I asked myself that same question last February as I was contemplating joining the 12 week programme. Whilst I’m not averse to investing in my personal (and professional) development, it seemed a big cost at a time when money was not exactly flowing to me!
I was only just starting to feel my way back into my art after a very long creative block. I wasn’t very confident and was still reacquainting myself with my art materials after such a long break. Plus I’d been to art college and had a fairly (I thought) sound knowledge of the underlying principles of making art, so could I really justify spending this amount on what may end up to be 12 weeks of learning what I already knew?
I’d watched the free workshop videos and had gained so much from them, enough to get me thinking a bit more about what I was doing and why, and wondered whether the free stuff would be enough to keep me going for the time being, and perhaps sign up for the full programme the next time it opened. But registration only opens once a year and as I’m not the most patient person I knew I’d kick myself for the next few months if I missed this window and had to wait a full year before getting the opportunity again. Each time I decided I would wait, something in the back of my mind would start challenging that decision. I didn’t know why but I just knew I had to do it that year so I took a leap of faith and signed up.
There are few programmes I’ve bought which have really been worth their weight in gold. CVP was one of them. If you follow me on social media you only have to go back a year in my timeline to see the difference in my artwork. Each new series of work I produce is (I feel) stronger, bolder, more authentic to me and a truer expression of my artistic voice. Each painting I embark upon has more joy moments and less frustrating ‘stuck’ moments. My confidence in my technical ability is growing and with it my willingness to take risks and KNOW that if it all goes ‘wrong’ that I’ll be able to pull it back and end up with something even greater.
Historically, I would reach a point where the painting would start getting overworked, muddy, confused. Because I didn’t know any better I’d keep pushing on with it, getting more and more frustrated with it until I declared it ruined and consigned it to the pile of shame in the corner. I’ve completed over 50 paintings in the last 12 months and not a single piece has ended up in the pile of shame. Yes, I still have a few that are ‘stuck’ but they are in the ‘to be revisited with fresh eyes’ pile, because I see that they have a huge amount of potential – I just haven’t figured out where they want to go yet!
CVP has given me a new way to view my work, my practice and my methods. It’s taught me how to step back from my work, evaluate it critically and determine what it needs to improve it. It’s taught me how bold colour use can make a good painting great. That design will make or break a painting. And that SOUL is the secret ingredient that can elevate your work exponentially.
Now I have to be totally honest here – I didn’t do the full programme. I sort of dipped in and out of the bits that I found drawn to and left the rest. Not because it didn’t interest me, but because with various things that were going on in my life at that time I had only limited time and capacity for things like this. I would say that overall I probably watched about half the videos and did around half the practical exercises during the 12 weeks.
You might be thinking that’s a strange thing to admit to, especially as I’m here promoting CVP now! Bear with me….
I skipped certain elements of the programme whilst it was running live because I felt that they either weren’t sparking my interest or I already had a solid enough understanding of that component. I knew my energetic reserves were low and I wanted to ensure that I picked out the elements that were most likely to have the biggest impact on my art at that time.
CVP contains a huge amount of content, for me it was just too much to actually keep up with during the live running of the class. But the beauty of this programme is you get access for a full year, so it meant that once I’d got to grips with the bits I was most drawn to at the time I could then go back during the remainder of the year and start working through a lot of the other content. I found the coaching call recordings were great played in the background whilst I was painting and I’d return to the shorter tutorial videos when I got a bit stuck on colour or value. By the end of my access year I’d probably worked though about 70% of the content, and for me at that time it felt enough.
The point I’m trying to make is that even if you don’t access 100% of the materials, CVP will have a HUGE impact on your art practice. My confidence grew faster and greater than I could ever have imagined and as my paintings became stronger compositionally and my use of colour matured, I found myself wanting apply for art fairs so that I could show and talk about my work to people who love art!
A year earlier there’s no way I would have applied to join over 160 artists at the Contemporary Art Fairs. I would never have had the confidence to submit my work to juried events such as the Jackson’s prizes and the Royal Academy. THE ROYAL ACADEMY! I didn’t get selected but the fact is I felt confident enough in my work to apply, I felt my work was strong enough to be considered and so I went for it!!!
When I was painting previously I was nervous about pricing my work over £100. The last painting I sold went for £1400. I’ve just priced a brand new one at £1800. There was NO WAY I would have had the belief in myself and my art to have set those prices a year ago! But after taking CVP and my new confidence that came as a direct result of that, here I am 🙂
I’m already signed up to take CVP again this year and I’m so excited about repeating it. This time, without all the energetic drains in my life, I’m committing to keeping up with the programme as it runs live. I’ll be doing all the creative exercises, engaging with the group and writing about my journey and sharing my learning. If you are on the fence about joining I hope what you’ve read above might help give you some idea about how the programme could help you. Even if you’re not looking to sell your art, the growth you will experience will be huge!
Use this link to access the Art2Life page where you can get more information: https://ig147.isrefer.com/go/tellafriend/nday/
I hope to see you in there and I can honestly say that yes, CVP is MOST DEFINITELY worth the investment!
If you like what I do, please support me!
© 2019 Natalie Day