For years I’ve been plateaued as an artist. I had a handful of useful skills, but never seemed able to take the next step into achieving fine-art abilities. So far, Level Up has been exactly what I’ve needed. Not only is it giving me inspiring lectures to view, but I’m challenged by the assignments and feedback.
For me, the price and flexibility of the program is exactly what I’ve been looking for. This course offers the equivalent of what many art schools do, however, the buck stops with you. It’s up to you to make it happen and I appreciate that. My only potential concern with this program is that Jason gets swamped by so many students! I’m anticipating Level Up to grow and hope the quality continues.
Level Up is a safe environment to be stretched and develop a thicker skin to evaluate your art. You won’t be coddled here, but you will grow and be encouraged in the process. Here’s to Stage 2!
“Level up was just what I had been looking for. Real understanding of how everything works, assignments with clear objectives and feedback all without breaking the bank. You also get to work at your own pace, which is cool and leaves out the pressure aspect, but I’ve found it has given me extra motivation since starting. Now I have clear instructions set out in front of me, and some guidance, there are no more excuses. It’s down to me now to practice, learn and improve.”
“So far the course teaches the essentials of an art education worth tens of thousands of dollars. The assignments are creative and fun. I know in the past couple weeks I’ve improved my art skill drastically in both technical ability and art theory.”
“This January I saw the Level up! announcement on a Friday and on Monday I signed up.
Level up! is giving me the opportunity of having the mentoring I have been
looking for years and the fighting chance to pursue my dream of being a good Concept Artist.
Jason does an excellent job commenting, correcting and cheering up people
to be self-demanding and get the best they can of their own work to improve
their abilities. Also I believe he is very conscious of his responsibility
and he really enjoys watching his students progress and helping them out.
As long as I can afford it and my right hand keeps working properly,
I’m not going anywhere, I’m staying here to learn from Jason Manley…”
“Level Up is by far one of the best learning experiences i’ve come across, Jason is an amazing mentor, in only a couple of weeks work i’ve learned so much and improved my art beyond my expectations, I’ve still got a VERY long way to go, but now I know i’m on the right track.
I think there is a big difference between a free demo which you can watch, and then do or not do, and a demo which is geared towards a specific class and then followed by an assignment to go say, do 20 studies and post them with your name where you will receive feedback and also be unable to progress until you’ve done so satisfactorily.
I think if you have incredible self-discipline and lots of time, you can get whatever you need from free learning sources. (And I’m not just talking about art programs, but other areas that folks normally take say, college classes for as well.) The information is out there, but the benefit of a structured class is the structure, the specificity, and the convenience.
If you haven’t done the START workshops, I would recommend it. There are 20 master copies in composition 1.1. Even though this is a technique I was aware of, without the structure and the assignment, I would have found excuses. As it is, I’m wrapping up number 20 tonight having done 1 a day since I started, except for 1 day to photograph and upload and 2 that have taken 2-days to complete. I’ve been able to see improvements, and I never would have done this much on my own at this time – it’s super busy for me at work – but the assignment and the structure have let me carry through.
That’s the strength I see in an organized program, even one that is go-at-your-own-pace, and I think paying for something makes you take it more seriously, also, just by dint of human nature.
However you choose to study – happy drawing!
“I’m gonna go ahead and say it; this program has been a big help to me already. I’m still forgetting to ‘think’ when I draw, but I see my faults sooner ( usually about 5 minutes after I posted now…), and its become easier to identify the main issues. A lot of the first level stuff isnt even new to me; I’ve had a fair share of art-history in art school, it’s just somehow easier to apply this time around. maybe its the program, maybe I’m just older now.
“OMG this is just what I need. Thank you so much for doing this! Just signed up for 12 months. I’m looking forward to the courses.”
“I can’t believe how much this is sharpening my analytical ability when I now view my own works, and others (non-studies). I am excited about these studies, and am finding my ability to keep working a painting (I used to quit way to early) is increasing significantly. cheers!”
“If you’re doubting to sign up; It’s pretty damn great, and you should sign up right now. No Youtube tutorial or googled instruction book on ‘how to draw’ comes close to getting some specific feedback from a professional, who also took the time to lay out a course for you with clear goals to aim for. I can’t tell you how much it helps to no longer wonder if you’re on the right track, because this way you know you are.
You get pushed to get the maximum out of your work with the right feedback on how to achieve it, supported by the underlying theories on why, which are also fully explained in easy-to-understand videos. So you’re not only getting better, you also learn why the stuff you make is getting better.
And the cherry on top? It’s really affordable compared to other art courses. So if you’ve got the drive and are committed to becoming great, it’s worth saving up for and laying down some money.”
It does help man, I’ll take doing skulls for an example. About a month ago I was drawing skulls with absolutely no theory-backing. I had an untrained eye and an untrained mind. Then yesterday I drew some more skulls, and the only practicing I did inbetween was the Level-Up classes comp 1.1, comp 1.2, color & light 1.1, and all the instructional videos that go with them.
To me that looks like a noticeable improvement. They’re far from perfect awesome skulls, but they’re definitely better. I can only blame it on the Level-Up courses, because that’s really all I did for practice. The weird part is that the assignments didn’t even have me drawing skulls (except the Power-Up one, which is what I’m drawing the skulls for), and yet they’ve improved. I applied the same theories, techniques and workflow I learned from the assignments to doing those skulls, and it worked. I wouldn’t have that skill if I hadn’t done Level-Up.
So it does help!
I’ve only been at LevelUp for about a week, but I’m already seeing drastic improvement.
But, like anything, you get what you put into it. It gets the fire under your posterior, and gets you moving.
Don’t think of the cost, think of the value.
Get every bit of value you can out of this amazing experience, if this is what you want to try.
But, you’re always going to be the one who’s doing the work. No art school, workshop, or course, is going to hand it to you on a silver platter. You’re given assignments, and you’re expected to put everything into them.
You’re getting top advice from peers, and professionals. That gets you in gear, and you’ll get where you want to be only as long as you apply yourself.
Here’s a testimonial from one “Level Upper” I’m a late starter in painting or rather had a 15 year break in it. Painting and drawing was a passion of mine in my childhood and teens, but I let it go. Now with work and family, finding the time to paint is a challenge.
When I found out about this program it was a perfect fit! You can do the studies at your own pace without deadlines or scheduled classes. It’s actually amazing how cheap the program is and it offers great videos teaching the subject matter and really valuable feedback on your work. Actually even during the free Start! workshops you already learn a lot.
I’m only in the beginning of the program but here’s an example illustrating what I’ve learned. I started a painting that I promised my wife before starting Level Up. I had a several month break painting it and started the program a few months ago. I just finished the painting now and changed the approach I was taking a lot. Pic below has the work in progress painting before Level Up on the left and on the right the finished one. Of course I have a lot to learn still, but I hope this illustrates my learning of values, composition, edge control and colors.
Huge thanks for Jason and conceptart.org for providing this program!
Jason Manley’s instructional videos are very helpful and do a wonderful job of breaking down topics in a way that’s easy to understand and to start practicing right away. I came here from an animation program that focuses on animation-specific drawing, and so I was semi-familiar with terms like ‘focal point’ and ‘eye line’, but Comp 1.1 video really tied it all together for me– it helped me to figure out what composition is and how to better assess what makes a composition work for or against a painting. The comp painting exercises have been great practice for learning good composition habits, and also have really improved my value accuracy, spatial accuracy, edge work, and speed when drawing from ref.
Jason is also awesome about leaving regular feedback and encouragement for the many (like, MANY) participants on the forum! I’m impressed by that, it must take a lot of time.
Like other people here, I’d been stuck in a plateau before starting here, but within a couple of months after joining had managed to make noticeable improvement! If you’re frustrated with your growth as an artist, I’d definitely recommend levelUp– from everything I’ve seen, if you are serious about improvement, then you WILL see improvement. (I am very much looking forward to jumping back into my own lvUp studies soon!)
All the testimonials are posted by real artists, taking LevelUp. For the original post by the member, visit this thread to see them all.