Sketchbook Revival 2022 is well underway now. Are you taking part? I hope so. It’s quite an enjoyable experience with opportunities to explore many different approaches and methods to art. This year’s event began on March 21 and all sessions will be available online through April 18, so there’s still time to participate. To join in, visit Sketchbook Revival 2022.
As a “free” event, this one comes with a bit of sponsorship and advertising. Essentially the Sketchbook Revival program is an opportunity for art instructors from around the world to promote their art, their websites, their classes. Each presenting artist offers a “gift” to participants. I enclose the word in quotes, because as often as not, these same gifts are available to anyone, not just workshop participants.
Case in point, Courtney Cerruti’s “gift” of two free months membership at Creative Bug. Whether you take part in Sketchbook Revival or not, you can visit Creative Bug and take advantage of a 60-day free trial. Of course I signed up for the trial, even though my art schedule is already a bit crowded.
Creative Bug appears to be quite similar to Craftsy. I joined Craftsy last year at a very special price, and it was definitely worth what I paid — which wasn’t much. But because Craftsy is geared more toward crafts than arts, and because I simply don’t do crafts well at all, I actually cancelled my year-long membership a few months before it expired.
I’m guessing my experience with Creative Bug will be about the same. The monthly charge at Creative Bug is $7.95 — comparable to the monthly fee at Craftsy. At least, as far as I can determine, this is what Creative Bug charges. What I dislike most about the site so far, you see, is that nowhere can I find information on the cost involved. There’s information about two plans — Unlimited and Unlimited Plus — but I have yet to find pricing for either one at the website. I did find the $7.95 figure at the “Tiny Workshops” website which featured a lengthy review of Creative Bug — along with pricing.
Creative Bug appears to be owned by JOANN — the retail fabric store. Accordingly, a lot of the projects at Creative Bug are fabric-related. There are art classes, as well, but they mostly involve the concept of increasing creativity — nothing wrong with that — rather than improving skills.
I have yet to complete any classes at Creative Bug, although I have two I’m interested in — just for the fun of it. Both are month-long classes, and I’m thinking of following one or the other for the next thirty days, after which I’ll decide whether or not I might want to continue my membership. The two classes I’m looking at, by the way, are:
- Color Play – A Daily Practice in Oil Pastels and Colored Pencils
- Goddess Sketchbook — A Daily Practice Inspired by Feminine Energy
I’m sure all of the instructors at Creative Bug are well-qualified, and I have no doubt that the classes offered would be interesting, informative, and most likely very enjoyable. Still, I’m not sure the site is for me.
There are many art-related “schools” and “teaching” websites available. I’m already a member of The Virtual Instructor and Artists’ Network. As you know, I get easily overwhelmed when I have too many choices. For me, more is not necessarily better.
I like The Virtual Instructor because Matt Fussell offers a variety of different courses which take a beginning artist from the first steps through to a good working knowledge of the medium or technique used. It was Matt’s “Secrets to Drawing” class that taught me the essential elements of art and provided me with a solid foundation for continued learning. I’ve continued studying with Matt through additional courses, through the “Live” Member Sessions he offers, and through various tutorials he posts online such as the “Gettin’ Sketchy” drawing series.
Unlike The Virtual Instructor, the Artists’ Network site offers no on-going “classes” but does provide access to thousands of articles and demonstrations — if you know what you’re looking for. I’ve struggled with finding and choosing tutorials that are of value for me, but once I’ve found what I need, I’ve been able to learn a lot from the articles and videos.
Creative Bug and Craftsy both offer a different curriculum from more traditional “art” sites. Again, the emphasis is on creativity, not on improving art skills or developing specific fine arts techniques. For the not-so-crafty type like me, these sites aren’t the best choice. Even though I do a bit of sewing, and while I can knit and crochet, I doubt that I would ever sign up for any classes or projects involving fabrics. It’s just not where my interests lie.
I will try a few of the “creative art” classes, but right now, I’m doubtful that I’ll find enough substance there to keep me coming back month and after month — at a price of $7.95. There are simply too many other resources available, many of which are free.
Of course, time is a huge factor here, too. I devote about four hours each day to my art. That’s enough for me. I have an active life outside of the studio. I love spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking. I love bowling and am out on the lanes at least two or three times a week. I read. I study languages. Of course, I also have club activities and events, such as the student art show coming up later this month. I’ll be helping check art in, set up displays, and working the show.
If I had more time, I’d probably enjoy a lot of the classes offered at Creative Bug. But life is short, my days are busy, and we have to pick and choose from many possibilities. We need some priorities. So, while I think it might be fun to try a class like Courtney Cerruti’s “Beginning Collage“, I don’t feel this would be helping me move forward in the art areas that are of interest to me: drawing, watercolor, and landscape oil painting.
Many of you, however, might find just what you’re looking for at Creative Bug. It’s worth checking out, and I’m always willing to “take a chance” with a free trial. There are so many fascinating and fun things to try, and I’m in favor of anything that sparks our creativity. So, indeed, I’ll give Creative Bug a “thumbs-up” — maybe not for myself, but for others.
Check it out for yourself. It might be just what you’re looking for.