A students Story by Nancy Post Hunter…….
Artists for many various reasons can be inflicted by self doubt and I am no exception. I think because we use for a large part the non-verbal side of our brain when we make our art we can be unclear how we actually achieve what we do. Such a mysterious process creation is and I’m sure I’m not alone in that I look at a finished piece and think “How did I do that? Will I be able to do it again?”
Knowing one has received high quality art instruction and made the best of it can make one feel legitimate as an artist and such knowledge I formerly lacked. Before I learned about The London Art College I had done artwork since childhood but had not felt bold enough to pursue it as a career. People had been kind about my artwork over the years and encouraged me to show it publicly but I was quite frankly, afraid to expose myself that way.
So many successful artists have studied hard at universities and I had done very little of that. I have a health services career and a son (as well as a husband who would like some attention once in a while) so at the present I do not have the flexibility to attend regular art classes with set schedules.
One evening, as I fell asleep after mentally wrestling with the dilemma all day of how to obtain further art instruction, I actually heard words spoken aloud in my head as if someone had whispered to me. Specifically, these words were “Online art classes.” I don’t know why that option hadn’t occurred to me before! I researched various alternatives on the internet and for reasons of value settled on London Art College. The advantage of choosing LAC over other online courses seemed to be due to LAC’s incredibly dedicated staff. LAC administrators and instructors take their jobs and the worth of art to society seriously. LAC courses too are offered at a comparatively reasonable prices.
The course I took was the extremely comprehensive painting and drawing class. From the moment the manual arrived it was apparent to me that this was, in the American vernacular, “the real thing”. If I followed all the excellent advice and instructions, and faithfully did all the exercises, I could improve my skills to the same degree I would attending a class in a regular studio.
Because I was hungry for formal training I did work hard. My tutor, Alan Dedman, more than met me half way, sending lengthy voice-mails where he thoroughly critiqued my efforts and suggested further areas of study. Fun and stimulating for me too, living in the U.S. as I do (Northern California), were my e-discussions with Alan about the cultural aspects of English vs. American artists.
For anyone considering this course of study I cannot recommend it highly enough. There is more I wish to learn and I am soon going to sign up for Alan’s oil painting class. The only reason I haven’t done so yet is because when taking some final assignments in to be framed, the owners of the frame shop, who had just started having exhibitions, upon seeing the work I was getting framed asked to see more work. Once I showed them additional pieces they offered to me a one woman show. I thought “Well I’d better do this, these opportunities do not just walk through the door everyday.”
Surprising to me was that many of the pieces I created for the LAC drawing and painting course were amongst those I sold! Little had I expected, when I was struggling over these assignments, that people would decide they wanted them for their walls. Such is the worth of the LAC drawing and painting course homework. Of worth to me too is the ability to put down on my resume that I have received a certificate from LAC. I think England has a certain amount of prestige with Americans and the people attending my show felt I had accomplished something substantial by taking a course centered in the UK.
To organize the exhibition, the reception party, all the documentation and accounting, and the delivery of the art after the month-long exhibition came down was a great deal of work. People also wanted reproductions made for pieces where the originals had already sold and making that happen was time consuming too. So I’m finally getting around to writing this for the student blog and am ready to enroll in more classes with LAC! To those who have signed up for the drawing and painting course, my recommendation is: Do all the assignments in the manual, even the ones you won’t turn in. It pays off both figuratively and literally! Also, keep trying. Eventually, your skills will become apparent even to you and you will feel like a true artist. It’s a great feeling! Best of luck.
Nancy Post Hunter