No matter where you live in New Zealand, you can study Creativity and Art through the Learning Connexion. The flexibility of distance delivery means study can complement your life, rather than disrupt it. Raglan-based artist Ailene Cuthbertson took that option in 2012, and hasn't looked back since.
Ailene Cuthbertson is a fine art photographer and digital artist, using digital magic to bring her imagination to life. She started her artist life in 2012 through The Learning Connexion School of Creativity & Art, and is now creating bright, expressive images that blend otherworldly fantasy escapism, a dance-inspired, skirt-swirling movement, and a glimpse of story.
Ailene was a finalist in the 2018 Emerging Artist Awards at the NZ Art Show and has been a finalist in the Cliftons Art Prize. She has shown her work at exhibitions nationwide, and has been a regular at the Raglan Arts Weekend studio tour.
Ceramic piece: She dances the spring
"Studying from home meant I could fit study around my full-time job in Hamilton and our lifestyle block, which is full of calves, sheep, chickens and ducks," says Ailene.
"Being in my own environment helped me to find a natural pace and seasonal rhythm to the way I work, and I was able to experiment with an art day routine that worked with my creative process."
Ailene says one of the reasons she chose The Learning Connexion was its philosophy of pulling stuff out, not pushing stuff in.
"I love the freedom to explore, follow random ideas, head off on tangents and see where my experiments take me. TLC’s emphasis on personal creative goals is the reason I’ve been able to start finding my voice to express myself, my stories, and my world."
She stayed in regular contact with her mentor, bouncing ideas, and getting critical feedback.
Ailene says the most valuable thing she learned from studying with The Learning Connexion was confidence.
"My first step in building my confidence was learning to see my creative process as a continuous experiment. It was not a failure if things didn’t turn out as I wanted, because each time I create an artwork, I gather new skills and build ideas for the next one."
Digital painting: Her reflection smiled back, eyes glittering in the fading sunlight
You can see more of Ailene's artwork on her website: www.oldmountainart.com
Want to study creativity and art from home like Ailene? To find out more about TLC's programmes and distance delivery download a prospectus.