Can I Use my Cell Phone for my Online Art Class?

Photo caption: Many online art school students use their cell phones for class-related tasks. Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Modern educational technology allows students from around the world to take classes in the comfort of their own home. For aspiring professional artists, this is especially good news, because it means that they don’t have to live next to a world-class art school in order to get an excellent art education.

Naturally, many students will want to use their cell phones or tablets for their online art classes. In many cases, these tools are totally fine. However, in some cases, having access to a larger machine is more beneficial.

It’s for this reason that we’ve put together the following checklist. It outlines when it’s usually better to use a computer and when it’s okay to use a phone or a tablet. However, this is only meant to provide students like you with some rough guidelines, which are meant to help you make the most of your online art school classes.

When to Use a Mobile Phone or Tablet

In many cases, a mobile phone or tablet is just the tool that the relentlessly-driven artist needs to take his or her career to the next level or to get assignments done for school. Here are some instances where you may want to use your phone for your studies. 

Communicating With Your Mentor or Coach

Many of our students opt for the coaching or mentoring option when they’re studying in our professional-level course (the Mastery Program or MP for short). As part of their programs, students in our online art classes share their class work with a professional artist, who gives them feedback on their work.

A phone or tablet is a good option for this, because many students photograph their work with these devices, and since these tools also have Internet access and texting capabilities, they allow for file sharing and communication.

Photographing Your Work

We touched on this briefly above, but it’s good to expand on this a bit. Our students use these devices to create a record of their work. In the later sections of our advanced programs, like the MP, students learn how to use their phones’ cameras to perform a number of necessary tasks for their programs.

Suffice it to say that if you need a still photo or a video for your schoolwork, having a phone or tablet is an amazing tool. This is definitely a task we recommend using these devices for.

Participating in the School’s Online Facebook Page or Telegram

Even the most ardent culture warriors need to touch base with other artists from time to time. It helps them remain committed to their art studies and to transcend any challenges they may be facing in their online art school classes. 

As such, we provide our students with access to our online forums on Facebook and now Telegram. This allows students to connect with other students and with instructors. Phones and tablets are natural go-to devices for this. 

On a related note, students can also use these devices to post their work to their Instagram or Pinterest accounts. We encourage students to share their work early on in their studies, and many students find that doing so allows them to sell their work, even before they graduate. This provides motivation and inspiration for them to continue on in their studies when things get tough, and it allows them to pay back some of their tuition costs, too.

Listening to Podcasts, Reading Articles, Etc. 

Your cell phone or tablet provides you with many excellent supplemental learning tools, like art-related podcasts or articles. The beauty of using your phone for this purpose is that you can take these learning tools with you anywhere. This allows you to learn while you’re standing in the grocery line or waiting to catch a plane. 

When It’s Better to Use a Computer

As useful as your tablet or cell phone is, there are times when using a larger device is just more comfortable. The suggestions on this next list aren’t set in stone. They’re just reminders that sometimes it’s better to use a larger device for your work when it’s excellence you’re after.

When Watching Class Videos

Yes, you can watch videos on your cell phone or your tablet. However, our online art classes provide demonstrations of art supplies and art techniques. It’s harder to get a good look at these elements of your classwork on a tiny screen. It may be better to watch your classroom videos on a larger device. It’s just easier to see the demonstration on a bigger screen.

When Creating Sources

We teach students how to create painting sources in our program. To do this, students like to use programs like Adobe Photoshop or Pixelmater (or some other graphics-creation software). 

You could do this work on your cell phone, but think of it this way. This would be akin to doing graphic design on your phone. It probably can be done with enough determination and tenacity, but it’s much more comfortable to do this source design work on a larger computer. After all, if you want to create excellent paintings, you should have excellent sources to paint from.

Final Words on Using Your Cell or Tablet for Online Art School

For many of your online art class tasks, devices like your cell phone or your tablet are your best friends. For example, if you want to send photos to your mentor or listen to a podcast, they’re great. For learning the content in your online classes, a computer is probably a better option.

That said, while it may be more difficult to use your cell for your online classes, it’s not impossible, and in some cases, this may be your only option for continuing your studies when you’re on the road traveling (for instance). 

Access to the right educational technology is helpful in this case, but good old-fashioned determination, dedication and passion also play a role in their success. In light of this, let this article be a guide, but not a binder. The best technology for your classes often comes down to using the technology that you have in a new and innovative way to get the job done.

Learn More About Studying Art Online

Learn Techniques From a Master Artist in the Master’s Series, Vol. 1

What I Wish I Knew as a Beginner Artist

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