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Hello! My name is Yotam, and I specialize in teaching a variety of creative subjects with emphasis on building visual acuity.
I am an internationally-recognized artist with experience in painting, film, and animation. My figurative paintings have been exhibited and hang in private and public collections across the United States and in Europe, where I received training in the Flemish technique. I am an avid art scholar and technical instructor. I have taught and lectured on painting, drawing, and film. I continue to work as a painter and teacher.
In addition to art-making, particularly painting and drawing, I also possess a number of other professional-level skills that you might find useful to learn. I am a published writer and have considered writing professionally.
I use a light touch as a teacher, and my students have gone on to do great things. I hope we get to work together!
I started using InDesign back when it was called PageMaker, creating award-winning spreads and layouts as the opinions editor for my high school newspaper in the 90s.
Going on two decades later I'm still using InDesign, now in a commercial capacity, creating promotional materials and catalogues in the fine art world, where design sensibilities are pushed to their cutting edges. While "Art Director at a Major Publication" is not my professional title, this software is definitely part of my solid skill set.
My pragmatic, inquiry-driven, and methodological teaching style means that I can expose the tenets of InDesign to the student in a way such that every kernel of information can be immediately applied and built upon for a more consistent foundation of knowledge and understanding of the program.
I worked for several years as a professional photo retoucher. I also received training from one of Photoshop's pioneers in digital art-making. I can show you how to use Photoshop more effectively, and how to complete a large number of common retouching and graphics/layout tasks in related software.
I started learning drafting in high school and interned with a local architect. I was all set to go into the field professionally, but ended up studying fine art instead. Nevertheless, I have retained and even added to the training I received all those years ago. I even married an architect! I employ architectural and mechanical drawing methods in the way I teach drawing. Because I have a basic background in architecture I consider myself particularly adept at working with people in that field on developing their skills in drawing and seeing. I have a solid grasp of the terminology and concepts that underly architecture, and because of this I am able to fine-tune my instruction for people who are looking to apply it within the fields of architecture and design. Being married to an architect who works at a prominent New York firm, I am also able to offer some level of knowledge from that very advanced part of the profession. I can answer questions and give advice that is pertinent to finding work and keeping it in the fast-paced, cutthroat world of professional New York architecture.
In the process of attaining both undergraduate and advanced degrees in studio art, I took a sufficient amount of coursework in art history to comprise a veritable second degree. I have written and lectured extensively on the subject, at the university level and in the private arena. My area of specialization is Baroque Dutch and Flemish painting, as well as the latter half of the American 20th century.
Art theory is an often contentious subject: it is despised by artists who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps outside or in spite of the world's art schools, and cherished by artists who were incubated in the vetting chambers of academia. Art theory is perhaps at its most useful when held at arm's length and considered separately from art practice.
I have a Master's degree in studio art, which means that I would fall into the category of artists who have found their lives enriched by learning theory. It has certainly been a valuable knowledge base to draw from as an instructor. Art theory is something I had never heard of until I went to college, even though I had been unwittingly using concepts that were fundamental to art theory for my whole life up until that point.
In this way, art theory fits perfectly into my "learning through inquiry" method of teaching. Often with my art students I find myself doing more "un-teaching" than "teaching", and in this case art theory can only describe what we can already perceive.
Chess is an ancient game; it has been around for centuries, and with good reason. It often represents the ultimate in human intellectual achievement, but it can also be a lot of fun for people of any mind. It's an easy game to learn, and a challenging game to excel in, unless of course you're a one-in-a-million prodigy! I am no chess master, but I do possess the skills to help you get started on your way to a lifetime of enjoying this great and fun game.
I can teach you the basic moves, positions, and strategies that well get you going on the path to becoming a competitive chess player. I can also teach you several forms of chess notation, which is a way of recording your moves so that you can plan ahead or review your games. My teaching method involves playing what I call "open games", or games in which strategies and possibilities for moves are discussed openly between the two players, so that all kinds of different options are explored and weighed against each other in order to achieve a desirable outcome. With me, it's not about winning or losing; it's about learning the game and having fun!
Drawing is nothing more than an exercise in seeing. Drawing isn't just about making pictures. It's also about visual problem-solving. Learning to draw accurately and expressively will give any student a similar edge as learning a foreign language or a musical instrument. Today, professionals in many fields are taking drawing lessons in order to improve their analytical skills.
This being said, I have been drawing from observation and imagination my entire life. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Art degree from time I spent in part studying drawing. I have taught drawing at the college level, both to beginners and more advanced students. I can help you fine-tune your drawing skills rapidly over time, with practice and patience. I specialize in traditional figurative technique, but I have also studied many other styles and genres of art, and worked with many different media, even digital. With this experience, I can help you improve your drawing skills. At the very least, drawing is a stimulating and enjoyable activity, like a full-body exercise for the mind, eye, and hand.
I have extensive experience in several related fields, including mechanical and architectural drafting, and classical animation. I have worked to apply my drawing expertise in these areas, and would be especially enthusiastic about having students from those backgrounds.
My English skills have been sharpened to a very fine point thanks to 7 years of college (including graduate school) and, most recently, the above-average reading habits of an educated New York commuter.
I take an innovative, methodological, inquiry-driven approach to teaching that I believe can be applied to any subject or skill set. Language, like music, has to be spontaneous and natural, and because I understand this I believe it gives me a deeper basis from which to impart information. I understand that English is probably one of the trickiest languages of the Western world, and it's a language I love to speak and have fun with.
I can help anyone, from a beginner struggling with grammar to a refined communicator looking to add a certain edge to his or her writing. It's all about recognizing where points A and B lie, and building a bridge between them.
As an art student I took a keen interest in film. It is a relatively young art form, and yet its roots are ancient; one could argue that the concept of a moving picture is older than art--or humanity--itself! I have instructed and lectured on filmmaking, film history, and film theory at the college level. I continue to be active as a screenwriter and an editor, and hope to one day start a blog in which I offer film criticism and other cinema-related insights. I can offer comprehensive training in screenwriting, as well as methods in preproduction and production. I am not a professional video editor and can only, in good conscience, advise as to editing choices, rather than teach to specific software such as Avid and Final Cut, even though I do have quite a bit of experience with Premiere.
I'm a member of that last generation that can remember what life was like before every home had a computer in it, let alone the Internet. This is important because it means I still remember learning to use one for the first time, and I know how to visualize the way a computer works in order to explain it simply to someone else.
I can help you navigate most operating systems, learn tricks for performing various operations more efficiently, and if needed there are many different programs I can help you learn how to use as well. I can even help you learn how to use your smartphone or tablet!
My grammatical skills have been sharpened to a very fine point thanks to my grandmother, who never let me get away with bad grammar, and 7 years of college (including graduate school) that involved a great deal of academic reading and writing.
I take an innovative, methodological, inquiry-driven approach to teaching that I believe can be applied to any subject or skill set. Language, like music, has to be spontaneous and natural, and because I understand this I believe it gives me a deeper basis from which to impart information. I understand that English is probably one of the trickiest languages of the Western world, and it's a language I love to speak and have fun with, especially because it breaks so many of its own rules and adopts any term or phrase it needs. This understanding is helped along by a love of etymology and an active interest in the languages that feed our own.
I can help anyone, from a beginner struggling with basic sentence structure to a refined communicator looking to draw real meaning out of word order or write more poetically. It's all about recognizing where points A and B lie, and building a bridge between them.
I have been playing guitar since 2000. I built upon 12 years of experience playing violin in order to teach myself the basics, and then took classical lessons for a year, as well as several years of training in jazz bass.
I am a very good teacher and have taught friends the basics of guitar. I believe that I can take any beginner and get them started with basic chords, fingerings, and learning the mechanics of the instrument, as well as proper positioning and even how to play a few of their favorite songs.
I have been a Mac user since the early 1990s. Having seen its user interface grow from a shadow of Windows to the tortoise that won the race, and now the leader in consumer-minded innovation, this is an operating system that requires more in the way of gentle guidance than technical lessons. But for all its breadth, the sophistication of many of its basic softwares runs deep as well, and these are some expeditions I am very familiar with.
Whether the lessons need to involve shortcuts to navigate the Mac OS or nuances of the standard software, I can show students how to use their Mac more efficiently and to its greater capacity.
My teaching method is inquiry-based and scalable to any kind of lesson or student. I prefer to start with basics and build through a sort of immersion, the way a responsible language tutor would work. A computer interface is, after all, a kind of language.
The first computer I ever owned was a PC, back in the early 1990s, and I continue to use them to this day. The Windows operating system remains the preferred platform for many professional software manufacturers, and as PCs tend to be lower in cost than Apple computers, they continue to outnumber their counterparts, especially in businesses.
I have built PCs from scratch and tinkered around under their hoods, within the inner structure of the Windows operating system. I am fluent in the language of Windows and am capable of sharing that with any student through my inquiry-based, patient teaching style. I can show students how to use their PCs more efficiently and to a greater capacity, to turn their personal computers into powerful tools or just easier-to-use gadgets. I can even show students how to navigate Windows without ever needing to use a mouse!
Painting is the subject in which I am singly most qualified. I earned a BFA in painting and drawing from The Ohio State University, where I traveled to Europe to learn the Baroque technique used by Rembrandt and his contemporaries. As an undergraduate I earned numerous highly competitive awards for my work. My undergraduate thesis was a multimedia exhibit that thematically explored the interaction between the male voice and the female figure in feminist painting.
I earned my Master's degree from Eastern Illinois University in Painting. The program placed dual emphasis on studio practice and pedagogy, and I took the opportunity to design and implement an original studio art curriculum for first-year, non-major students. My master's thesis exhibit comprised a series of artworks done in the style of famous artists, a critical examination of art forgery and the art market that demanded technical versatility and mastery in a wide variety of styles.
I have exhibited my work in the Midwest and in New York, and I have paintings in private collections around the world. In New York I continue to work as an artist and teacher.
I like to say that photography is the art of capturing time with light. Not only is this a poetic way to think of photography, but it is also a useful one! I will teach you the basic principles of light and physics and show you how a camera is a tool specifically designed to respond to those principles. From that basis, a complicated camera becomes a very simple system of mechanisms, and once it makes sense it will be easy to learn to use it!
I have five years of photographic experience with digital and analog (film) cameras, and an intimate understanding of how they function and what they can do. Taking great pictures will make those memories more vivid, and can produce some amazing artwork as well.
My command of English is at a very high level. I can write and edit the English language in a wide range of styles, and I also possess a broad knowledge of technical vernacular that can be applied to almost any proofreading job.
I understand that reading is a process that can be engaged actively or passively, and when you read actively, you understand what you read. It is like the difference between hearing and listening; anyone can hear, but it takes a certain level of involvement to listen.
I can help anyone, from a beginner struggling with vocabulary to a refined editor looking to add a certain depth to his or her perspective. It's all about recognizing where points A and B lie, and building a bridge between them.
I have been writing songs in all different styles for about ten years. I am trained in music theory and composition, and can play several different instruments. Moreover, I possess a keen awareness of song structure and presentation, and I can help you write the kinds of songs you and everyone else will love to hear and even play.
To my credit I have recorded and produced three solo albums, two albums with groups in which I was the main songwriter, and have a large inventory of songs that I have yet to record and compile into albums. I have experimented with writing songs in a wide variety of genres including Classical, atonal/noise, modern orchestral, pop instrumental, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, country, blues, swing, hip hop, rap, r&b, bluegrass, alternative rock, metal, and ambient/soundscape. If you've got ideas, ambition, or just love music, I can help you channel that creative energy into songs that might get you that Platinum recording you've always dreamed of!
I'm one of those people who does the crossword in pen. I read thesaurus entries for fun sometimes, and I take an active interest in a wide variety of subjects and I read for nourishment as though the words were food and drink. By no coincidence, I have a fairly wide vocabulary, ranging from the technical, to the poetic, and to some degree, to the foreign and the dated. My favorite thing about the English language is the way it just adopts foreign words when it needs to, and the way its own words evolve with seeming effortlessness over time.
I take an innovative, methodological, inquiry-driven approach to teaching that I believe can be applied to any subject or skill set. I can help anyone, from a beginner struggling with basic words to a refined writer looking to add a certain breadth to his or her style. It's all about recognizing where points A and B lie, and building a bridge between them.
Great tutor! — Yotam Z. is a great tutor. I would recommend him because his teaching style is very methodical and creative. He always gives good advice and makes things easier to understand. So far I learnt a lot about oil and acrylic painting techniques, those skills helped me very much in developing my art portfolio. Lessons with Yotam give me the inspiration for new projects and confidence to learn things on ...
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