After a consultation, Val will develop a proposal for you that takes into consideration your financial and time constraints. This could be a minimum of one course with multiple projects just to get you on the right track, to a complete comprehensive college level program condensed from what is typically one or two courses per semester for four years into an intensive, 6, 9 or 12 month study that may or may not include at least a week in residency at the retreat center in TN.
You'll learn at minimum about the design process, design principles and elements, brainstorming and research to develop innovative concepts, understand basic industry software, develop an affinity for typography and color solutions, and develop creative habits that help you in discovery and exploration throughout a career.
*(colleges require 120 credits to graduate with a bachelors and that means design is between 30 and typically no more than 50% of your studies)
must be able to supply all of your own tools including computer and software - advice on these comes with consultation. You may use Val's extensive design library at any time you visit the retreat center for inspiration and research.
> I'm curious about design and creativity. I'm motivated to learn.
> I can't afford to go to college, but I'm passionate about the field and want to learn everything I can.
> I'm a non-traditional student of any age looking for one class or more to have marketable skills in career shifts.
> I've always been crafty or creative from drawing, photography, or building things. I think design is a career field for me but I'm not really sure where to start or what to do.
Val is really hoping to work with people like you to teach design and creativity in a non-academic restricting environment. She understands costs and time issues (see the pricing section for more information). This process all starts with a FREE initial inquiry and verbal conversation over the phone or skype or other virtual options. Val will then come up with several proposals for you to consider within budget and time constraints. She's not interested in having 1000s of virtual students, but wants to get involved mentoring and meeting people at the human level. Most importantly what you get with Val is that one-on-one instruction and feedback like you would if you were in one of her college classes. This may or may not be the case with other programs like virtual classrooms, udemy, and even youtube instructional videos.
Val is walking away from teaching at the University level after 20 years (much much earlier than retirement age) for various reasons she outlines in the ABOUT section. Most importantly it's to reach a different kind of student and have more meaningful interactions. In addition, it frees her up to pursue additional goals like building an artist retreat and residency program along with a small farm with quite a few animals to maintain. She's inspired by the past where a group of very creative people bucked the system a little over 100 years ago, challenged the establishment of higher education and created a vibrant program similar to an apprenticeship. No matter what level of interaction you can commit to, Val invites all of her students to immerse for at least a weekend or week in the natural environment of her rural rolling hills retreat center in Tennessee so that you can learn thru experimentation and play.
Many colleges and universities are cutting budgets and no longer supporting technology in their labs. So you have to supply your own computer, purchase your own Adobe license per month, and show up twice a week to your design class which is probably one of 5 each semester over a period of four years. Val believes you can get the same quality education with your own laptop, her instruction, and a pursuit of design coursework as it engages you in research about all sorts of interesting subject matter and also requires you to develop critical thinking skills that are vital moving forward in the rapidly changing world we now live in. You won't receive a diploma but you will have portfolio quality work to show for clients and job interviews. She also includes mentoring for navigating the career path.