2nd week of art school
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  1. #1
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    2nd week of art school

    Hey everyone,
    I've just started my three year full time Fine Arts degree. So far it has been very challenging and occasionally frustrating. I'm finding it hard to keep pushing myself to challenge my habits every day of the week.
    I'm not whining about it- the reason I enrolled at this school was so I would be challenged.
    The class that I was expecting to be my favourite (life drawing) is one of the hardest- the instructor has very high standards and doesn't make excuses for us because we are only starting- in fact any of us who seem to have some drawing background he is even harder on because he wants us to learn the basics properly. Now on one hand I understand and agree with that approach. On the other hand it is hard to draw what I thought were fairly basic structural drawings over the course of a 20 minute pose and to keep having the faults pointed out.

    I guess it's like Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid teaching Daniel san...paint the fence, wax the car...etc

    Like the Bride in Kill Bill 2 punching that bit of wood over and over and over...

    I guess it's a bit painful now but hopefully it'll pay off in the end.

    Any helpful hints on staying focussed?

    Sydney artist Luke Marcatili

    "Fear is the mindkiller..."
    - The Litany Against Fear
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    keeping focused is way easier than to become focused.
    the time you are focused is the time you learn.
    there's pretty much 2 options: be focused and learn more in 3 years(or whatever period) than you even can imagine, or allow yourself to slack and learn nothing at all.
    it´s all about momentum. once you have it you´ll be rolling.

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    Sorry dude, but it kinda does sound like your whining. What did you expect? Your doing a 'Fine Art Degree', its not going to be easy. And if you feel your teacher is being pushy - dont knock it. They want you to really think and understand, and do well, even on the simple tasks like a 20min pose. And yes, they will always push harder on those who already have an art background.

    If you wanna stay focused, just think back to WHY you took the course in the first place....

    You said it yourself - to be challenged!

    Mollyx

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    molly: i kinda understand where he´s coming from.
    i can totally relate that when you worked hard and feel that you improved and you won´t get the slightest amount of positive feedback whatsoever it can be a bitch.
    and he didn´t say that it all blows, he just asked what ppl think helps to stay focused.

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    I know it's rough starting off, especially if this is your first year of uni after leaving high school - it's hard enough adjusting to uni schedules and lifestyle even without a very strict teacher.

    But first, remember that you are doing a fine arts degree. This guy is probably working you as hard as possible so as to weed out those who don't belong there - people who are doing it just for a kick and people who don't really care about furthering their results as artists. the whole Mr Miagi and Kill Bill thing is a good way to look at it, it will pay off.

    I live in Brisbane, and up here we only have one art college, and I only ever hear discouraging things about it - including from those who have taught there. Personally I'd love to have someone who would work me to the bone with my drawing, but it's as though art degrees like that don't even exist in QLD.
    If your teacher is so passionate and strong with his art, even if he seems like a prick, it is obvious that you will gain a lot from him. If you try hard and prove that you are a willing learner, he might even begin to appreciate it, and the pay off will be that much more.

    out of interest, what university do you go to? and how much of your degree is drawing and painting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    Personally I'd love to have someone who would work me to the bone with my drawing,

    your dream just came true!
    awesome isn´t it?


    show me 50 heads next thursday ok?!





    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by expat
    On the other hand it is hard to draw what I thought were fairly basic structural drawings over the course of a 20 minute pose and to keep having the faults pointed out.
    So, you would prefer that the faults weren't pointed out?


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    So, you would prefer that the faults weren't pointed out?
    Heh, of course he would like the faults to be pointed out.
    It's just nicer to pretend that you did it all correctly.
    Taking criticism, especially over and over, takes kind of an attitude change.
    Instead of saying, "Why are you always pointing out my mistakes?" you say, "Thanks so much for telling me."
    Because, truly, you are thankful that someone pointed it out so you can fix it and try not to make that mistake again.

    People on this board beg for crits all this time--"Please tell me what is wrong with this!" It's hard to get good, honest, useful feedback.
    Of course, I always believe that in addition to pointing out flaws, it's nice to point out where someone is succeeding. This gives the person hope to keep working and trying hard.

    emily

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    Another thing you'll find is your instructors will be much more demanding and stringent at the beginning of the semester than at the end. Better catch mistakes at the beginning than after you've reinforced them into your "instincts" over the course of a semester. I'd imagine you'll feel less stressed later in the term.

    As Lord Cardigan said to the Light Brigade, "Just canter down the valley toward Balaklava, fellows. Nothing to worry about." -W.E.B. Griffin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan.v.D.
    molly: i kinda understand where he´s coming from.
    i can totally relate that when you worked hard and feel that you improved and you won´t get the slightest amount of positive feedback whatsoever it can be a bitch.
    and he didn´t say that it all blows, he just asked what ppl think helps to stay focused.
    Im not disagreeing in the slightest dude! I can relate too. I got tons of negative feed back from teachers, so I began to ignore it(but I got some positive...) I'll take advice from the teacher, but if they are wrong, then I'll say so. They are not always right.

    Once I began posting on CA.org tho, I got the positive feedback I needed, and much more. I know how much I need to improve, and the areas etc. So some lousy teacher bitching at me aint gonna make me feel down!

    I say all this in good humour expat & Dan.V D - I've had my fair share of negative teaches(and slow lazy ones)....If you know YOU have improved - who else do you need to prove it too? (er, figure of speech, if you get me...)

    Edit: Dude, start your own thread in the WIP/Sketches section, and post your progress in there. You'll get some great feed back, and you'll have history too so you can see your improvement in the thread etc. A few Watts Atilier students do this already, and its cool to see their progress as they go.

    Mollyx

    Last edited by Molly; March 3rd, 2005 at 03:50 PM.
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    I always found that criticism is a lot easier to take if you point out the strong points of a picture first, and then go with the things that could be improved. I'm guessing he isn't that sort of guy.

    You probably already have a good idea of whether or not the drawing you're doing is any good and so does your prof. Chances are, he's just skipping over whatever strengths your drawing does have because he figures you already know and it's not going to help to have you tell him.

    Just keep that in mind.. he knows if there are good points to a drawing. He just doesn't want you to get a big head about it. Getting a big head doesn't help you get better. And even if you're not the sort of person who would, I'm guessing after two weeks he doesn't know you that well and he's seen them all before.

    Art is long and time is fleeting

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    Don't feel soooo bad.

    It could be worse: You could be trying your damnedest to fix your wounded GPA at a community college just so you can make it to a university with a good artwork program that's not in a redneck town where the only art they appreciate is landscapes of joshua trees.

    Like me.

    Be thankful about the criticism. It's there to help further your career.


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    Hey everyone, thanks for the responses.

    I guess I forgot to mention that I'm also going through the break up of a long term relationship...funny how those sorta things slip your mind- except when you're trying to focus on a drawing or painting and it seems like it's the only thing you can think about.

    I guess that's the main hurdle at the moment- it makes me lose concentration easily and occasionally take criticism personally when i shouldn't.
    Anyway, this morning I was having trouble focussing again. We were painting portraits so I went to the library at lunch and checked out some of Goya's portraits. I was instantly inspired and reminded why I'm at art school. I photocopied some and went back to class with them nearby to refer back to when I lost concentration.


    Molly- maybe I was whining after all! I guess my frustration comes when I don't understand why I'm not achieving what the instructor wants. My lifedrawing instructor seems pretty vague at the moment. I feel like I need to interrogate him to understand what it is he wants. Having said that, I probably just need to swallow some pride and keep going. Also I am planning to start posting work here when I bring some home, probably in a week or so.

    cam- yeah I think they do intend to seperate the sheep from the goats a bit, as it were...I go to the National Art School in Sydney.

    emily- you're spot on. I do take criticism and am often asking what I need to do to improve my work. I hate it when I don't get any feedback from an instructor. But like I said- it's hard to take criticism when I don't know how this particular instructor wants me to approach the work.

    magicgoo- you're right too...I'll appreciate the fact that I've even gotten into a good art school.

    Thanks everyone, all the posts have been helpful

    Sydney artist Luke Marcatili

    "Fear is the mindkiller..."
    - The Litany Against Fear
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