Random Thoughts: Plans for the next half of 2011

It's come to the end of May and time for a stock-take.

It all started off with the awesome 1 month sabbatical that I took at the end of last year. That restarted my engines for scrapbooking and also ignited my innate desires to explore and learn techniques in drawing and mixed-media art. I have found that learning online is the best for me in my circumstances.

In the past, I've had discussions with friends who concluded that online classes are too expensive. So much money spent but the lessons do not come with materials, unlike the very cost-effective classes we can take in our local scrapbook shops (LSS).

However, I've learnt that online classes are just the right fit for me. It's like buying a book that comes loaded with instructions but with no materials. Yet, because there are so opportunities to interact with the instructor, and watch the instructor work in the videos, it's BETTER than buying a book. Besides, you can work on the lessons and watch the videos any time you want. The classes also come in small packages so that you can choose to focus on developing the skills and techniques according to your goals, unlike traditional art schools which teach in very standard formats. Additionally, going to art schools entails buying your own materials anyway, outside of the cost of the class. So, online classes are really not that "expensive" after all, and suit my needs perfectly.

I'm currently signed up for 4 online classes. 2 of which I bought on a whim, because I love the work done by the instructors. One is on-going, (we are starting on the 2nd week now): It's the She Had 3 Hearts Workshop conducted by Christy Tomlinson. I wanted to further my efforts in Art Journaling and have so far been working hard at it. I love that Christy is so free in sharing her knowledge and the online community that attends the class is just wonderful. It has proven useful in terms of also driving me to work more on my Art Journaling projects and clarify my thoughts about the process as well as my goals. The other class is starting soon, it's Claudine Hellmuth's Composition for Collage. I want to learn about composition specifically because I find I am lacking in that area and I definitely want to end up making collages instead of just art journal pages.

I also recently signed up for Monica Zuniga's classes when she held a Memorial Weekend buy-one-get-one free sale. I JUMPED on it, because I feel I need to learn how to draw faces better and I have come to LOVE how expressive Monica's portraits look. So I bought Pencil Drawing Techniques and Mixed Media Faces. I started watching a video and then practiced and found that already my portrait is better than what I did before!

In the next half of 2011, I need to think about my goals: what I hope to do and what skills I need to develop to achieve the creative works that I want to make. I need to devote more time to practicing and making things, in addition to taking the classes.

Meanwhile, I want to continue developing my scrapbooking. I found that being on the various design teams is pushing me to work harder at improving myself and that is certainly a good thing. I am learning so many digital techniques and so pleased to be thinking hard about my design aesthetics more carefully, instead of simply aspiring to be just-like-that-famous-someone-or-other. I'm so grateful for the opportunities that Joyce (at MScraps) and Tina Marie (at Artisan Notebook and OScrap) have given me! I certainly want to keep contributing the best I can in these 2 places and also find more opportunities to spread my scrappy wings! WOO!

Thinking about the future, I'm so keen on 21 Secrets that has extended its run. There are also interesting classes I want to attend at Artful Gathering. But I must think carefully whether it is going to help me achieve what I want to do. I'm also interested to invest in learning more sketching and water colour techniques especially with Alisa Burke.

Definitely also getting some more books. Will talk about that next time, I think.

Ohhh, if you've read this far, thanks so much for staying with me! LOL! I'm certainly rambling in this post. So sorry there are no pretty pictures today. I'm having a hard time getting photos of my non-digi work. Spending time working on the projects and praticising seems more important to me at the moment, so unless I'm soliciting critique for improvements or compiling my gallery, I won't be posting those projects.

What are your thoughts about online classes, making clear goals about developing your skills for your hobbies and posting things online? I'd love to know!

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