There are so many online education resources these days for creative people to choose from! Let me start this post by saying that I think that’s great. Anything from a YouTube tutorial to a Skillshare class to a full-blown, multi-week course has benefits – and I’ve taken lots of them, both to grow my creative skills and to flex my business muscles. This post is by no means saying these are bad options. Use what’s out there and soak up as much knowledge as you can! However, I’ve also had the pleasure of taking classes from instructors live and I’ve found that an in-person workshop option is your best bet.
Here are my top four reasons why an in-person workshop can be more beneficial than an online one.
Ask questions – and get riffs on answers
Whenever I ask a question in an in-person workshop, it’s always interesting to see where the answer leads. Like a stepping stone, the instructor’s first answer always leads to the next point, which I usually hadn’t considered. That point then prompts another attendee to chime in with something else, and next thing we know, we’ve covered much more ground than what the first question had been. In an online format, it’s harder to get feedback in real time, in an organic way like that.
Unforeseen tips from your fellow attendees
The fellowship and camaraderie are hard to beat at an in-person workshop. As one of my calligrabesties, Ashley, points out, “I always end up learning tons of small tips from co-attendees. It isn’t the big things you learn, it’s all the little things that add up. Someone recommending a nib or a brush, or letting you try their holder” can make all the difference in the world. This is the case for a watercolor class, a calligraphy workshop, a floral arranging seminar, or a coaching bootcamp. Everyone in your field has some little tidbit you could stand to hear, so keep your ears open! Spending time sitting with someone who’s like-minded and getting to see your craft through her eyes is always such a help.
Have the instructor there to correct your form!
I’ve addressed tens of thousands of envelopes but having Master Penman Patricia Blair show me a better way to form an oval shape this year at an in-person workshop has improved my calligraphy… a lot. She came around and gave personal feedback to each attendee, and this tip helped change my course of practice.
This applies to anything. Having a chef correct how you hold a knife will give you much better chopping skills, as you practice that muscle memory. Rotating the way you hold your watercolor paintbrush based on what an instructor showed you will improve your skills as a painter more rapidly.
If you’re going to put the practice hours in anyway to improve your skill, you may as well practice things the right way. Develop good muscle memory and habits at an in-person workshop, rather than trying to course-correct down the road.
Get to know the instructor – and other attendees – personally
In an online format, an instructor certainly shows some personality, but it’s not the same as off-the-cuff interactions you’re able to get at an in-person workshop. Is the person serious or funny or didactic or formal or loosey-goosey or warm? Even in the era of “oversharing,” our online worlds are always a bit filtered (pun very much intended). Without fail, an in-person interaction always feels different than one divided by screens, no matter how inviting the online format may be. For me, this dash of personality always impacts my view of the person’s work, so it’s a great way to add to the appeal of their talent.
Likewise, an in-person workshop allows me to get to know my fellow attendees. These people all also signed up for the same class I was interested in taking. Right off the bat, I know we share a common interest. More often than not, these are my people. I usually leave a workshop with a new friendly face as an acquaintance!
So there you have it – my reasons why an in-person workshop is so beneficial. With all of these ideas in mind, I’d be honored if you joined me for my next one!
Introduction to Watercolors In-Person Workshop
I’m excited to be teaching an introduction to watercolor workshop at the gorgeous Sweetwater Lavender Farm property in Petoskey, Michigan.
- Thursday, July 18 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm
- Sweetwater Lavender Farm in Petoskey, Michigan
- Outdoor, picture-perfect spot for painting
- Small headcount so you can get one-on-one attention
- Beginners encouraged!
Your ticket includes:
- a multi-page workbook
- My four hours of instruction
- all fine art supplies to keep
Buy my ticket!
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