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THE PASTEL ACADEMY

is finally becoming a Reality!

Building the Academy

 

Twelve months ago the journey began, fueled by the knowledge that I needed a working tool to be able to reach out and teach all of you who want to learn, improve and advance in your artistic careers; in the belief that the end result has to be good for you, and equally as important for me; for the furtherance of the pastel medium.    To me it always seemed a little futile in giving over my life’s creativity to learning and specialising in a fabulous medium like pastel – if not to find some way to pass that knowledge and passion on to others.

It has been an exciting, if a demanding dream – but now the months of planning and building are beginning to pay off.  I have had little time to paint, but that was a necessary sacrifice in the short term. It certainly has been and remains a concentrated period of creativity in another way.

And without doubt I have been spurred on by your messages of encouragement.   Thank you so much to those of you who have written to me and also those who have replied in the comments sections of my blogs.  I was also pretty knocked out by how many of you took part in the survey earlier this year – your input was very important.

 

So the first task is to test the technical workings of the Membership site.   The role of Beta Testers

So now on to the serious subject of Beta Testers.  What are Beta Testers?  Well not only will they be the first members to enter the Academy (!), they will also be the first to test the Membership Site functions.

Possibly one of the main attractions of becoming an Academy Beta member, is the fact that as the earliest members, your feedback could actually shape the features of the Academy, by giving your input honestly and with an appreciation of the mission of the Academy in mind.  To be in on the birth of something like the Academy can be exciting and productive!   And I will be in there testing it all too, so for me it is also a chance to get to know my first members who are helping me to polish the site.

Beta Testers are in fact Charter Members: first members of the Academy, there will be a special enrolment price for you..  You will be offered the membership level of your choice with a large discount off (either the Silver or Gold Membership – Platinum membership opens later in 2017) – and that fee will stay the same for the duration of your membership!   The beta prices will be forwarded to you in an email in a few days.

So what do the Beta Testers Actually do?

Well they join the Academy prior to the Launch and they make themselves familiar with all the pages and resources.  They are of course also the first to test out the payment structure.  That really is an important test.   If there are any problems the Beta Testers will find them.

What Else do they do?

They test all the links between pages – check out that all the buttons take them to the place they should do.  They check all videos and resources.   They should run up a ‘snag’ list.     It is amazing how many little glitches or issues I might not be able to ‘see’;  which is natural considering how close I am to the site, so your fresh eyes will be valuable.

But equally as important – and this is the fun bit – you get to start the Community Forums.    With me.  The Forums are an awesome feature!

Heather tutoring a Colour Theory class.

Heather’s Masterclass Demonstration for Pastel D’Opale,  France 2014.

Forums!

Oh yes and they are awesome!

There are a few Forums in the Academy but first of all let me explain why I have chosen Academy Forums over a Facebook page for instance.    As a friend of mine recently experienced, Facebook can at any time change their rules or even worse (as happened to her) they can close groups down, with no warning and even less reason.     And then of course there is the simple fact that a properly set up Forum is far better than a Facebook group, and private from the public gaze.

So the Academy Community is an important part of the academy experience.   There are many sub forums which make up the whole community experience, including:

  • A beginners Forum: beginners and improvers in their drawing skills/ and or pastel, where those just starting out and maybe a little less confident can make friends with others in the same position.
  • ‘Say Hello to the other Members’ so that you can be part of the Academy from Day One.
  • A General Discussion Forum.
  • A Core Training Forum; covering all the major elements of good paintings:  Colour Theory, Tonal Values, Perspective, Composition.
  • An ‘Ask for Feedback’ from the group Forum.
  • And more forums will be added as needed.

In addition, you will each have your own totally customisable Profile page where you can add all your weblinks and social media info.

So to be the first to populate the Community Forums is a great thing – and the Beta members will be doing that.

So What Am Looking for in a Beta Member? 

 

Now this is interesting.

I need Beta Members who are both familiar with computers and some who are not particularly computer savvy.  In fact, I estimate a good percentage of people I am writing to right now – might not be computer savvy.  You are equally as valuable to the Academy as Beta Members.

So if you want to be in the Academy at ground level, and would like to be a Charter Member of the Academy – this is your chance.

I am also looking for beta members who take the aims of the Academy seriously and respect the job it is being designed to do.  And from these Beta members there might also be some Academy ‘positions’ which develop – eg Forum moderators, customer service. etc

So How Do You Become a Beta Tester/Member?

I am looking for no more than 15 Beta members.   So this really is a ofgne and only time opportunity.

So if you are interested in being a Beta member simply send  me an email to  heatherharmanartist@outlook.com.  (or click reply on the newsletter that provided you with this blog link).     In return I will send you a mail with beta enrolment information and more information about the beta tasks.

It is estimated that the Beta Group might be invited to join in late November/early December 2016

More news soon.

17 Comments

  1. Jim Humphreys

    Hi Heather, my reply email to you seems to have gone across to you fine, in case it did not, I would be very interested in becoming part of the beta group.

    Reply
  2. Brenda Maas

    Sent you an email for the beta tester; but it came back as undelivered.

    Reply
    • heatherandwill@hotmail.com

      Hi Brenda, Yes I have no idea why but please send it again to either or both of the two addresses in my reply to Anne below. XXH

      Reply
  3. Carol

    Yippee!! Very exciting!! I’ve emailed you :)))

    Reply
    • heatherandwill@hotmail.com

      Hi Carol, I’ll go check! Carol did you reply to the newsletter or go direct through my email address? XXH

      Reply
  4. Les Gaston-Johnston

    Hi Heather,
    I have just sent my email to you, I am so excited about hearing the academy will start in the next coming months and cannot wait to see how it develops.
    I look forward to all the great challenges and artwork that will emerge from it.

    Best regards.

    Les

    Reply
  5. Emma Linton

    Hi Heather
    Really excited to see this post finally 🙂

    I’ve emailed about the beta testing but just wanted to let you know that the email address above (heatherharmanartist@outlook.com) doesn’t work. Was that a deliberate mistake to test us? 😀
    I’ve sent it to heatherharmanartist@outlook.es instead – hope that’s ok.
    Emma

    Reply
    • heatherandwill@hotmail.com

      Hi Emma, No it wasnt to test you all lol! In fact some of the emails arrived and some didn’t – all using the same address. Go figure. It has never happened before. Anyway I have your email . XH

      Reply
    • Anne C Laslo

      I used your link to apply as a Beta Tester, but my email was returned as undeliverable. I see you follow your .com with eu in your email. Could this perhaps be the reason why the email was returned, as your email on the link does not have .eu.
      Hoping to resend my information.
      Anne C Laslo

      Reply
    • Christina Bennett

      Please can you consider me as one of your first Beta Tester/Members 🙂

      Reply
      • heatherandwill@hotmail.com

        Thanks Christine – you are on the list. I shall be reviewing the list this week, but I shall send out the details this week too. XXH

        Reply

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