By Nicole Tinkham
If you just signed up for your first art workshop or it’s been a while and you’re not sure what to expect, this blog is for you! We know how scary it can be trying something new in a classroom with people you don’t know. You’re there to learn but you also don’t want to be clueless either. We feel ya! That’s why we came up with these 6 steps to prepare for an art workshop to ease your mind before you begin.
1. Signing up
Choose a type of workshop – What do you want to learn? Where would you like to expand your skills? What interests you? It’s so important to choose a workshop that will help you grow as an artist. It’s common to choose one that aligns with what you are already good at and enjoy but the key here is to challenge yourself! Choose a workshop in an area you don’t feel comfortable in and really push yourself.
Choose a location – Finding an art workshop close to home can ease your mind as far as traveling goes. Make sure you have plenty of time to get there especially if it’s a further drive. It’s also helpful if the workshop takes place in an art supply store. That way if you forget anything, you can pick it up right there in the store. We see artists do it all the time!
Choose an instructor (and familiarize yourself with them) – Maybe you have an art instructor in mind that you really admire and maybe you have no clue which instructor you’d like to learn from. Either way is fine. If you do have someone in mind, take their workshop even if that means waiting a little longer for it. It’s always worth it with an instructor you really love. And if you don’t have anyone in mind, do a little research on a few and see who you’d learn best from.
Pick a date – If you are about to take your very first ever art workshop, we don’t recommend signing up for it the day before. First of all, workshops fill up quickly! Also, you need to allow yourself enough time to get your supplies ready.
2. Getting your supplies ready
Start early – Don’t stress yourself out by getting supplies together last minute. Plan ahead so you can get everything you need and hopefully find some great deals on supplies (Keeton’s has a huge Super Saturday sale every month!).
Get your supplies list – When you register for your workshop, you should also receive a supplies list. Hold on to that so you know exactly what you need.
See what you have – You don’t need to run out and buy all new supplies (but if you do, please make Keeton’s your first stop 😉 ). Go through your art room first. We know you have a ton of supplies hidden there.
Ask for help – If your supply list looks like a foreign language to you, bring it into Keeton’s and just ask us to look over it with you. We’ll show you exactly what you need.
Supply storage – So once you have all your supplies, it’s time to figure out how to get them there. Make sure you have storage bins, a rolling travel bag or cart, and anything else to safely transport your supplies to the workshop.
Brush storage – Be careful with those brushes!! Please do not just throw them in with everything else. Keep them happy in a special brush carrier (we have those at Keeton’s).
Finished project – Also consider how you’ll get your finished project home. How big is it? Will it be dry or still wet? This is so important to think about because you don’t want to mess anything up on the way home.
4. Other things to bring
Food – A great question to ask before your art workshop is if food will be included. Some of the workshops we do here include a lunch which is typically subs. Make sure you know the time frame of the workshop, if there will be any breaks, and whether or not food will be provided.
Water – It never hurts to bring a bottle of water with you.
Extra money – Just in case you are missing a few supplies, bring some extra cash so you can pick it up in the store without missing an important lesson.
Notebook and pen – Trust us when we say you WILL want to take some notes!
5. How to act
Get there early – First of all, you’ll want to grab a spot that you feel most comfortable. Also, strolling in late can disrupt the workshop. Strive to get there 15 minutes early.
Turn off your phone – This is not only a distraction to you but to everyone else in the workshop including the instructor.
Zip your mouth – We know you probably have a ton of questions but please don’t talk over the instructor. The other students also paid money to hear what he or she has to say!
Take notes – You’ll want this valuable information to take to your artwork later on so make sure to jot down all the details and instructions. You won’t be sorry for doing it.
6. After the workshop
Relax – When you get home from your art workshop just chill out or the rest of the day. You have learned so much and probably have a million ideas flowing. That’s great! Write those down and then give your brain a rest. You want to start fresh the next day and not overwork yourself.
Sign up for the next workshop (but not right away) – You probably want to get registered for the very next workshop you can since you had so much fun, right? But you don’t want to overload yourself. Give yourself time to practice what you’ve learned and then choose a workshop in the future on a new skill.
Finish or make changes to your piece – You can always go back into your piece created in the art workshop and play around with it. Make it your own!
Keep in touch with other artists – Did you make some new artist friends in the workshop? Keep in contact with them! Meet up for lunch, plan artsy parties, exchange ideas and go on art supply shopping sprees together.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into planning to attend an art workshop. You don’t have to take all of these steps though. You can just wing it and go from there! But if you’re serious about taking your art to the next level, put some serious thought into the art workshops you take. Look at them as if you’re in a college class getting your degree. Of course it will be much more fun than that but really get focused and give it your all!
We want to know- Have you taken an art workshop? What was your experience like?