21 Oct 2021

Online Art Class VS Art Retreat: Which is Best?

So, you’re ready to start venturing into the world of mixed media art classes! You might be thinking about which is right for you: an online art class or an in-person art retreat. Both are great options, but for many different reasons. Here, we’ll talk about the main differences between each and help you decide which is best for you. Let’s get started!

Online Art Class VS Art Retreat

The common thread between online art classes and art retreats is, obviously, the art! But the two couldn’t be more different in the delivery of content and overall experience. What it really comes down to is the type of experience you’re looking for and your budget. Both can be wonderful ways to immerse yourself in a newfound love of mixed media art, and both can be a way to become part of an ever-growing art community, but both have their pros and cons, depending on what it is you’re looking for.

An online art class and a workshop at an art retreat are going to offer some of the same features: Both have a lot of valuable information to offer, knowledgeable instructors, and a built-in creative community of artists. The differences come down to the overall cost and the type of experience offered. Let’s go over some of these similarities and differences next!

Online Art Class: Pros and Cons

If you’re looking for an experience where you can take on a new mixed media art obsession all from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace, then an online art class might be for you! The pros to an online art class are that you can log in and learn anytime, anywhere! Do you have a busy life and a lot going on? No problem! You can pause the course and

come back when you have the time to absorb and dive back in. Do you have a lot of art supplies but are not sure what to do with them? An online art class would be a great place to start figuring out what to do with these supplies that are just sitting on the shelf! Also, with an online art class, you can have a busy life AND follow your dream of learning and creating beautiful art!

You can take your time with an online art class. If you need to watch a technique again or didn’t catch what the instructor said the first time you can easily pause and re-watch. There’s also something really immersive about watching a professional artist create and talk about the “why” behind their choices in real-time. Yes, that also happens in an in-person workshop, but often, you are watching the artist from an awkward angle or you are trying to see through the crowd--not the best view. With an online art class, you can see from the instructor’s perspective. It puts you in the driver’s seat and helps you see exactly what steps are being done, and what choices are being made--and more importantly, why. However, if you are looking for an in-person, immersive experience, love the thrill and adventure of travel, and have only a limited time to schedule in your art, then these could be considered downsides for you.

Mixed Media Art Retreat: Pros and Cons

The main difference between an online art class and an in-person art retreat is the location and the experience. If you love gathering in large groups of other creative, like-minded folks, then an in-person art retreat might be for you! There’s something for everyone at an in-person retreat--you can take as many or as few classes as you want. There is that creative buzz in the air, and often a sense of adventure, as most folks travel far and wide to attend an art retreat. If you like to mingle, meet other artsy folks, talk about art and life, and take group excursions to dinner or to an art store, then this could be your jam!

An in-person art retreat is perfect for someone who would like to create in the moment in a group environment. There is a lot of inspiration and creative energy at an art retreat. Possible downsides: often the excitement and momentum fade when you return to your “normal life.” It can be hard to set up your space, get back into that creative mode, and remember what exactly it was your instructor said the steps were or what techniques work best. You’ll have to be an expert note-taker, as most instructors don’t allow filming of their live classes. Sometimes, instructors will include supplies in the cost of the workshop, but often you have to pack the supplies with you--and that can get a little costly, especially if you’re flying. Also, with the ups and downs of the pandemic, travel plans, as well as the retreats themselves, may be cancelled or postponed for a later date that may not work for you.

Online Art Class VS Art Retreat: Price Difference

Online art classes can vary in range from a few dozen to several hundred dollars, depending on the course and instructor. The upside is that often, there is tiered pricing, which means that there is a price point that fits any budget. Here at Create Arts Online, we have courses that are as little as $25! You can get creating from the comfort of your own home for very little money to start. An in-person art retreat is going to cost upwards of several hundred to a few thousand dollars--when you factor in travel, food, and lodging in addition to the courses. If you are just starting out and aren’t sure you want to commit to that kind of budget, you can easily get a taste of the mixed media art world with an online art class.

Online Art Class VS Art Retreat: The Bottom Line

If you’re still not sure which is right for you, starting with an online art class could be your best bet. It’s low risk and at the same time, very rewarding. If you have the time and the money, a sense of adventure and would just like to take a little break from “the real world,” an art retreat could be just the thing for you! However, if you are looking for an immersive experience that you can jump in and out of at your own pace and fit in between your day-to-day life, then an online art class could be just the thing you need!


Are you ready to get started in your online art class adventure! You can check out all of the various online art classes that Create Arts Online has to offer!


26 Sep 2021

How to Get Started in Mixed Media Art

Welcome to the Create Arts Online blog! Each week, we will share helpful tips and tricks related to everything mixed media. This week, we’ll start with how to get started in mixed media art. If you’re new to mixed media art, it can be kind of intimidating to know where to start. First, there are all kinds of different categories of mixed media art, not to mention the various supplies, techniques, and instructors to choose from! Don’t despair, you are already on the right track with the first step: Just begin where you are. Here is a simple guide to help you continue on your journey into the world of mixed media.

What Kind of Mixed Media Art Should I Try First?

First, ask yourself what kind of art really interests and inspires you. Are you more drawn to layers of colorful paper, textures, and mark-making? Maybe you should try collage! Do you love the look of dreamy, see-through layers of painted color? Maybe you should try watercolor. Or maybe you used to sew a little and you’d like to get out that old sewing machine and have fun again! Choosing one general type of mixed media art to begin with can help you get started quickly. Creating an inspiration board of colors, textures, and even your favorite art images can really get you excited and inspired to start a new project. Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to the type of media you’d like to try, then you can start thinking about everyone’s favorite topic: art supplies!

What Mixed Media Art Supplies Do I Need?

If you’ve narrowed down your first choice, take a look at the supply list for an online art class that teaches in that medium--here at Create Arts Online we have plenty of courses in a variety of mediums that are perfect for beginners and pros alike. Maybe you already have some of the supplies at home collecting dust on a shelf or in a drawer. It would be a good idea to take inventory of what you already have before you go out and buy more. Knowing what supplies you already have might help you decide which mixed media art class to choose first. If you’re starting fresh, set a budget and then decide what are the essential art supplies you’ll need to begin. The most important thing is to just begin! Don’t let the supply list be the step that gets in the way of you just getting started in mixed media art. Even if you have just a few colors of paint, or fabric, or pastels, just gathering the supplies can be a way to set the intention of beginning a new artistic journey. Once you have collected the materials, you can begin to organize them and think about your space.

How Much Space Do I Need to Create Mixed Media Art?

You’ve seen the studios of your friends on social media or maybe artists you admire in magazines--they are spacious, perfect, dreamy, and FULL of all the art supplies you could ever dream of. Maybe what’s stopping you from starting is the thought that you don’t have the perfect space. If you have the desire to begin creating mixed media art, then you can create enough space for yourself and your art. If you have an extra spare room that is not being used, great! Use it as a dedicated space for when you are creating your mixed media art. Or maybe you are working within a smaller space, that’s ok, too. All you need is a small section of a table that has a few containers of your favorite supplies. No space at the table? Don’t let that stop you from getting started in mixed media art! You can always store your art supplies in a bag that is convenient for taking with you when you are on-the-go. Also, almost any type of mixed media art can be converted into a smaller, compact version that you can take with you anywhere!

In-Person VS Online Mixed Media Art Workshops

Once you’ve decided what medium you’d like to start with, and you’ve gathered your supplies and created a space, you can now choose an online mixed media workshop to start learning and getting inspired! The beauty of taking an online art workshop at Create Arts Online versus an in-person workshop is that you can begin learning from the comfort of your own home right now! You don’t have to factor in any travel costs and you can start creating "in your own space, and at your own pace."™ You can watch the videos as many times as you need to understand and practice the techniques. It’s like having your own instructor at your side 24/7! And because you’re at home, you can also leave your supplies and projects out to keep you inspired and motivated to continue creating! What’s great about in-person workshops is that you can travel and create in a vacation-like atmosphere, BUT sometimes there is a danger in the loss of momentum once you return to “real life!” When you create from home, you can stop and start the workshop whenever it is convenient for you. You can weave art and creativity into your everyday life.

Ready to Get Started in Mixed Media Art?

We have a lot of amazing and talented instructors who are experts in their medium. You can find everything from polymer clay to freehand stitching to book making and acrylic painting! This week, we are excited to be launching two new courses with Helen Shafer Garcia: “Learning to See--Drawing in Journals,” and “Poetic Watercolor Journals.” Both courses are great for beginners and pros alike who are looking for a fresh take on watercolor painting, drawing, and art journaling!

Whichever medium you choose to begin with, we are just excited that you have decided to begin! We hope Create Arts Online opens a whole world of learning new and exciting mixed media art techniques.