When people ask what I do, I usually say ‘I’m an illustrator and I teach online art classes’. I’m hesitant to claim the title teacher, because the typical art teacher treats teaching as a one-way street of preaching the only way to make art (i.e. their way).
What I really should say is, ‘I’m an artist and art facilitator’. I’m making art on my artistic journey, and I also facilitate artistic growth in other artists on their own artistic journeys.
Instead of declaring my way of making art as the best way and teaching rigid technique tutorials, I’ve developed a broader system that guides artists through the process of discovering their own way of making art and traveling on their own artistic journey.
My art is formed from my unique experience, thoughts, interests, and natural inclinations. You have your own unique experiences, thoughts, interests, and inclinations, so you deserve to discover and create your own art.
This Isn’t About Me
My point is, this—all this—is not about me. Sketchbook to Style Boot Camp isn’t successful because I teach how to make the best art. All I did was build a system, facilitate a process, and encourage growth and exploration. The students—the artists—are the ones who made it successful.
The same goes for #MightCouldDrawToday. All I did was build a system, facilitate a process, and encourage people to draw. The participants—the artists—are the ones who made it successful. Because of them, the challenge has been the catalyst for more than 16,000 new drawings from artists around the world.
Many of the artists in these two systems have told me they’re drawing regularly for the first time in their lives. But I didn’t teach them to do that—I just facilitated it.
These systems I built became ways of connecting growing artists and giving them access to each other. Artists helping each other, encouraging each other, and inspiring each other. And that sense of community amplifies the value of the course and challenge beyond anything I could have accomplished on my own.
My intention with everything at Might Could is to unleash the artists inside us, so we can discover and develop our unique art. I do that by facilitating art exploration. And I do that by building up our artistic mindsets.
My aim is to catapult each person into their own unique artistic journey, helping them follow their own path and overcome the common obstacles, whether they’re just beginning their journey or already farther along.
My goal is for us all to become strong and disciplined artists with the autonomy to complete our dream projects. I don’t want you to be on a hamster wheel of mimicking other artistic styles for the rest of your life. I want to help you find the unique artist inside you, release it, and create your art practice.
This is about all of us tackling and traveling on our artistic journeys together. Because we’ve already established that I’m a facilitator, and I need your help along my artistic journey as well. We all have off days and dry spells, and that’s when we need each other most. We’re in this together. We can explore, create, and grow together.
And now that I’ve realized this is my ultimate mission, I’ve built something new to achieve those goals.
It’s Not a Typical Course—It’s a System
I’m expanding what I learned facilitating Sketchbook to Style and #MightCouldDrawToday into something bigger. They are now parts of a larger system. A system that helps artists begin, stay on, and travel along their individual artistic journey.
A system to help you:
- Develop your creative mindset
- Discover your artistic style
- Create your dream projects
All in a nurturing environment surrounded by a supportive community of artists.
School Isn’t About the Information
Because here’s the thing: for online education to be on par with physically going to school, it can’t just focus on relaying information. Because going to school isn’t about the information. It’s about leaving home.
It’s about being in an environment where growth, experimentation, and exploration is encouraged. It’s about being surrounded by other students interested in growing and exploring. It’s about not knowing exactly where you’re going, but hopping on for the ride anyways.
School isn’t just a pile of books or a series of lectures—it’s a place you go to discover yourself.
My Self-Taught Art Education
I attended Design School at a public school, had a wonderful experience, and learned an immense amount about creativity, art, and design. But after graduating and working for a while as a designer, I decided I wanted to be an illustrator. I had no debt, and had no intention of going into debt at art school for a career that is not known for its money-making abilities. So I became a self-taught artist.
For years I struggled, haphazardly plowing through Skillshare classes, Youtube videos, and art tutorials. I managed to cobble together an art education and find my own way of drawing, but I believe my initial experience of attending design school was a huge part of why I was able to do it on my own.
And now, after years of design school, creating my own self-taught art education, and teaching, I’ve finally realized the glaring missing element from online art education: The studio.
Studio, Oh Studio!
When I think back to my design school days, I rarely remember the lectures, textbooks, videos, or even the actual classes I took. What I remember most from school, is Studio.
Studio was the room where we all made things together. Studio was where we talked together.
Studio was where we worked all day, and chugged coffee so we could work all night. Studio was where we dragged ourselves back in the early morning to present our projects and get feedback.
Studio was where we got serious and got stuff done. Studio was where we joked around and slacked off.
Studio was where we shared favorite books, playlists, blogs, and inspiration. Studio was where we learned in class and shared what we learned outside class.
It wasn’t the professors that taught us the most. It wasn’t the textbooks that taught us the most. It wasn’t the projects and assignments that taught us the most. And it certainly wasn’t the tutorials and demonstrations that taught us the most. The information we learned was important, but it wasn’t the thing that taught us the most.
The thing that taught us the most was the studio, and all the people in it—it was my studiomates.
My studiomates taught me how to develop the design thinking mindset, discover my way of designing, and create my dream projects.
Might Could Studiomates
The current system of art education isn’t working anymore. Maybe it never was. I’m fascinated by the question: how do we learn to be artists?
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- You can teach someone how to be an artist by building up their artistic mindset and facilitating art exploration.
- The artistic journey is a lifelong journey. As self-taught artists, we never really graduate art school—we’re always learning and growing and evolving.
- Learning and teaching isn’t just about information, it’s about action and people. We learn by making. And we learn more by making together and sharing what we’ve learned with each other.
I and ~200 founding members have been diligently building this online studio space, and it’s now ready for you. We have Studio courses and extracurricular Clubs, but most importantly, we are a community of growing artists.
This is your studio. These are your studiomates. This is Might Could Studiomates.
I believe we can all learn to be artists and continue growing on our artistic journeys together. I’ve built this community for myself, for you, for us, and we’re finally opening up membership next week.
I’m so excited about all this and I’ll be back next week with all the details. :)