This past weekend at our Small Studio Workshop with Ingrid Dijkers, a discussion among the students went on about online workshops versus in person workshops. It was really interesting to hear various views, questions and concerns. Here is my personal opinion since you asked.
I have taken some really excellent online classes. I enjoyed them tremendously. I could stop and start, work at my own pace, take time to search for the perfect element and chat online with other students via yahoo groups where we shared photos of our work.
Taking an in-person workshop is so much better though. I get to touch and feel and see the teacher's work which sometimes is worth the price of the workshop! I am able to ask questions and hear others' questions and the answers. I am able to see the other student's work process, progress and decision making as they work. I get caught up in the enthusiasm of the group for the projects and techniques. Best of all is the camaraderie of the group. I love sitting and chatting and laughing with like minded women and men. I love hearing their comments to the instructor and each other.
On-line classes give the instructor time to plan exactly what they will do and say. In person classes often result in a serendipitous detour (even to the most organized of instructors) due to a question, a fortunate mistake or a new idea. This cannot be duplicated in an online workshop.
I love being in the midst of all that creativity. I love seeing the stuff that other students bring with them to use. I love to see how other art students interpret the project and/or the assignment. Often one learns as much from the other students as they do the instructor.
Here is my suggestion. Take online classes from those instructors who may not teach where you can get to them, but definitely take in-person workshops from traveling and local instructors. There is room for both.
Kelly Kilmer (link on left) often has a list of blogs she has just found and wants to share with her readers. Yesterday she shared Cathe Holden's blog. It was my first visit, but not my last. Cathe shares lots of free stuff and great projects, but I was intrigued with her studio.
Cubbies, cigar boxes and labels, oh my! You can go here and see more photos of her studio.