains on hand to give pointers, encouragement and demonstrate solutions. Very good.
But getting to workshops remains a challenge. Travel, time, costs and group situations are potential hurdles. Any one of these can shelve your plans for attending a workshop. But what if you could meet one-to-one online?
Enter Online Coaching
I have put this option to the test. I have experimented with technology, teaching methods and students. The result? Brilliant. Provided the conditions are in place. Hardware, software and bandwidth have improved to the point where online coaching is viable.
What are the Benefits of Online Coaching?
Finding the Art Coach
The issue remains supply and demand. There are still very few teachers who provide a comprehensive service. The focus is still on traditional workshops and art lessons. But it is changing. Much of this change is led by younger students who are comfortable with a webcam and technology.
The Future of Teaching is Now
From my personal experience coaching artists online has been a fantastic experience. I see this as the bright light for teaching in general. After all coaching has been around in business circles for a long time. Why not art? As technology improves the opportunities expand.
For the student the direct access to an expereinced coach or mentor is a bonus. Also a student is held to account for work. There is no hiding away.
How does this meet demand?
In truth individual coaching is not aimed at meeting large volumes of students. For this there is long distance education, online courses and traditional classes. But for those that want to access to an expert directly. Who have the means and for whom it makes sense, coaching is the way to go.
If you are a teacher then this model of teaching may be the answer for you. My personal experience has been positive. I am taking on more coaching students as a result. More people are looking for the convenience too. This will surely continue to grow. For teachers the opportunity to work directly online has never been more attractive.
What about you? Does the idea of online learning or teaching appeal to you.
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Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa