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  1. #1
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    Art school and teachers

    Hi there. Hopefully this thread isn't going down too fast, since this is an issue that really bothered me the last weeks:

    I just finished my A-levels, successfully, finally 13 years of school are over.....time to go to artschool......well kind of...

    the last weeks I spend most of my free time in the internet, browsing through tons fo tons of websites of germanys art schools.
    The procedure doing this was always the same:

    1. Opening the website
    2. searching for the work of the teachers.

    So before I go on (such statements seem to have become really important these days ) : THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE OFFENSIVE AGAINST ANYONES ART!!!! The Problem i am going to describe concernes the things I am expecting from art school and does NOT rate pieces of art in any way DID EVERYONE OF YOU GET THAT?

    So after finding the teachers galleries, this is what I found (just a few examples, but you kinda get the idea, behind it)

    Art school and teachers
    Art school and teachers
    Art school and teachers

    To get put it into words: most of the stuff I found was highly abstact, mostly to a degree where I have to say that only the artist himself seems to know what the purpose of this and that painting is meant to be.

    But this is not the stuff I want to learn in art-school, although "life drawing" (only one example) is stated in the curriculum, I can see nothing of that "classical" stuff in the portfolios of the teachers, consequently I don't have any idea about how they handle these things, ebcause I have only the personal, abstract works of them on their websites.
    I am missing paintings/drawings from life, figurative illustrations...well Artwork of the quality that can be found here on ca.org for example ( I do not mean conceptart for games, I am just after all the technical stuff).

    I am missing the quality of work that can be found in the portfolio of teachers, teaching in the academy of arts university in san Francisco, watts atelier, ca.org's atelier for example.

    So to get to my question, that's especially for all you experienced people out there:

    is it even right to make my decision of wich artschool I want to attend dependent on the teachers portfolio? Or should I let art be art and just be happy that I can get acces to lifepainting sessions lead by artists who have years of experience, although their work does not fullfill my personal expectations?

    I do not have the financial means to study in the USA, so it is really important for me to get some answers by people who actually are able to say something about that ( I know you are out there! ), because right now I am not even sure if it would make any sense to study art here in germany or if it is more sensible to just get to work on my own, and leave artschool behind me.

    Thanks a load!

    So lets see what this thread is going to become
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  4. #2
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    Could always try somwere else in europe ?

  5. #3
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    that second one is awesome. Go to that school!

    No seriously, you can't judge an artist based on one work. Find more. I think it was Jason Manley who posted a ton of good advice on picking art schools in another thread? I'll look it up for you. The main thing is, no matter where you go, your independent work and portfolio come first, and the classes are just to broaden your thinking (basically do twice as much work as you're supposed to). The name of the school you attend doesn't matter. Finding a good teacher/mentor matters but every school should have at least someone to learn from. As for studying in America, you could always apply for a scholarship. Also, look into ateliers.

    EDIT: click here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=102315

  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    that second one is awesome. Go to that school!

    No seriously, you can't judge an artist based on one work. Find more. I think it was Jason Manley who posted a ton of good advice on picking art schools in another thread? I'll look it up for you. The main thing is, no matter where you go, your independent work and portfolio come first, and the classes are just to broaden your thinking (basically do twice as much work as you're supposed to). The name of the school you attend doesn't matter. Finding a good teacher/mentor matters but every school should have at least someone to learn from. As for studying in America, you could always apply for a scholarship. Also, look into ateliers.

    EDIT: click here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=102315
    thanks a lot dude. I have no idea how I missed that, kinda overread this thread when in teh search results...

    btw:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley
    11. Ask to see the faculty work of those whom you will study under. If you blindly attend because of reputation you may find that you have instructors who cannot do anything of the sort that you wish to learn yourself. ie if your instructor is a fine artist who makes everything out of balls of rice, you are going to have a very hard time learning composition and color theory from them. Find out who you are studying under before you spend six figures on an education...that even applies to the more affordable solutions at the state or community level.
    yeah thats pretty much the problem
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  7. #5
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    Go to the netherlands, beginning with Amsterdam, their Art-schools seem to be pretty tight.

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    if you want to learn about composition and color theory, and all the technical stuff, your best bet is to read books. The main thing about art school is devoting time in your life to making art. It's good to have a teacher who knows all this stuff and is a good critic, but you mainly need to teach yourself.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloominati View Post
    The procedure doing this was always the same:

    1. Opening the website
    2. searching for the work of the teachers.
    Aaaaand here's the problem. You have to go to the school itself. Really. No 2 ways about it. The teachers who teach you to paint and the people who teach you to paint things that sell on the market are often different people. If you're shooting at fine art - with the stuff i know from your blog and sketchbook - you're in for a rough ride unless you're willing to seriously adapt, which would need another year or so of getting to know what is actually happening in the art world at the moment, and not just a short impression after going to 2 exhibitions and buying 2 magazines, or browsing the web. Not because your work is bad, but because technical ability is only one of a number of skills that go into good fine art. As an artist i know put it, it's a thinking mans game.

    Most contemporary fine art (i'm not saying modern, but contemporary, big difference) is not on the net. Period. It's in exhibitions, galleries, ateliers, but not on the web. In my (humble) opinion, since i'm not a professional fine artist - although i know a couple guys & girls who are by now - if you want to go that route, then it pays to know a couple of other fine artists you respect as friends, and really live it. Too bad you missed the "Rundgang" time, where you can go into the academies and check out student work first hand. The art academy Düsseldorf had some technically very good painters - although some aesthetically and technically mediocre ones were there too. If you're really looking for technical ability, go to Leipzig and study under Neo Rauch - it's hard to get in, but once you're there, you're pretty much guaranteed a nice extra income, although it's not everyones cup of tea.

    Another option would be to check out the illustration courses at the FH Münster and FH(?) Hamburg - in Hamburg, where Blacky and Nacho study, they have a ton of life drawing and a couple of teachers for illustration. Can't be too bad. Maybe contact Blacky about that, he's a cool dude who might be able to help you.
    Also check out the school Xaya goes to, i think he's in Nürnberg but i might be mistaken.

    The point is, you have to find the right school, and go there with the right intentions. You can only do that by going there personally before submitting your portfolio, and talk to the students, show them your stuff, maybe talk with one of the teachers. If you have more questions specifically for me, send me a pm. Or maybe if you're still in the NRW area, give me your number, i met with a couple of fun guys from the sketchmeet a while ago for sketching and beer, you could just come along next time we go.

  10. #8
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    I'm not entirely sure what your goals are on the long term but if your interested in traditional drawing and painting. I think one of the best, if not the best option in Europe is Studio Escalier in Argenton-chateau, France. It's an atelier/school ran by Timothy Stotz and Michelle Tully ( both studied under Ted Jacobs and were founding members of the Water street atelier ran by Jacob Collins in NY) who offer 3 month intensive courses. Here's their website : http://studioescalier.com

    Good luck on your journey
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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Aaaaand here's the problem. You have to go to the school itself. Really. No 2 ways about it. The teachers who teach you to paint and the people who teach you to paint things that sell on the market are often different people. If you're shooting at fine art - with the stuff i know from your blog and sketchbook - you're in for a rough ride unless you're willing to seriously adapt, which would need another year or so of getting to know what is actually happening in the art world at the moment, and not just a short impression after going to 2 exhibitions and buying 2 magazines, or browsing the web. Not because your work is bad, but because technical ability is only one of a number of skills that go into good fine art. As an artist i know put it, it's a thinking mans game.

    Thanks a lot for you reply, and for the Pm, gonna give you a call for sure

    Well as far as I am now concerning my plans for the future it is more important for me to learn how to paint/draw and not to learn how to paint things that sell. And although i know that fineart is the field that i feel the most interest and passion in, I know that it is pretty much the hardest thing one might choose to do.
    And that is kind of the point that bothers me. The people who are teaching at germanys art schools seem to be people that want to show me how to paint stuff that sells on the fine art market, especially in germany, and this is actually not the thing that I want to learn in the first place. I do not see art school as THE way to learn how to create art but I want to see it as a chance to imporove my technical/artistical skills MY way more efficiently, and that's the Problem, because I don't know at all if these expectations are to high and if it just might be better to leave this thought behind and do it my way from the very beginning. I want to be successful with my stuff and my thoughts and not with stuff somebody told me once to paint to become successfull.(there's just to much of that stuff going on nowadays IMO)

    But you are definitely right, and it's definitely a must to visit all the schools I am going to visit personally.
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  12. #10
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    by all means, the work of your instructors and also the work of the students who attend that school are the best indicators you'll find as to how appropriate the program is for you. Fine art programs that actually care about technical skill building are in the minority, but they do still exist. I recommend not just settling for any old program because it's easier to find, but searching out and aiming for the one which is best for you. Hey, if you're gonna pay tuition and spend the next several years there anyhow, might as well go someplace that can give you what you're after.
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