Hi there! My name is Gail Schmidt and I am the creator and founder of Creative Workshops.
Back in 2008 I took a couple online classes. One was a PDF, non-video type class. I quickly realized that I personally can not learn from this type class because I am a very visual learner, and the written word with photographs can not convey the knowledge I need, when I take a class to learn a new skill or technique. I learn by watching. Closely. If someone ties a knot, I want to see how those fingers actually tie that knot. The other class I purchased was a video class and I was thrilled to discover it. Yippee I thought, I can actually watch the artist and see exactly what she is doing. Unfortunately the lighting was so dark I couldn't see much. Needless to say I was disappointed. But, as it has been said many times before, a seed was planted.
I love learning but like many, my budget does not allow me to travel to all the art retreats and live classes I would love to attend.The expense of travel, hotel, food, supplies and classes usually make it cost prohibitive for me. I loved the whole idea of a video class. It might not be the exact same as a live class but it got me close enough to be happy. I began to explore what it would take to present these type classes online because I myself was also interested in teaching in this type venue.
I started thinking there might be other artists out there who also liked the idea of teaching online, (back then there weren't so many) but did not want to be bothered with the technical end of things. And this was something I could do. The idea of bringing other artists on board to share their talents and knowledge with a wider audience than just those at a live retreat excited me. How wonderful would it be for those who can't, for whatever reasons, attend a live retreat!
There were three things I knew I wanted for our classes from the beginning, and then I would let the rest evolve.
1. Classes should be affordable and in a similar learning environment you might find at a live retreat, where you can watch a teacher demonstrate techniques or the how to of a project, and then be able to practice those skills.
2. Just as in a live class I wanted students to have access to the teacher so they could ask questions and even talk with others in their class if they chose.
3. I did not want our classes to have a time limit. Our lives are full and busy, often with conflicting schedules. A class should be relaxing and fun and not add to stress levels. So I structured our classes to be on-going, which simply means there is no fixed time period in which to finish. No pressures, no deadlines, no creating on demand.
4. Because every one of us learn at a different pace I wanted all the videos of every class up and ready to watch when the class opens. I also wanted classes available 24/7 to fit any schedule thrown at them. And even though we've had to retire a few classes because life sometimes does get in the way, the majority of all our classes are still available even today.
I'm proud of our artists and the classes they bring to the table. They are talented, have a desire to share, and give much of themselves. I in turn have proven to them I am trustworthy, reliable and professional in taking care of them. I have had some amazing email from students who I find fabulous and grateful for access to such a wonderful array of talent they might otherwise not have the opportunity to learn from. And from those emails I have learned our students know me to be there for them when they need me, that I'm good at holding their hand and that I'm awfully darn quick at answering their emails.:) I am also proud that Creative Workshops was among one of the first to offer this type variety of online classes.
It's enough for me and the dream I birthed and nurture still.
I hope you enjoy our offerings and find classes of interest!