Skip to main content

Uncover your artistic potential with short courses in fine art

  • Written byYusuf Tamanna
  • Published date 08 September 2021

Aurelija Verger came to UAL Short Courses with an already extensive background in fashion. With a bachelor's degree in textile design and a masters in business management, Aurelija then spent many years working in the thick of the fashion industry. But she says creatively, she still has more to say and looked to short courses as the start of another chapter in her colourful career.

“I’m currently creating a large body of work that I hope to exhibit in the future. I’m also working on different creative projects online, including the support of ecological and environmentally friendly fashion production illustrated through my designs.”

A photo of Aurelija Verger

Aurelija decided to take the Portfolio Preparation Online Short Course offered by Chelsea College of Arts to support her current work collating a strong body of work for exhibition.

“It was super important for me to invest my time and energy into a course from a well-respected establishment, Aurelija admits.

Also deciding to do a short course in the realm of Fine Art was Patricio Ramirez. The architect and interior designer from Chile is familiar with working in creative spaces but says he is currently really interested in broadening his understanding of creatively on larger scale.

“I’m really into learning more about different creative industries, the cultures that inhabit those spaces and the different expressions of art, Patricio tells me.

A photo of Patricio Ramirez

It’s the main reason why he decided to undertake the Introduction to Modern Art History Online Short Course.

While both Aurelija and Patricio have years of experience working creatively already under their belt, 21-year-old Layan Barazi admits she is still very much in the early years of her creative journey.

“I like to keep an open mind about the art I consume so I like pretty much everything,” Layan tells me.

Right now, Layan is throwing everything at the wall and having fun in the process. “I am trying to explore the boundaries of my creativity and see how far I can stretch outside my comfort zone. Sketchbooks are always difficult for me, so I'm starting there - by drawing everything that comes across my mind or my eyesight, you know, pedal to the metal!”

A photo of Layan Barazi

That same energy - to try her hand at everything - is what inspired her to attend 3 short courses with UAL. Just like Aurelija, Layan attended the Portfolio Preparation Online Short Course, but she diversified her study by also attending two more short courses, including the Enhanced Illustration Pencil Pen Paint and Pixels Online Short Course and Introduction to Drawing Skills Online Short Course, both offered by Central Saint Martins.

During her time on the Portfolio Preparation Online Short Course, Aurelija says that hanks to the organised and productive nature of the course, she was able to expand her creative skills beyond what she thought she was capable of.

“I discovered that I could actually do 3D art! I never thought about this in the past. Now I experiment with clay and other materials as part of my practice, Aurelija says.

Work by Aurelija Verger for 3D model

A 3D model of Aurelija Verger's work

Hands on 3D work by Aurelija Verger

In keeping with pleasant discoveries, Patricio adds that his experience on the Introduction to Modern Art History Online Short Course, which he credits as being “dynamic”, is what led him to soon take up studying Art History academically and he feels it’s opened many doors for him as he begins his journey into learning more about art in an academic setting.

“My short course has helped me introduce myself into a global network of like-minded people through education. For me it was very important to learn about how an English tutor would interpret art to a class full of students from around the world. The course will absolutely complement the artistic field that I am hoping to develop myself in, “Patricio explains.

While still testing the limits of her creativity, Layan says she appreciated how welcoming the short courses were to beginners like herself. She also appreciated the one-to-one contact with the tutors who could provide insight and areas of improvement for her work.

An image of Layan's enhanced illustration work

Sketches of the human body in charcoal by Layan Barazi

Sketches by Layan Barazi of a woman squatting down

“I loved discovering that a new perspective is always welcomed and, in fact, encouraged from students, and the more creative and innovative you are the better experience you get.”

Layan adds that her short courses helped her shift her approach to creating her art. She focuses on the idea of what she's trying to create and the point of view it comes from as well as the overall message, rather than being wrapped up in perfecting the skills it took to do the work.

Sketch by Layan Barazi of a human figure leaning forward

She continues: “I don’t have any plans to study art as my third academic degree, but the course helped me discover some different techniques that I will start using as part of my work.”

A wall showing all of Aurelija Verger's experimental work with different patterns and styles

A collection of sketches by Aurelija Verger created on the short course

Likewise, Layan advises students considering doing any short course to be ready to dedicate time to hone their craft. “Like any art-related course, be it short or bachelors, you have to show up every time, inside and outside class time, to get the most of any course.”

Adding finally: “It never hurts to try something just outside your comfort zone.”


Whether you’re new to the world of art or looking for some new creative inspiration, our short courses are designed to help you learn how to express yourself artistically. Visit our upcoming short courses information page where you can find a full schedule of all the short courses we have running in the coming months.

Related courses