In the Google era, when you have every information at your fingertips, when you can bootleg a book or watch thousands of videos for free, why should you prefer in-person classes over online learning?
Oh, I think this time it will be so hard to convince you haha.
Ok, let me start from the beginning.
In 2016, when I first found out about Islamic geometry, I immediately bought all the books I could find on Amazon about that topic. Back then, there were just a few tutorials on YouTube, and the few courses available were in London. Oh, the good old days!
It was so hard to learn something, but I was so excited and keen on my new passion that I didn’t care that much.
Many artists were posting their constructions, and I spent hours and even days trying to recreate their designs without even knowing if I was doing it wrong or right.
I have to admit that the online community has helped me a lot throughout my journey.
But time was passing by, and there was a time in 2018 that I felt so stuck in my own doubts and questions that I realised I needed help. That’s when I decided to invest my money into my own education.
Here I am now writing this blog post to help you make your own decision and invest in your future.
Here is what I want you to consider:
Online courses are great if you are a beginner, a mum or someone who can’t travel the world.
Being self-taught is great if you are a beginner because sometimes you want to see if the topic interests you before investing your money into something bigger and I completely understand that.
Online courses and free tutorials are available worldwide, and you can literally learn something wherever you are, whenever you want.
Often I have thought that people are not investing in in-person classes because of money, but I soon realised that sometimes it’s because of Visa issues or even family issues.
I’ve met so many mums that can’t leave their children alone to travel the world following their passion, and I’ve also met people that live in countries where it’s easier to get out of jail than to get a Visa to travel the world.
Anyway, if this is you than I completely understand the need to be self-taught.
2021 Update: it’s fun to read this blog post after one year of lockdown due to the Corona virus. This new situation we are in has made online teaching very very popular, both in terms of recorded online courses and online in-person classes.
Since I wasn’t able to travel I took the chance to create 2 online courses about Islamic geometric patterns that are one-of-a-kind and also very beginner-friendly. Check them out here.
Digging deeper into Islamic geometry got me thinking about questions to which I couldn’t find the answers online.
Is there a general rule that helps you find the width of the petals of a rosette?
How do you divide a circle into 48 equal parts?
Do those circles have the same radius or is it just me?
Which intersection should I consider to find the radius of that circle?
I’m following the same exact tutorial, but why does my drawing look different?
HA! I know that you think these same questions when you draw.
Of course, you can ask people online, and you would get a lot of FREE help from anyone. Still, you will get to a point where your questions are just too many, and you will end up spending all your free time searching for an answer online instead of drawing and painting that beautiful pattern you saved on your “to do” list.
Now imagine attending an in-person course and being able to get all that information, and even more, in the same exact moment you need it. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true?
3. PERSONAL GROWTH
What I really love about in-person courses is the connection with other fellow artists.
Even during a one-to-one course, you get to know someone who shares your same passions, and that’s a win-win to me.
Now imagine that feeling being amplified during a group course.
Especially in this field, you will be able to meet so many people with different backgrounds and traditions coming together to talk, learn and share their vision and passion about Islamic art. How great is that?
Unless your name is Grinch, you would be surprised how much inspiration and gratitude you get during an in-person class.
What is your favourite way of learning? Do you prefer online learning or in-person classes?
Online Learning vs. In-Person Classes – What’s Better?
February 12, 2020
Great post! I have had ALL of the questions you gave as examples in the second section. Well, and many more. It is stimulating and rewarding, but also mentally exhausting, to try to learn on your own.
What options are there for those of us living in the U.S.? At my age (don’t ask!) I want to think mostly about domestic travel.
Artofislamicpatterns do courses in the US in summer. I don’t remember the cities but you can check their website if you are interested
Thank you for the lovely post Sandy!
Great post Sandy
Just curious what courses did you take in 2018…
I did the course in Fez with Artofislamicpatterns
How it was that course?
I’m so intersting in that kind of course aboard but a bit afraid of getting there by myself and meet people i don’t know… What u suggest to do..
Thanks for sharing Sandy. I am that busy mother! However I’m fortunate enough to live in London and have access to occasional monthly workshops and and the occasional weekend course. I wish I could do more of the courses but maybe in the future. The best thing about these interactive courses is like you said being surrounded by amazing people who share the same passion.
Ypu are so lucky indeed. I wish I could be surrounded by all those amazing artists everyday. It makes all of this more enjoyable. Let’s say that Instagram helps a lot though
Thank you For sharing this post Sandy All these questions always appear in my mind.
I know. I was there and still I am at times. Never be afraid to invest in yourself and your passion
Thank you Sandy! You made this blog seem as if it is me who is saying it. Very sincere and true!
Thank you, Sandy!