Monday, 26 November 2012

Oatley Academy and a finished piece!

So I recently signed up for the Chris Oatley academy, as a birthday present from my lovely boyfriend .  I thought I'd post my thoughts on the experience here as the course goes on, to give those who might also be interested an idea of what to expect.

For those who don't know, Chris Oatley recently worked for Disney as a character designer, among other things, and quit his day job to pursue an online learning academy for artists. His website is something I'd only recently stumbled into a couple of months back via a couple of links on twitter and I've found a lot of the information posted in it to be inspiring. He does come at a lot of stuff from an animation background, not surprising given he worked at Disney, but all of the information can be used regardless of the artistic field you work in. One of the things that really appealed to me is Chris' apparent desire to really want to connect to other artists and to want to help them personally -  one of the reasons he's doing an online course, rather than a book with his knowledge, is the interaction with those who want to learn. He can be a little rambling and often comes across as distracted, but I find that quite endearing -  testament to the fact he's human too, and maybe doesn't want to spend his whole life editing posts.

The course is called Painting Drama -  and focuses on colour and composition as tools to craft really in depth story telling images -  the kind that have an emotional impact on the viewer. I've had some success with this (if number of favs is anything to go by), but I often feel like I'm inconsistent with my ability to really push emotion, maybe because I'm too busy thinking about the rules of art, rather than simply focusing on the story at large. So, a week in and I'm already starting to rethink how I view my art, and thinking on what I really want to get out of my art (weirdly something I don't do much -  I'm  more of a 'hey lets paint this cause it's pretty yay!' person). 

The price is pretty reasonable too -  under $500, and that currently gives you access to 2 years worth of monthly live meetings to discuss student's work with Chris himself and access to all the posts and links he puts up in his Secret Lab, which you get access to as one of the Academy's students. The course work itself consists of 12 weeks worth of lessons, which can be done at your own pace, and all the live sessions are, I believe, recorded and put up for you to watch if you can't attend -  the first ones to take place are actually doing so over 2 days at different times, so internationals like myself aren't blearily rubbing eyes at 3am, with work the next day. All in all, it sounds  like it should be a good deal, but I will keep you posted!

And here's my latest posted piece, Soul Spark -  my own character, Kana, dragon prince.  You can also find this on my new Illustration Portfolio blog too... which will just be images without the ranting I do here. :)