On­line learn­ing

Artist Paul Cana­van ex­plores the 10 most ex­cit­ing on­line art schools avail­able to­day, for all types of artists

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There was a time, not so very long ago, when art schools and ate­liers were your only op­tions for at­tain­ing a higher art ed­u­ca­tion. Typ­i­cally pro­vid­ing a strong, foun­da­tional back­ground for artists with var­ied as­pi­ra­tions, they were (and still are) a fan­tas­tic di­rec­tion to take when seek­ing out a ca­reer in the cre­ative arts.

Un­for­tu­nately, that rounded, long-term ed­u­ca­tion comes at a cost, and par­tic­u­larly for those liv­ing out­side of Europe, that cost could be pro­hib­i­tively high, lead­ing to mount­ing debt and in­se­cu­rity at the piv­otal point in a young artist’s ca­reer.

Luck­ily for our wal­lets, on­line art schools have emerged over the past few years that of­fer a vast range of cour­ses which can ri­val the bricks and mor­tar schools in scope… as long as the stu­dent is will­ing to de­velop a strong work ethic and the drive to work from home. On­line ed­u­ca­tion op­tions dif­fer dra­mat­i­cally, from the more tra­di­tional foun­da­tional cour­ses that can last sev­eral months, to in­di­vid­ual lessons tailored to fit one sub­ject, from class-based sem­i­nars to in­spi­ra­tional pod­casts and more.

Through this ar­ti­cle I’m go­ing to ex­plore ten of the most ex­cit­ing schools and cour­ses avail­able on­line right now, tack­ling a wide range of sub­jects to give you a feel for the po­ten­tial open to you. Whether you as­pire to work as a con­cept artist or 3D mod­eller in the games in­dus­try, a matte painter or an­i­ma­tor for films, or a free­lance il­lus­tra­tor who gets to paint mon­sters all day long, whilst still in your pants, there’s an on­line school for you. Hope­fully, the se­lec­tion will help you pick a path that best suits your per­sonal goals and bud­get, sup­ple­ment­ing ex­ist­ing stud­ies or cre­at­ing a plan for you to fol­low from be­gin­ning to end.

Kei Aced­era’s acrylic paint­ing Arya. Although mainly fo­cus­ing on dig­i­tal art, there are tra­di­tional me­dia cour­ses avail­able. Schoolism has gone for a broad range of cour­ses, start­ing at the ba­sics through to se­ri­ously ad­vanced.

This school at­tracts the most fa­mous names in the dig­i­tal art in­dus­try, in­clud­ing Bobby Chiu.

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