I just finished taking an independent online class about the chemistry of products I use in paper crafting, mixed media and for classes I teach. I was unsure about the whole thing, because it was taught by Tim Holtz and he has a sort of undying following in the paper industry. It could easily have been a self-indulgent exercise that his followers could see no wrong in. I ultimately decided I have wasted $35 stupider ways and paid for my class. I knew things about the tools and products I used, but I didn’t know why. I was unsure if why would make a difference. It took me just under three weeks to complete the 10 lessons and 25 assignments. In the end it was so worth my time.
What made this online class successful for me?
- It was an online class. This instructor will likely never come to Montana we don’t have the population density to support his fees to teach. I had access to something I likely would never have a chance otherwise.
- It was independent study. It meant the class worked around my busy schedule. If I wanted to scratch out some time at 5:45 am I could. If I wanted to replay and redo a class at 8:30pm I could. It gave me independence. It worked with real life.
- It was inexpensive. $35 is a steal when it comes to a class and the fact I can go back to this if need to in the future is bonus bucks.
- There were paper handout with steps and illustrations. I liked having something to write on and refer back to.
- There were demonstration videos for each and every one of the assignments.
- There was an assignment for each and every technique.
- I did each and every assignment.
Some of these positives were under the control of the the class developer, but I don’t think that all of that would have mattered if I had not been willing to do each assignment. I was amazed at the number of times I watched the video and said yeah, yeah no brainer I can do that. Only to quickly discover that no I could not do that as easily as I imagined. I discovered the easier something looked the more I would struggle with it. The more likely I was going to be doing the assignment three, four or five times until I got it. Some I finished and still would like to go back and do them a few more times. I have lifetime access to the class I can go back any time I want for a refesher.
I already owned and used most of the things on the class supply list in one or two ways. It was another reason I was so unsure about this class. This class introduced me to additional ways to use products that I already owned. As I came to understand the products more thoroughly I started to think what if I did… I tried lots things other than the assignment, because things in that lesson got me questioning additional possibilities.
Like so many others I have other things going on in my life and taking a class for self-improvement and growth is not at the center of my life. It sounds more like time I don’t have. I found myself scratching out time in the early morning before I started the day and and at night when TV or reading could have been an option. That was another likely piece of this puzzle that made this class a success for me is, that a lesson and assignment could easily be broken down in to very small time chunks most less than 20 minutes. I found the more I fit in little snippets of time the more I wanted to move on to the next assignment.
Now that it is over, I have already signed up for Chemistry 102. I am going slower on this class because my brain is still coming up with things to try from Chemistry 101. I am full of energy about my art again that had reached a bit of a stumbling block. I am moving forward all because committed to myself to a class that I wasn’t sure was more hype than substance. I was asked to do things outside my comfort zone. I did assignments that seemed silly, unimportant and irrelevant to me. Like all learning it changed me. I am once again thinking about what if and why not try this or that. That is not just what your art is about but also your life.
FYI: I took this at Online Card Classes I got no money, free class or anything to write this review. It is my personal point of view after I personally paid for this class.