A few days ago, my distance Illustrating course arrived. Full of great expectations, I signed for reception and I tore open the box. In it was a bunch of leaflet like books…each lesson in its own leaflet. On first glance not very inviting for it eyed pretty dated. But…dated doesn’t have to be a problem, so I dug on in the box. There was a box of drawing and water color supplies and some paper to do the assignments on. When I’d reached the bottom of the box, I sat myself down with a huge pot of tea and started reading through the lessons.

Soon my heart felt heavier. Nowhere in all the 23 lessons in front of me was anything about illustrating. Nothing about developing characters, nothing about making a story board, nothing about working for different age groups, nothing about which elements from a text need illustration or filling in. Just basic drawing lessons. In the other 23 lessons I’d still receive would be a couple of lessons about fantasy and illustration, but no more than a couple. It didn’t at all seem what I had expected. These lessons in front of me were a massive technical drawing course.

Okay, okay. Sure, if you want to illustrate, you must learn to draw thoroughly. I get that. But a distance course requires a lot of stamina to finish and I wasn’t so sure this course was enough to light my fire high enough to finish it. This course made me want to go into hiding! I talked about it a bit here and there to organize my thoughts and then decided that I’d send this course back and cancel my order.

But, no tears! There is another option! The one I may be going for! There’s this illustrator who teaches online illustration classes, through e-mail. I’m a bit skeptical about e-mail classes, but then again, it may teach me at least some basics. I asked the teacher if I could do one lesson to try out, including getting some feedback from her so that I’d be able to see if it would be any good. Well, she agreed and I’m currently working on the assignment. If you take her classes, you can also have a couple of private lessons with her for a good price so that she can fill in blanks that may arise during the e-mail course and help you advance even more. That sounds fair enough, doesn’t it?

I admit that this course doesn’t seem as thorough technically as the other course I had ordered, but it’s a lot more fun and it seems to teach a lot between the lines…and I’m just so very very very bad at dry technical drawing lessons. Really, I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate drawing spheres and vases of flowers!!!

What this other course has made me consider, though, is that I might take technical drawing classes in real life. I think it would be good for my drawing skills and I think working in a group and having a teacher there to help me when I get stuck or who can urge me on when I feel the huge vase-of-flowers-drawing resistance give me a greater chance to succeed.

So, now that the illustration teacher has agreed with me to do one lesson for free, I have to meet my end of the bargain and get busy…I’m going to dive into oil pastels, flowers and the sea. I have a great idea already! (I might show you once it’s done!)