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Unleash Your Inner Artist with Creative Short Courses

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by Marian Tisi (subscribe)
Sydney Writer
Published May 3rd 2012

Ever wondered if you should be doing more to challenge your mind on weekends? Perhaps there's a frustrated artist, photographer or dancer in you that's dying to be freed. Or maybe you just want a little diversion from the humdrum Monday to Friday routine. If that's the case then a weekend short course could provide the inspiration you're looking for.

From learning a new skill to rediscovering an old hobby, weekend short courses are as rich and diverse as the people who partake in them. Weekend courses have been around for quite a long time and thanks to the digital world we now enjoy they have never been more accessible. The world is literally at your fingertips and a simple search will yield thousands of results.

Having done my fair share of research on the topic, I have found there is so much in the way of short courses available in Sydney alone as to be quite overwhelming and daunting. For this reason I have endeavoured to short list some artistic and creative courses which you can use a starting point.

Whether you're a novice learner or a professional with a passion for a particular medium there is bound to be a weekend course that suits you so don't be afraid to delve deeper and who knows just what you will find.

For now though here are a few ideas to get you started on your own path to creativity.

Sydney Community College offers a huge array of short courses from photography to visual arts, drama and dance. Fancy speaking French or Italian perhaps? Then the college has many language courses on offer. Their courses are so diverse and cover all manner of creative endeavours from script writing to interior decorating. A lot of the courses are also available on both weekends and evenings and best of all, there's a new class on every few weeks, so if you can't get in it's only a few weeks wait till another session starts. Join the waiting list and you'll be kept up to date on new session start dates. Courses run across a number of locations across the city and inner west.

The University of Sydney Centre for Continuing Education offers short courses at Sydney University that are open to everyone. If you're a budding creative writer they offer plenty of intriguing creative writing courses from travel writing to a crime fiction weekend workshop. If those don't inspire your inner artist then perhaps a foray into cartooning or Australian Aboriginal Art might be more your style. They really do offer an astonishing array of courses at this centre. Courses range in duration from one to eight or more sessions and many have further study available in the field for those who get hooked on a certain subject.

Tafe NSW: From performing arts to languages, ceramics and floristry, this is another college with a large number of study options for you to explore. If photography is more your thing, TAFE offers a variety of courses like travel photography, digital SLR photography and lightroom basics. Their short courses range from a few hours to a number of months in duration with further study options available. Courses are also offered during the day, evenings and weekends to suit individual needs.

There's no denying that larger colleges offer the most in terms of range of courses and session times available, but if you're looking for a simpler starting point or a place a little closer to home then don't overlook your local community colleges. They also offer a number of artistic and lifestyle courses to join and are often a more affordable option. Best of all you'll be supporting your local community and meeting new people who share a similar interest and live in your local area. You can find out about your local community colleges through your council website.

To give you an idea here are a couple of suburban community colleges I've found through simple online searches.

St George & Sutherland Community College: The St George and Sutherland Community College has 20 locations across the area and offer weekend, night and day courses. An example of what's on offer here includes the more popular courses like digital photography to the more unique like aromatherapy and astrology. Courses start at under $100 depending on course duration and material costs.

North West Community College aims to inspire the creative minds of those living in the north west of Sydney. And with courses like beginners guitar it's easy to get motivated and start learning. For a bit of fun they also offer courses like cake decorating and cupcake workshops meaning you'll not only learn a new art you'll be a hit at the next party. The cupcake workshop is an all day Saturday course that costs $157.00 which includes all ingredients so don't forget to bring along a container to take home your yummy creations.

If you're still reading then hopefully I've inspired you to get out there and start exploring short courses as a way to inspire and enrich your lives this weekend. I know I'm certainly intrigued enough to unleash my inner artist. Happy learning everyone!
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Why? To discover your creative side
When: Various start dates throughout the year
Where: Various locations across Sydney
Cost: $100 and up depending on duration and materials
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