Many people have probably heard me raving one way or another about the Illustration Academy. I've attended it twice, and I'm fortunate to have stayed in contact with many of the instructors and students year round. It's a big family. A family that has helped make me the artist I am today. So when John English told me about the online Visual Literacy Program I was pretty stoked. He described it as the Academy year round. And for the most part it is! I mean nothing can replace the face to face time of the summer workshops, but this gets darn near close!

I've been a member of the VLP (what the cool kids call it), since it began a month and a half or so ago. In that time it has really exploded. The members range from artists very early in their studies looking for guidance... to Sterling Hundley. It's a wild range. Most of the Academy instructors are active on the forums giving upper level crits and advice. It's so cool to put up a piece and have Doug Chayka, Brent Watkinson, Sterling, George Pratt, and John English give you spot on advice later that night.

But the most valuable thing it offers is the simple inspiration. Like many other artists, sometimes I have a real hard time grinding through long nights and maintaining the motivation to keep pushing through a project. Sometimes I'm in my studio/apartment for days at a time, and can feel my mojo really falling off. I can sincerely say that the forums keep me going, especially lately with my crazy schedule preparing to move. I can check out a post by one of my buddies or teachers and see what they are working on at that moment. That kick in the pants is invaluable. Not to mention hours long instructional videos by all the world class instructors!

I'll admit that I receive a number of emails from folks asking about the Academy. Now I can forward them to the VLP. The cost is very do-able; especially the one month option. I know times are tough (believe me I really know), but the investment is worth it's weight in gold. If you are serious about illustration, really think about it. You will grow so much!

take care,

**Here is a video they put together taking you through the site/forums and giving you the visuals to what I am speaking about!**


Shawn Escott said...

I've been keeping my eye out for this program, it sounds amazing!

Nonie said...

Whoa never heard of this. I am definitely going to join up! Sounds well worth it.

Vincent Nappi said...

Do you have to be a professional or an art school student to see the benefits of the program? Being around all that excellent talent would definately be a learning experience, but as someone currently not (yet) attending art school, just a guy really looking to kick himself in the pants before he does, would the same value be there? I ask because I wouldn't have class assignments to post for critiquing, just my own compositions and excercises.

Anonymous said...

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Johnny said...

Thanks for posting the info on the program, sounds really great.

francisvallejo said...

vincent: Thanks for the question. We're happy to discuss any piece. It can be a personal or self generated piece, not necessarily a class assignment. The range of folks on the site is one of the strengths!

anonymous: Because the sources of the milk vary in quality.

TREY BRYAN said...

I am on the VLP with francis,
there is alot of content, feedback, professionalism, and learning. Everyone is experimenting with there work, as well as successfully breaking through to new barriers- as well as the "teachers"

The great thing about it is that everyone is a teacherA great investment on my part, If you are questioning the money part, don't. Just do it. You'll be kicking yourself later.

-Trey b

Vincent Nappi said...

Thanks for answering my question Francis and Trey. Looks like I'll be enrolling soon then.