Ever dreamt of learning to paint, sculpt or draw? Or are you already an artist who wants to improve and practice your art on a more regular basis? Good news: There are now more options than ever before to gain instruction and meet other like-minded individuals with similar interests. This applies to all types of art, from ceramics to painting, jewelry making, crafts and everything in between.
Pursuing a creative hobby can be relaxing and rewarding. By making a commitment to a class, club or regular session of art, you’re bound to see your talents grow.
Here are five ways to gain greater knowledge and skill for your craft:
1) Take a class. For many people, nothing beats real-life instruction. A teacher can answer questions and see your work first-hand to offer feedback. Of course, there’s also the added benefit of meeting fellow students, making friends and being inspired by one another. To find a class near you, check your local community college, senior and community centers, adult continuing education and enrichment classes, as well as private classes taught by local artists. If you can’t tell by the course description if the class is right for you, ask if you can speak to the instructor. Find out if the class is an appropriate level for your skills, if it’s all hands on or also includes lecture learning, and if it will apply to the type of art you’re interested in pursuing.
2) Join a club or art association. If your goal is to meet other artists and find a forum for talking about and appreciating art, then a local club or art association may be a good fit. Some groups offer classes, art sessions and field trips to galleries and museums. Look up local art groups and associations in your area, and find local clubs on sites such as Meetup.com. Before you join, talk to members to see if the offerings fit your interests. You can also join online community discussion groups, such as Easy Oil Painting on AARP.org.
3) View tutorials online. Sites such as YouTube.com are full of videos where artists demonstrate painting and drawing techniques (just search “painting,” “drawing” or other key words). These demonstration videos can help you improve your technique in the comfort and convenience of your home.
4) Watch instructional DVDs. There are many instructional DVD sets available that will walk you through watercolor painting, oil painting, portraits and more. Read the reviews, visit the artist’s website and watch clips if possible to see if a particular set might be for you.
5) Read. There are many excellent books and websites dedicated to offering information and instruction for those pursuing all types of art. As with DVDs, read reviews and visit author websites before purchasing. You can also visit your local library to see what types of instructional books, CDs or DVDs they offer for checkout.
Of course, the No. 1 best piece of advice for aspiring artists is to just do it! Set aside time every day or at least every week to pursue your artistic endeavors. With the support of your friends, family, club members or classmates, and regular time carved out to paint, sculpt or draw; your artistic dreams will flourish.