Workshop: Ryan Brown in Vancouver
Workshops can be great fun and a great resource for information for students. It’s a great opportunity to expand your thinking and experience other working methods. But for all the good workshops offer, they do have their limits.I think there are a couple of things students can do to prepare for and take advantage of workshops.First, if possible, have a home base for your training. If you have a program or respected artist close to home that can provide you with a stable curriculum to follow that will help you build a solid foundation, this will help tremendously when branching out to experience different approaches. It grounds your learning and gives you a context by which to compare and understand other methods.Secondly, spend as much time as you need learning to draw. Perhaps the most important and the most common critiques I give to workshop attendees have to do with the correction of drawing errors. Nothing will make your time in any workshop more valuable than having developed strong drawing skills. Drawing is the fundamental first step towards being a good painter. Having said this, I don’t believe you have to be a master draftsman before you take a workshop; it’s just a good idea to always be working on your drawing skills, and the more you do so, the more I believe you will be open to learning in any given workshop.
Lastly, have realistic goals when attending a workshop. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to create something amazing. Disconnect your desire to create from your desire to learn. Remember that the real prize you’ll bring home from a workshop is new information and knowledge.
One of the most important pieces of advice I can share with any student is to be fair with themselves. Learning cannot be rushed. It takes as long as it takes. Don’t allow your impatience to overcome your determination to improve. Develop the discipline and patience that you need to succeed.
And don’t be afraid to communicate your hopes with the instructor. A good instructor should want to know what you hope to learn and help you towards it.