The Oat­ley Academy

This is an­other crack­ing on­line school with an artist­founder bring­ing a highly per­sonal feel to things.

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Founded by Dis­ney artist Chris Oat­ley, the school has a slightly dif­fer­ent feel to the oth­ers in that its ap­proach deals as much with the psy­chol­ogy and thought process be­hind be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional artist, as it does with the ac­tual les­son struc­ture.

“We be­lieve that ed­u­ca­tion should mean trans­for­ma­tion,” says Chris. “There are many places where you can pay for in­for­ma­tion, but not many places that ac­tu­ally of­fer a true, trans­for­ma­tive art ed­u­ca­tion. We say that if we’re not chang­ing lives, we’re not do­ing our job.”

Com­mu­nity in­volve­ment plays a large part in this ex­pe­ri­ence, with the site plac­ing a heavy em­pha­sis on en­gag­ing with fel­low stu­dents and learn­ing to cri­tique each other’s work in or­der to grow as artists. Cour­ses fall un­der two cat­e­gories: Men­tored or Self-Guided. The men­tors in­clude Chris Oat­ley, vis­ual de­vel­op­ment artist Brett Bean, Nick­elodeon vis­ual de­vel­op­ment artist Sarah Marino and Mar­vel Stu­dios sto­ry­board artist Justin Copeland. Th­ese real-time cour­ses are priced be­tween $650 and $850 (£460 and £601). For $7-$19 per month (£5-£13), The Oat­ley Academy of­fers self-guided classes on dig­i­tal paint­ing, sto­ry­telling and forg­ing a suc­cess­ful ca­reer.

Brett Bean takes one of the men­tored cour­ses.

Founder Chris Oat­ley has cre­ated a bril­liant school.

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