A Brave New World: How Webcast Learning Changed My Life

QuoteFelix

We’ve all been there. Recently graduated, hopes and dreams ready to explode from your fingertips, wet behind the ears and ready to rumble. For some, take off is a smooth trajectory with little to no turbulence and blue skies as far as the eye can see: A dream job, or a stepping stone on the way there, in your field and happy as a clam. Do clams fly? No matter. As clams are airborne, other folk end up on a plane with no pilot, struggling to take off and feeling hopelessly distraught wondering why so many others are shrinking into the distance while they’re stuck on the tarmac. No green lights here.

By now you may have guessed… I am a big fan of the analogy.

For some, it is absolutely terrifying to leave a classroom environment that has protected and cultivated the minds of our future generations, facing the “real world” and not knowing where to turn. For the creative types, such as myself, there is need for new inspiration and continuous stimulation in order to continue creating and evolving. It is a whole different ball game when one must curate inspiration instead of being delivered and fed such stimulants in a two hour lecture, and that is where the webcast comes into play.

For simplicity sake, I am targeting webcast lectures from the perspective of continuing education, as opposed to an alternative to mandatory classes or undergraduate classroom studies. Seeing as you readers are generally in your 20’s, you’ll be in a similar headspace (and if not, then apply as you see fit).

I am a photographer. I am a curator of all things beautiful and feel goosebumps from a meticulously composed collection of shadows. But some days, these inspirations are just not enough! I’d like to introduce you to CreativeLive, an online live-streaming creative workshop collection that showcases professionals from all over the continent, webcasting tutorials and teachings of which you would only dream to be a part, let alone witness.

CreativeLive1
Via http://www.creativelive.com.

With the swipe of a finger, you can swap between learning about photography, business, graphic arts and music, all from the comfort of your own desk chair (or deck chair, or air mattress or linoleum tile if it suits). Have you always dreamed of watching Joey Lawrence prepare and set the stage for one of his legendary commercial shoots? Have you ever drooled over Lara Jade’s stylistic posing technique and dreamlike PhotoShop actions, praying that one day you can afford to fly across the globe to catch her workshop in person? With CreativeLive, your idols are at your fingertips, burning holes through your heart as you soak in their teachings like a sponge in the desert. Not only can you stream workshops live for free, but if you so choose, you can purchase the workshops for a decent fee and watch anytime, anywhere.

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 11.06.38 PM
Via http://www.creativelive.com.

So what does this mean for creatives pondering multiple degrees and certifications? You may be self-taught and have skipped the idea of university, but in my case, I have always looked for ways to further my education and broaden my knowledge (and well-being) from a seat in a lecture hall. Call me crazy, but I love to learn. So finding out that I can absorb knowledge and technique from home, anytime, is mighty enticing.

Webcasts allow me to edit my work while simultaneously watching Sue Bryce pose her model for a naturally-lit boudoir session. My mind is both working on my craft and halfway across the globe in Sue’s studio, soaking in the rays of her epic talents. I suddenly don’t feel the anxious urgency to figure out what my next collegiate step is; a piece of paper won’t book my next shoot, just as shouting from the rooftop that I have a Master’s degree will not create a sense of ease and relaxation for a new mother and her two week old baby framed in my lens.

I am biased, I realize, but through the power of webcasting, I feel I now have the power to further my learning and tutelage using resources that did not exist for generations before me. Technology has jumped in leaps and bounds, and in the education universe, it seems like the simple solution to the basic question: How do I continue to challenge my mind after leaving the lecture hall?

This technology can be an invaluable tool for creatives across the board, and as a 20-something working multiple jobs to support her craft, I value my time and money and can recognize a remarkable resource, such as CreativeLive, when I see it. Now, I do plan on completing a Master’s degree in the next few years, but in the meantime, I’ll have my split-screen locked and loaded, soaking in the brilliant knowledge of creative geniuses I could only dream about apprenticing.

CreativeLiveFelix
Via http://instagram.com/felixkunze.

I’ll close with this: I recently watched Felix Kunze’s closing remarks as he completed his CreativeLive workshop with portrait photographer Sue Bryce. Speaking about his journey to fame and fortune, Felix offered the following advice: “Go towards the fear.” If you are on the fence about something, be it applying for a job, writing a book, heck – writing a long winded blog post such as this one! Do it. Say yes. After finding CreativeLive and the power of webcasts, I can say that I have a little less fear on my horizon, and a lot more (online) learning to do.

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