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Drawing Academy Survey Winner Announcement

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Drawing Academy Survey 2013!

Thanks for all of your submissions to the Drawing Academy contest. A lot of you made some great feedback about the “How to Draw” Course.

We really appreciate your constructive critiques, suggestions and personal stories you shared with us. This valuable information will be used to improve the Drawing Academy Video Course.

It is time to announce the Drawing Academy Survey winner!

And the Winner is:

Here is what Tom says about himself:

I was a naturally gifted artist as a child. But my school did not offer art of any kind, even at the high school level. In spite of this, I chose to major in applied art and hoped that my professors would teach me the skills I needed to become a better artist. I found that they presumed that all art students had art, at least at the high school level, and mostly gave us assignments and spent a minute or two critiquing our work.

Out of frustration, I concentrated on photography because I had no faith in my artistic technique and for most of my adult life, I considered myself an artist whose preferred medium was film and eventually, pixels.


Tom Sarradet Artwork 1
Shortly after graduating I enlisted in the army and was sent to Germany, where I did not miss an opportunity to visit an art museum or tour a castle. If I could pick the best class that I took in college, I would say my art history class, which I fell in love with the Renaissance artists (although I had no idea how they painted).

As I tell my middle school students, you will never “get” the Mona Lisa until you stand before her. I still remember walking into an Impressionists exhibition and shouting “That’s a Seurat!” I stood transfixed in front of a work of art that actually glimmered! No slide in art history class prepared me for that. I admired the art students across Europe who created fantastic pastel recreations on the sidewalks of big cities and watched in amazement as people would take a few moments out of their busy lives to pause and admire the work, and drop a few coins at the corners of the work.


Tom Sarradet Artwork 2
Yet in spite of literally swimming in some of the world’s greatest artworks, my own artistic drive was restricted to photography. I rarely drew, much less painted.

17 years ago I had the opportunity to go back to college and get a teaching credential here in California. As an afterthought, I added a supplemental authorization to teach art. Five years ago I was assigned as my middle school’s art teacher when our art teacher retired. I was totally miserable as I struggled to demonstrate technique to my students when it had deteriorated to a point where some of my students could draw better than me. Slowly I started to regain what I had lost, but the most significant influence in my teaching came when the school gave all teachers a document camera, including me.


Tom Sarradet Artwork 3
Now I had to draw or paint with every student watching. Rather than sit passively in the back of the room while the students worked on their art, I was leading them. Quickly me art began to improve and I gained confidence and inspiration. I made a pact to myself that I was going to do something I had never done before; immerse myself in my art studies. I built up a library of books on drawing, painting, ceramics, and printmaking. After a day of drawing with my students, I would spend the evening doing art on my own. I was seeing progress, but I wanted to take it one step further.

I committed myself to creating 365 artworks in 2013. On the days when I did art with my students, it was easy. On days where is did not and it was 9:00 in the evening, it was a challenge. As I write this, I am 9 artworks away from my goal. In spite of this accomplishment, I feel I have so much further to go because I have set my personal goal so high. I don’t want to be an artistic person teaching art because I don’t have the skills and confidence to be a full time professional artist. I want to be an artist who chooses to use my talents to teach and inspire my students. I love it when one of my students tells me that I should be an artist because I can tell them that I already am, and so are they.

Eventually I want to exhibit, but right now my priority is to become the best art teacher that my students will ever have.

If you would like to see what my students do, I post their work here.

To see my artwork and more about me, visit this page.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to enter your contest!


For your chance to win the “How to Draw” course, please give your feedback here.

Categorized: Drawing Academy News

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