Like they say in the boy scouts “be prepared”.
From Graeme’s desk.
I have taught classes and workshops over the years here in Australia and in the United States and the one thing that I have seen from students who have come to classes is that on many occasions they simply come unprepared for the workshop.
I had one lady that was taking some of my weekly classes come back every week for a month with exactly the same stuff she had brought with her the week before. In her head, of course, she thought that what she had was going to produce the result she wanted. But, it was a bit like trying to make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear.
If the teacher has a list of things that you need to bring to a workshop to achieve the same results as they do, then, of course, you need to bring that list.
1. How do you get the best out of a workshop? Position, position, position.
Turn up late and generally, you end up at the back of the room or stuck in a corner with not enough room to set up.
I would think that if you are paying good money for a top teacher then it would be a good idea to turn up on time or even 15 minutes early so you can get that good position in the room
2. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions that, also don’t be that one person in the room that monopolizes the teacher through the whole workshop. I have had some students that required more time than others and for whatever reason, it took them longer to understand what we were doing. You are there to learn, so, of course, ask questions.
3. Sketch pads, notepads and mobile phones.
You have an opportunity to gather as much information as you can in the span of the workshop, so use all the material you can to do so. Make similar sketches to what the teacher does in your sketchpad and also use your mobile phone to tape information when the teacher is going over specific techniques. Take notes always.
4. Network and build relationships
If you are an artist and make a living from your work, then take advantage of the workshop as a networking opportunity. Expand your database for your own workshops in the future. Bring your business cards and make sure you hand them out to everyone. Introduce yourself. You never know, the people in that workshop may want to come to one of yours. Of course, always ask the teacher first. Some artists are a little pedantic.
Develop an ongoing relationship with the teacher. Sign up for their newsletters, join their websites and see what other social networking platforms they are using. You may find over time that by continually looking at your teacher’s progress it will help your own motivation and quality of your work.
5. Select the right workshop
Choose your workshop carefully. Focus on workshops, classes and teachers that you know will help better develop the style and techniques that you have focused your career around. If you are not a professional artist choose a style of work where you will get the most enjoyment and information.
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