THIS IS IT, YOU'RE HEAR!
I'm Sandra Glez, the mind (and heart) behind the Madrid Academy of Art.
If you take a look at my resume, you might think I collect university degrees like some collect stamps.
Bachelor's in psychology, Master's in Human Resources, Master's in Business Administration, Master's in Digital Marketing, Specialization in Sales and Marketing... Phew! But, between you and me, my true passion has always been art.
Since I was a child doodling in the margins of my notebooks, drawing and painting have been my silent accomplices.
Even though life first took me through the corporate world (where, by the way, doodles on reports aren't much appreciated), I eventually decided to follow my heart.
I dove into the world of art, learning everything I could and training at the best schools (quite a few of them too), from the sight-size method to the constructive one. Imagine blending all those methods like colors on a palette, searching for the perfect shade.
After 5 INTENSE years of learning
because it was intense (you know, things are done right or not done at all)
I founded Atelier Glez, a small artistic corner that flourished for 4 years.
There, like some sort of "art scientist", I experimented with teaching.
How to teach faster and better?
How to merge all those artistic methods?
Would they work for all students?
And what about ages?
With my background in psychology and pedagogy, I delved into combining those teaching techniques with drawing techniques.
It was like trying to make a perfect paella, adjusting ingredients and cooking times.
Until I was ready for the big leap
"MADRID ACADEMY OF ART"
Ready, set... you're never truly ready,
just like you never finish the perfect drawing
That's why, before Madrid Academy of Art became a reality,
I conducted interviews with dozens of students and teachers from the best academic schools.
I wanted to understand their real problems, challenges, joys, and frustrations.
Is a single teaching method enough?
What obstacles did they find in each technique?
Like in a police investigation, I gathered clues, testimonies, and evidence.
With all that information in hand, we designed our first prototype program, tailored just for you.
Since then, we've been in constant motion, always with an eye on our students' progress.
We've adjusted, changed, learned.
Some changes have been a roaring success, others...
well, let's say they were "learning opportunities".
But what never changes is our dedication to each student, understanding and supporting their unique dreams, goals, and aspirations.
"It's not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
or when the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worth cause;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement;
and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
In Search of the Ithacas
The Madrid Academy of Art began as a vision, a spark of inspiration.
But, like any dream, we encountered challenges along the way to make it a reality.
One of the biggest challenges was challenging the educational norm.
Instead of a rigid and standardized program, we dreamt of an approach that would adapt to each student individually.
But how do you do that in practice?
First, we had to understand our students.
Through entrance interviews, we delved into their backgrounds, interests, styles, and goals.
But that was just the beginning.
As they progressed on their artistic journey, we realized that their needs changed.
For instance, a student who started with a strong interest in anatomical drawing might discover a passion for painting halfway through.
At first, we tried to have them continue the program we had agreed upon, convinced that maintaining a structure and following a plan was key to their development.
But we soon realized that the true essence of learning doesn't lie in following a preset script, but in adapting and evolving with you.
Instead of forcing them to follow a predetermined path, we adjusted the program to embrace and nurture that new interest.
This flexibility not only allows students to explore and develop their true passions but also reinforces our belief in a personalized and adaptive artistic education.
For instance, a student who began with a strong interest in anatomical drawing discovered a passion for oil painting halfway through.
Instead of forcing them to follow a predetermined path, we adjusted the program to embrace and nurture that new interest.
With each project, new challenges arose.
If a student struggled with perspective in a landscape, instead of just correcting the error, we delved into intensive sessions on that specific technique.
If another student showed a special talent for portraiture, we organized special sessions to delve deeper into that skill.
This adaptive approach was, and is, not without its challenges.
It requires constant observation, a lot of feedback, and most importantly, open and honest communication with each student.
But with each obstacle overcome, we get closer to our dream:
An academy where learning adapts to the student,
where each student finds their own creative process,
where the diversity of techniques and paths are endless,
and where constant learning and change are parts of our DNA.
A place where every artist is recognized, valued, and guided on a journey that is as unique as their own signature.
"Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean."
Don't follow the path, create your own: Your Art, Your Rules!
Traditional artistic education often resembles an assembly line:
all students receive the same instructions, the same materials, and are expected to produce similar results.
But do two artists see the world in the same way?
At Madrid Academy of Art, we firmly believe they don't.
Challenging the Norm: In many schools, students are expected to fit into a predetermined method, as if they were all identical molds waiting to be filled. But here, we break that mold. Instead of forcing students to fit into a system, we create a system that adapts to each student.
The Unique Artist: Every person who walks through our doors has a unique story, perspective, and dream. Some may see the world in vibrant watercolor shades, while others interpret it in meticulous pencil details. We recognize and celebrate these differences. We don't want all our students to sound the same; we want each one to find and elevate their unique voice.
Tools, Not Rules: Instead of simply teaching techniques in isolation, we offer tools and guidance. These tools are designed to help students explore, experiment, and ultimately express their unique vision of the world. If you imagine technique as the vocabulary of a language, then what we do is help you write your own poetry with that vocabulary.
Discovery and Perfection: Through our personalized approach, students don't just learn to draw or paint; they embark on a journey of self-discovery. We encourage each artist to delve deeply into their creative process, to question, to challenge, and ultimately, to perfect their unique style and voice.
"Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference"
You are the artist; we're just here to help you shine.
At the Madrid Academy of Art, we don't believe in molds or magic formulas. Here, each student is like a unique color palette, and our job is to help you discover and blend those colors in a way that best represents you.
1. Coffee and Chat: At the Madrid Academy of Art, we believe that the best conversations happen around a hot cup. Before you start, we sit down with you, perhaps with a coffee or tea in hand, and chat. We want to know your dreams, your favorite artists, and yes, even those pieces you post on your Instagram profile.
2. Your Route, Your Map: In the vast world of art, each artist has a unique path. But what if you could plot your own map? In our academy, we don't give you a predetermined itinerary; we provide you with the tools to design your own route. With our guidance and your vision, together we'll discover the path that resonates with you.
3. An Attentive Ear and a Guiding Hand: As you bring your art to life, there's always someone nearby, not just to observe, but to guide you. We don't just point out what you might improve; we go beyond. We show you how to make those adjustments, how to perfect that stroke, or how to add more depth to that shadow. It's like having an artistic GPS: we not only tell you where you might have taken a wrong turn, but we guide you back to the right path, ensuring that every step is a learning experience. We're here to make sure your work is not just good, but exceptional!
4. Projects From the Heart: Art is not just technique; it's emotion, passion, and an extension of who you are. Here, we encourage you to embark on projects that beat to the rhythm of your heart. It's not about following trends, but about creating pieces that reflect your essence and tell your story.
5. Change of Plans? No Problem!: If halfway through you fall in love with a new technique or seek specific learning (more anatomy, more composition, a bit of watercolor, or...) PERFECT! Art, like life, is unpredictable. Sometimes, what starts as one idea transforms into something completely different. And that's okay. We celebrate those unexpected turns (in fact, we eagerly await them because they're a very good sign of your commitment to your training). If you feel the need to change direction, we're here to support you, guide you, and most importantly, enjoy the journey with you.
In short, at the Madrid Academy of Art, you hold the brush and decide the stroke. We're just here to ensure every stroke counts and that your art, the one you carry within, shines brightly.
"Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun.... there are millions of suns left,
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand.... nor look through the eyes of the dead.... nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself."
“I would recommend the program, but not to everyone. Because I think it’s a lot of work, a lot of time and it’s also money. I would only recommend it to people who are passionate about something. Because otherwise it is wasting it, if you go with the intention of spending time, well, you have many other places to do it…”
“There are people who have so much fun that they don’t want someone else to be involved in that process. Because in the end, if you let yourself be guided by another person, sometimes it is not a fun thing. It is not: “how beautiful this painting has been!”. That process is a lot of suffering too and not everyone would be willing…”
“I would not recommend it to anyone because you have to really like figuration, portraiture, everything that is the human being and be willing to be taught. There are people who don’t pay attention. They are people who do not like the human figure, for example, and prefer to combine colors in a landscape, they have fun with it and they are not interested in anything else…”
“They teach you a lot to focus on a goal. To break your limits, to have patience, to have humility to learn from others, so that others can teach you. And all of these are fundamental personal qualities in life. Very satisfying for me on a personal level, finally having found this place to fully develop myself…”
“There is a clear methodology. They know where you want to go. They know how to guide you there. It is very personalized and that is always appreciated. It is not a typical academy where they teach you four things and have a group level. They care about you, personally, that you reach the level of perfection that you are looking for and that you need…”
“The self-taught option is viable depending a little on your way of being. I think that if you are demanding with yourself it is a good tool. Only that all human beings tend to the comfortable. I myself, for example, was hitting me like blows. I started with painting, I realized that I wasn’t going that way. I went back and resumed drawing. I went much further back, until I started at the beginning, because I understood that it was a process that started from one place and you couldn’t start halfway…”
“I’m sure it’s more difficult because you’re going to make a lot more mistakes and it’s going to take longer to specify an address and a path, and you’re going to waste time and probably get somewhere, but you’re going to arrive later and more tired. The MAA program is much more direct than anything else I can find right now…”
“Until a certain point. When you find a limit. Like the conversation I had with the teacher the other day. He told me: “I see that you are reaching a limit and you say, well this is it, and what I do is push you further, against that limit so that you cross it”. I think that you need someone to do it, you are not going to do it. When they teach you what is logical, what is the path, you already know that it is there…”
“(OTHERS ACADEMIES) At the painting level, they were based on copying photographs, one after another. It also limited your own creativity. Because it gave me the feeling that they taught you how to fly, but without ever taking off, always on the runway. So I wanted to take off. When do we take off? When do you teach me to develop my creativity, my imagination, to do something without limits? If I imagine a scene from a certain place, through a composition, I can do it. Whether it’s because of the knowledge of anatomy, drawing itself, even models, sculpture, anything that doesn’t limit you. It always seemed very rare to me…”
“It’s a lot of money and obviously not everyone can afford it. And I feel quite privileged to be able to pay for it and thus be able to maintain a normal life, without luxuries, but normal. And it’s not expensive. The service as such, the new facilities, the hours you can have a day with a model, if you attend in the morning and in the afternoon… You can’t find that anywhere. You can find similar things, but not everything in one place, it’s not expensive, I think it’s very good…”
“I like that teachers comment, not only what is done in the academy, but what they do outside, the paintings they do personally, the processes… that they speak to you beyond the drawings and paintings, that they speak to you of the life as artists, how they see it. It is super interesting because they are now paving the way and it gives you clues as to how you can do it in the future…”
“I know people who also like art, obviously friends of mine, but I think it wouldn’t work for everyone. It all depends on how you approach art. There are people who just like art as a way to blow off steam or relax. A friend of mine, for example, tells me: “I really like painting because I relax a lot”. And I say to him: “And how do you relax?” (laughing)… “but it’s a pain” (keep laughing) “I don’t get this part, review it, do it again…”
“I need to work to pay for this and apart from taking a lot of time from where I can to be able to come. And dedicating all that time to it is not easy. As I have a personal situation where I don’t have children, that makes it easier for me to be able to dedicate time to this…”
“I like one thing about the school that I haven’t found before. Have a clear methodology. Because what I have found so far is spending a lot of time on an activity in which you do not notice that you are making progress. You can be there for years and years and you don’t advance. I have met people who have spent more than 20 years painting photographs and in the end they don’t know how to do anything else. It leads nowhere…”
“I like communication with the teacher. I think they adapt well to the student. Not only at their level, but how they address the student. From my experience, they arrive, they go well with what they tell you. I get home and listen to the teacher in my head repeating technical aspects to me. And I think that happens because they do it well. Because they are very flexible. Because they do not treat all students in the same way. Which is what has been happening to me all my life. And here they go at your own pace. Here is work and support…”
"The time you dedicate to it is to achieve a goal that they have clear. And if you have fulfilled it and you have fulfilled it well, because they are very demanding, a door opens to the next phase. Then you see that you are moving towards something…”
“Because of my way of being self-demanding, I went looking for a bit of that knowledge that I lacked and dedicated time to it. What’s up? That one is aware that when you dedicate time to something certain, there are things that you like more than others and I lacked that discipline and I left things aside. It was easier to draw pictures while watching TV because it is less tiring, on the one hand, it has its advantages, but on the other, its drawbacks…”
“Normally in others academies they do not give the importance to the drawing that it deserves. Broadly speaking, I have found training centers where people went more to meet other people, to hang out, to develop that hobby, to do something successful, beautiful, that they could teach their friends. But they didn’t have that restlessness or that hunger to perfect themselves, this academies focused more on not frustrating people too much and not losing extra income…”
“Depends on what is expensive for you, indeed it is expensive, but if you really have a dream… how expensive is it to fulfill it? For example, there are people who pay a lot of money for a home that is not going to give them as much satisfaction as the time one spends here drawing, painting, sculpting, it depends on your preference, on what makes you happy…”
“In the academy where I was, I told them about the possibility of taking models to work from life. And they told me that if they began to bring models to paint from life, the students would get frustrated, they would not want to continue and they would want to leave…”
“It requires you to have some savings, to have an economic cushion, even if you need to leave your job for a while to be able to support yourself with those savings. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it because it’s not money wasted by the academy. Because they do care about the training of people, about the teachers they bring, about the facilities, it is something serious and professionalism has to be paid for…”
Do you have doubts? Don't worry, we all do!
We know that when it comes to your artistic training, you can have a lot of questions spinning in your head. What are the workshops like? What services do we offer? How can I get the most out of it?
That's why we've created this Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQs, for friends) section. Here you will find the answers to the questions we get asked the most. It's like a treasure map, but instead of leading you to a chest full of gold, it leads you to a chest full of knowledge.
And if after reading our FAQs, you still have doubts, don't worry. We are here to help you. So don't hesitate to get in touch with us.
We will be delighted to help you clear any cloud of doubt you may have!
What does a good art academy really do?
A good art academy will know you like a grandfather knows his favorite grandson. They will carefully assess your current level and then devise the most effective plan for you to become the best artist before you know it. Part of your plan should include regular reviews to make sure you're progressing at the perfect rate and getting the results you want.
We do all of that, but unlike other academies, the MAA team isn't just focused on maintaining that perfect balance. Our goal is to challenge you, we will push you until you reach your limits and then we will push you some more to break that limit. We don't let you settle for less than the best.
Who can participate in Madrid Academy of Art programs?
MAA programs are designed for any student interested in improving their technical skills in drawing, painting, and sculpture.
Do you want to improve your skills and master all the technical knowledge? We can work with you.
Do you understand that creating a work of art will require hard work from you? We can work with you.
Are you willing to go through the process for each technique, and practice them until you've mastered them? We can work with you.
Are the programs only for advanced students or also for beginners?
It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or advanced artist. Our students range from beginning artists with no prior art experience to advanced artists with several years of experience.
Our instructors are trained to adapt teaching to the individual needs of each student.
What prior training do I need to study at the academy?
No art degree needed
No previous experience is needed
No special qualifications needed
No trick needed
We will assess your level and work with you from there.
How long do the workshops last?
You can enroll for a minimum of 1 week and work up to 5 years if you want to complete the program.
So it's totally up to you!
Are the programs taught in Spanish or English?
Programs are primarily taught in English, but many of our instructors are bilingual and can provide instructions in Spanish if needed.
Do the programs focus only on drawing and painting or are other forms of art covered as well?
Our programs mainly focus on drawing, painting and sculpting but we also incorporate elements from other art forms when relevant to the theme of the program.
What is the student to instructor ratio in the workshops?
We strive to maintain a low student to instructor ratio to ensure that each student receives individualized attention.
Do the workshops include independent study time or just directed instruction?
Our programs combine directed instruction with independent study time to allow students to practice and apply what they have learned.
Do the programs include critiques or reviews of student work?
Yes, the programs include critique sessions where instructors provide constructive feedback on student work.
Do students receive a certificate at the end of the program?
Yes, students receive a certificate from the Madrid Academy of Art at the end of the program.
Where are the programs held?
The programs are carried out at our facilities at Avenida Manoteras 22 Local 67, Madrid.
How much do the programs cost?
Workshop costs vary depending on the length and content of the program.
You can invest as much time and money as you want, the choice is entirely yours.
You can do from 1h3omin per week up to 47 hours per week.
And our prices range between €70 and €1000 per month.
Call us (+34 679 49 29 15) and if you are eligible to do the program, we will find the perfect plan that fits both your goals and your budget.
We'll dig into how much time and money you can invest and create a tailor-made curriculum that gives you the best value for money.
What if I have more questions?
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us (+34 679 49 29 15). We will be happy to help you.