Artists aspiring artists should know?
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    Artists aspiring artists should know?

    So, consider this not-quite-hypothetical situation:

    You--not really a teacher--are asked to teach what I'm going to, for the purposes of this post, call a high school art club. It's about a Drawing1 level.

    After a bit, you realize these kids don't know ANY artists. They can recognize the names of really well known artists like Leonardo, Picasso, etc but not necessarily their work. When you ask them for examples of work they like/are inspired by, it's stuff from tumblr like doodles of dreamcatchers with pop lyric quotes.

    What/who would you show them to get them started with a knowledge base?



    Also, this hypothetical situation is in SEAsia (but not Singapore) so even though the kids like comic books and know Hellboy--for instance--it's from the movies and they have never seen the book as US comics are limited in availability and expensive. Same with art books, when they're findable at all. So even artists you might expect to be able to use as an access point, they aren't familiar with.

    Last edited by habrok; February 24th, 2012 at 04:53 AM.
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    Hypothetically, you are the "teacher" and may start off with some of the artists that inspire you because then I think it will be easier to catch their attention and interest if you talk about something you feel passionate about. Once they are interested, expand the area... hypothetically of course :p

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    Well, it depends... Sounds like maybe the first thing is to get them interested in looking at different artists in the first place, so I don't know if I would try to cram all the "greats" into their heads right away, that might be more of a turn-off than anything...

    If it was me, I might try to coax them into art history gradually. Do they like manga? If they do, maybe you could show them something like art nouveau, since a lot of manga is inspired by art nouveau... And then use that to branch out into other nineteenth century artists who influenced art nouveau, and then other artists who influenced them or were influenced by them, etc... You know, just to start the ball rolling...

    Also, if this is SEAsia, why not mix in some traditional art from the area, and relate it to art from other cultures? Or use manga as a starting point and relate it to some more traditional asian art, and then compare THAT to some different kinds of western art. Or something.

    Dunno. Just some thoughts.

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    Also, if it was me, I might encourage them to go browse art sites online (since art books are probably out of the question...)

    For contemporary and commercial stuff, there's places like here, of course; and all the other usual candidates (CGHub, ImagineFX, Art Order, etc...)

    For older/classic work, a few good browsing spots are:
    http://www.googleartproject.com/
    http://www.haltadefinizione.com/galleries.jsp
    http://www.the-athenaeum.org/
    http://www.allpaintings.org
    http://www.sandstead.com/gallery.html

    ...and illustration of all kinds:
    http://illustrationart.blogspot.com/

    ...and contemporary-but-often-fun weirdness:
    http://butdoesitfloat.com/

    ...Also every major museum usually has a way to browse their collections online, so that might be helpful.

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    Thanks! The art nouveau is a good idea! And yeah, they do like manga, although I don't think they pay that much attention to the art. I also agree about not shoving "the greats" on them, since they already get so much lecturing about what they -should- like. Unfortunately, I think they feel the same way about traditional art.

    And thanks for those links! I'll definitely pass them on.


    Trixtar: I do, but what I meant is more, if you were having a conversation with a beginner, who would you expect to be able to reference and assume knowledge. I'm looking for a wider range of stuff to show them than what's on my bookcase.

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    If you have a classroom, then you should put up posters - and have works of Van Gogh, Picasso, and the less household names who are well known to artists - caravaggio, rubens, pollock (as much as I think drip paintings are ridiculous), Richard Serra (again, not really a fan), and keep the visuals around! It's an art club! Great visuals should be handy everywhere!

    So much you can do! Plus, have patience, and do your best to inspire your students!

    Doctors heal you, Artists immortalize you.

    "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach" - bullshit.

    The usual staples for anatomy:
    George Bridgman
    Joseph Sheppard
    Andrew Loomis
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    I've been in similar (almost exactly the same) situations. I find the best way to approach this is to present and discuss works/artists they will respond to right now...then gradually explain or talk about the movements and artists that inspired them...and sort of backtrack through important points of departure for various styles and movements. Basically like what Queenie mentioned with the connections from Manga to Art Nouveau. Interestingly Art Nouveau was a movement heavily inspired and kicked off by the opening up of the Near and Far East in the very late 1800s. So that seems like a great circular tie-in. Good luck!

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    For me, having been a student most of my life I know I paid a lot of attention to things I didn't understand at first. Certain images caught my attention, and than I began to think about them critically. Posters are an excellent tool - perhaps with another beneath identifying the piece.

    Salvador Dali is always a good eye catcher if you want to inspire and get students talking.



    ~Angel and the Stickmen

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    hitanrun: I don't have a classroom, but I can probably work something out. Maybe print some stuff out for them to hang over their home workspace. Thanks!

    Jeffx99: Art nouveau is a really good idea. I think the visuals will appeal to them, too.

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    Thanks habrok - really it was Queenie's idea though - I just added a bit to it.

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    I know. It's a good add, though. I hadn't thought to tie it into history history.

    Their reaction to Frida Kahlo was "who else had a horrible things happen to them?" Geez, teenagers are so macabre. I had just wanted them to look at some non-european-guy art. D: (Class is largely girls.)

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    Hmmm....They may also be inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites and Symbolists as well...very romantic stuff - though very European. Might also want to explore the Orientalists as another interesting historic reflection on Asia and the Near and Middle East....Gerome stands out as one of the great Orientalist painters. All that stuff is very rich in detail, texture and color.

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