Worst experience at art school?
 
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  1. #1
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    Worst experience at art school?

    What's the worst thing that's happened to you? Something pretty annoying has happened to me, and I want to know if this is a typical art school experience. If it it a typical art school experience... does that mean this stuff will happen to me in the "real art world?" Oh god, what have I gotten myself into?

    I'm a freshman. I have to take 3d design as part of the foundation year even though I have no experience or skill with 3d work. The homework was very difficult for me and I didn't complete all of it. So, the teacher decided to drop me from the class. At the time she dropped me, I had gotten a B+, an A, and an F (for the homework I didn't do). So, I hadn't failed at the time. FYI, there was nothing in the syllabus that indicated this kind of punishment for not doing work. Before I took this 3d class, being kicked out of any class was not a possibility in my mind. I considered failing was a possibility, of course... but not being kicked out when I wasn't failing. Especially since I didn't break any rules.

    I argued with her and got her to agree to let me back in, but only if I made up all of the previous homework. I agreed. We had an official verbal contract: I would re do all of my previous work, she would let me remain in the class.

    I made up all of the homework. I was completing all of the classwork. I WAS PASSING THE FREAKING CLASS! Then, one day, I was 5 minutes late. She said if I was late for class 1 more time, she would kick me out. She then locked the door because about 5 other students where late from lunch break. After they banged on the door a few times, she opened it and yelled at them in front of the class. But did she threaten to kick them out? No.

    So... last week I was 15 minutes late. She kicked me out, and that means I've failed this class and have to re take it during the summer. That will cost me several thousand dollars, not to mention an ungodly amount of work. I'm convinced that I wasn't actually late to class more often than any of the other students. I think the teacher made up extra rules just for me... I asked the dean if I could see the records showing how often I was late compared to everyone else, and the dean said "it was a mistake to let you back into this class in the first place!"

    This teacher is nice to most people... but there are a few students she hates. She's very defensive, and she takes it as a personal attack if you're not good at something. She sees herself as fair, and kind. She says it doesn't matter if you argue with her, there are no stupid questions, blah blah blah. She says she cares about her students. But in reality, if you ask her any question, you're just as likely to get some kind of random rant about her arthritis as you are to get a real answer.

    Once, she wrote in the instructions for a clay shell that it must be an abstraction. So, I made the clay shell a bit out of proportion compared to the real shell I was working from. She glared at me really creepily and said "this is not an art class." Ok then, what the fuck is it supposed to be?! (I didn't say that.) Then she told me to "read the instructions." The instructions say "abstraction means resolving essential forms and edges." Yeah... that doesn't exactly clear up the issue, does it? But this is what I came to learn through trial and error: in the teacher's mind, "abstraction" means "almost exactly like reality." Whatever.

    This teacher keeps people late if they don't finish their work. Sometimes they have to stay until midnight. (I've heard it's illegal for teachers to do this.) On the day I was kicked out of class, I was told that another student was kept until past 6 because he didn't know how to finish his sculpture. The teacher refused to help him, but also refused to let him leave. Finally, she walked over to him, tore all of the pieces of metal off of it (he'd spent all day putting them on) and threw the metal at his face! Then she asked him what he wanted to major in. He said architecture, and she laughed at him. What a jerk.

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  3. #2
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    Oh... sorry.

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    Linzoy,
    You are at an art school, so it is inevitable that you will have some nutty professors. And after that, nutty art directors. Now is the time for you to learn how to gracefully deal with such situations. You can start by identifying the things that you can do better next time; most obviously, do all assignments, on time, and show up to class on time.

    No teacher is perfect. Learn to differentiate between the good stuff they have to teach, and the bad. Take the good, disregard the bad, and move on to the next teacher without burning bridges.

    Sounds like you are in RISD’s freshman foundation course. You’ll have an easier time of it when you get into the department that you want to be in. for the time being, see if you can’t figure out how to make every current assignment relevant to architorture.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    No apology necessary, many generations of art students have been a wee bit dubious of their tutors, I was simply pointing out the last time this came up as a discussion topic. ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
    Linzoy,
    You are at an art school, so it is inevitable that you will have some nutty professors. And after that, nutty art directors. Now is the time for you to learn how to gracefully deal with such situations. You can start by identifying the things that you can do better next time; most obviously, do all assignments, on time, and show up to class on time.

    No teacher is perfect. Learn to differentiate between the good stuff they have to teach, and the bad. Take the good, disregard the bad, and move on to the next teacher without burning bridges.

    Sounds like you are in RISD’s freshman foundation course. You’ll have an easier time of it when you get into the department that you want to be in. for the time being, see if you can’t figure out how to make every current assignment relevant to architorture.
    Yep, I'm a freshman at RISD. I'm not interested in architecture, that was another student. Right now I'm planning to major in illustration.

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    Ah! You’ll want to get into Nick Palermo’s figure drawing class, then, and any class taught by Nick Jainschigg. Maryjane (oh nuts, I can’t remember her last name) is also rumored to be a very good teacher in that department, but I regret I never took her class. Robert Brinkerhoff is a good one, too, if he can be pried away from running the department long enough to teach.

    Despite RISD’s reputation, you’ll be best off if you stay on top of guiding your academic experience to get you to your own goals. In other words, identify where you want to be in a few years, and make sure you use each and every assignment to get you there, because it’s all too easy in the illustration department to dabble in a little of this and a little of that, and forget where you were going.

    Or take this great piece of advice from a former art director of mine that I wish I’d been told while I was still in college: do every assignment twice.

    Good luck!

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
    Ah! You’ll want to get into Nick Palermo’s figure drawing class, then, and any class taught by Nick Jainschigg. Maryjane (oh nuts, I can’t remember her last name) is also rumored to be a very good teacher in that department, but I regret I never took her class.
    Maryjane Begin.
    And Nick Jainschigg rocks.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Maryjane Begin.
    And Nick Jainschigg rocks.
    Thanks!

    I'm beginning to think that Nick Jainshigg has used dark necromancy in his networking. He knows everybody! Please let me know if he ever sucks you in for a lecture, Elwell, because I want a seat in the front row.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  11. #10
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    Thanks a lot for the advice everyone, I'll remember those names.

    Right now I think it would be cool to work at pixar, but I can't call that my ultimate goal because I'm not even majoring in film. I'm told I can double major in illustration and fav though.

    I don't know if I ever will have a career goal I can work towards. My goals are A) be a better artist B) not be dirt poor. I know I'm supposed to want to specialize in something, people (non artists) always look at me strangely when I say I don't have a favorite medium to draw with. But I just want to draw, period.

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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linzoy View Post
    My goals are A) be a better artist B) not be dirt poor.
    Those are admirable, and complimentary, goals.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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  13. #12
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    I know quite a few people who are double majoring in Illus. FAV, and they seem to be doing fine. I myself am a junior in illustration (and I forgot what I wanted to do and started to dabble :'( damn you lack of structure!)

    for illustration year one, ( or foundation two ) I'd also recommend Fritz Drury for painting, as well as Jean Blackburn (SHADOWCORE!), both are very good at teaching the subject. I'd also stay very far away from Bill Hall for illustration one, as he doesn't really teach a damn thing in his class but rather goes on and on about how "employable" your work is (and as a sophomore, it won't be.) And I don't care what field in illustration you want to take, but as a junior or senior any class with Jon Foster, Shanth Enjeti or Jeff Hesser (sculpture, does 3d anatomy)

    And back to the subject at hand, The worst part about being at art school (esp. risd) is when I give them all my money

    I c whut u did thar.
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