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  1. #1
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    extremely frustrated

    preface : my art professor is very abstract and pyscological in his approach to art.

    im constantly criticised for my style as it is. i dunno if anyone here would even recognize my work if i showed you. (i guess you can check my site out)
    basically my problem with this guy is his criticism. not that he critiques me, but that after he is done mocking me.... he offers no advice.

    he showed me a piece of his today.. it was an abstract that was supposed to represent and electrical outlet but to everyone in class it was two bananas... i told him i didnt like it. we argue and i end up being called a jackass because i wasnt opening my mind up to the possiblites of simplifying my work or becoming more abstract.

    im a graphic design major and want to illustrate..... this guy isnt helping me
    im having a hard time expressing my frustration.....

    does anyone have a similiar experience with some advice? i dunno what to do.
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  3. #2
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    well, he sounds like a prick. that's as far as my reasoning takes me
    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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    There will always be an asshole teacher, asshole boss, asshole customer, asshole neighbor, etc... etc... And they are all just temporary annoyances.

    If he doesn't respect you, you shouldn't respect him. But no matter what, especially with teachers and bosses, you always have to act like a professional. More importantly, it's just good for your own personal betterment to be level-headed, even with asshole bosses & asshole teachers.

    Whenever I get annoyed with someone, I always think about that part in Resevoir Dogs where Mr. White said to Mr. Pink, "What you're supposed to do is act like a fuckin professional... not start shooting up the place!
    Last edited by CaptainInsano; February 14th, 2006 at 12:15 AM.

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    I had a teacher like this once.. granted it was in highschool, so it was'nt as big of a deal. I think you need to sit down and ask yourself if this is the only way to go about what you're learning. it seems like hard earned money is being paid to someone to teach you something you have no interest in. Is this the only instance like this you've had? Has he always been just teaching abstract stuff? or is this a rare occassion that he'll be so confrontational about it?

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  6. #5
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    your style is better than banana elcectric sockets anywayz! fight the man!

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    steal his car, crash it into the class room for your major end of year project and call it an instalation piece...


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    if ur stuck with him fighting won't help u a lot, he's either one of those abstract art idiots who do abstract work because they can't do any better. or, he actually knows what he's talkin about.
    Try to find out what he's like, u might be able to learn something from him after all.

    U know i never liked Kandinsky's work but he still wrote realy good books about composition and colour wich help alot.

    what i'm trying to say is that i had quiet a fiew people who where trying to show me somethin, but at that time i did not want to see it for what ever reason. Just to find it out on my own after quiet some time. So don*t make that mistake.

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    well, it looks like he's trying to teach you how to think

    It's not that his views are wrong so much as he shouldn't try to force them into other people like that. Not the way he does it and certainly not in a classroom. If he's trying that hard, then odds are he doesn't understand what he's talking about either.
    You could try to psyche him out. That's usually about the only way you can overpower a teacher in the clasroom.
    Other than that, a headbutt to the middle of the face might get you in trouble but i'll bet it feels pretty good. I know at least one teacher i got an urge to beat up every once in a while.

    you didn't hear it from me though

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    Do What you do, and do it so well that he can't deny what you have done. Let your actions and work speak for you. Trying to talk to abstract obsessed people is like talking to a brick wall. They will never except your point or even listen to it. The only way past that is to prove what you can do, not tell them.
    Eventually abstract based people will stop trying to force it on everyone else and we will all be left alone to do what we want to.
    But until then, Defy the mighty Titan! Defend real art skills by doing them, not talking about them.
    Have faith, these things should never be easy.

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  11. #10
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    Tell him that abstract art is a complete and utter failure. The point of any artwork is to convey meaning. If the veiwer can't work out what your trying to show him then you have not done job. Abstract art is the refuge for those who think they are artists but are to lazy to bother learning the technical skills.

    As far as the teacher goes tell him that you feel that he is dismissing your work and that you are unhappy with his attitude. Yes there will always be @ss-hole bosses, clients, etc. But your teacher is not your boss. He is providing a service and YOU are the client. If he is not helping you learn he is providing poor service. Having said that, teachers never see it this way, and can be a mean and vindictive bunch (some of them anyway). So your best bet is to try another class, or see if there is a different professor teachig the same subject.

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    CRV:
    You're generalizing too much regarding abstract art. I know you're making it black and white, but come on.


    Regarding teachers. Sometimes they are there to challenge you and that CAN feel a little tiresome, hehe. But as Drackster said. Try and meet him halfway instead of battling him, If he doesn't open up, then let him go. If he does open up it could get interesting. You might get some interesting pointers after that.
    Perhaps. But hey, give it a shot

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    I was once told, that the purpose of art is to provoke communication, discussion and emotion... judging from what you have written, you have succeeded in those points big time.. tell him that and then leave...

    that teacher sounds like a real jackass to me...

    cheers,
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRW
    Tell him that abstract art is a complete and utter failure. The point of any artwork is to convey meaning. If the veiwer can't work out what your trying to show him then you have not done job. Abstract art is the refuge for those who think they are artists but are to lazy to bother learning the technical skills.

    As far as the teacher goes tell him that you feel that he is dismissing your work and that you are unhappy with his attitude. Yes there will always be @ss-hole bosses, clients, etc. But your teacher is not your boss. He is providing a service and YOU are the client. If he is not helping you learn he is providing poor service. Having said that, teachers never see it this way, and can be a mean and vindictive bunch (some of them anyway). So your best bet is to try another class, or see if there is a different professor teachig the same subject.
    Yeah. I agree completely. His job is to help you be more fluent in visual language and if the all he can do to that extent is to piss all over your work and essentially just say "copy what I do because it's better" than it sounds like he's a pretty poor excuse for a professor.

    But what you have to realize is that you are in a program that centers around fine arts. If you find someone who's willing to push you in the field of conceptual design and illustration, than you're a hell of a lot luckier than the rest of us in similar programs. I suggest you do open up a bit just in order to build a solid grounding. Just because no one over there teaches your specific genre, does not mean that they still don't have something to pass on to you. I've found this out time and time again at the school I attend despite my cynicism. It's good to allow yourself to become a bit of a renaissance man. I've taken drawing classes where we'd have people who did nothing but really bad anime and terrible, clich world-of-warcraft fan art. They would write off anything the professor said as irrelevant to their craft and they continued with their usual mediocre work, not developing, not improving, and complacent. They ignored the fact that he had actually offered them pretty good advice on composition, proportions, anatomy and medium control. Even abstract (Oh NO! The A-WORD) artists have made conscious decisions for why they have chosen their path. You may not like what they do but it cant hurt if you make an effort to at least try to understand it. Even if no one wants to grant you the same favor.

    Your professor may be a huge asshole but also remember that it never hurts to see things from an objective point of view. Especially when it comes to your own work.

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    This is why I don't take art classes. Everyone thinks they do it best. So when you get a teacher that had some religious awakening to the art of blowing paint through a straw then he feels the whole world needs to share the experience. While that is mighty considerate of him to want to share his pleasureable experience, perhaps it is not for everyone? Since you're a graphic design major, perhaps he could teach you what design/compisition skills hes learn through abstract art.

    Or you can just inject poop into his raw sienna paint.

  16. #15
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    Very many web site designs and just everyday's designs based on the abstract art. (Look at Tommy Hilfiger clothing fashion with its orange and blue sudden stripe on the dark or white BG http://chronicle.augusta.com/images/...FIGER_LOGO.jpg, it's a pure abstract, the idea probably taken from Piet Mondrian (look at this http://faculty.evansville.edu/rl29/a...omposition.jpg). And I can dig numerous examples for you. . Our site CA went for more abstract design recently too .
    So, an abstract art is very nice addition to art in general in my opinion . And guys, don't be quiet, if you think differently, argue your way. Too boring not hear any thoughts back.
    I agree about your art teacher. When he demands open mind from other people, he should at least start to open his own mind.
    Sveta

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingManMedia
    preface : my art professor is very abstract and pyscological in his approach to art.

    im constantly criticised for my style as it is. i dunno if anyone here would even recognize my work if i showed you. (i guess you can check my site out)
    basically my problem with this guy is his criticism. not that he critiques me, but that after he is done mocking me.... he offers no advice.
    If I might ask, what school do you go to and how did you come to choose it? Do you have any other art instructors whose work and advice you admire?

    You mentioned that you are a graphic design major but want to be an illustrator. Does your school offer programs in illustration specifically? While there are aspects of graphic design & illustration that overlap, these are actually 2 different disciplines and require different teaching approaches. Your art instructor would probably fail as an illustrator. If he were given an assignment to paint an electrical outlet and instead turned in an abstract piece looking like 2 bananas, that plus his attitude would probably get him thrown out of the art director's office. If I wanted to be an illustrator, I would definately not want this guy as a teacher.

    You may want to take a hard look at the school you're attending and ask yourself if it is actually preparing you for the work you want to do once you graduate.
    Mark Hannon
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  18. #17
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    I really don't understand abstract art really. I think he as a teacher should be more understanding that with abstract art, folks aren't always going to see what you see. I can't see colored lines on a paper and interperet them as anything specific unless they /look/ like that something. I just...can't do it, and good portion of people can't. Why he got so belligerent is beyond me.

    I had a teacher who's style I hated, but I used him to learn what I could and I suffered through the class and now I don't have to see him again.
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  19. #18
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    Whenever he gives you a crit say thankyou. Whenever he mocks you, say thankyou. Whenever he argues a point that has no context or deeper meaning whatsoever, say yeah, you know what, you're right.
    Then comeback in a few years, to "visit", and just let him know just how well you're doing.
    That is all you need to do

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    Thumbs up

    Great advice, kian3001, I should memorise it and use it every day of my life. Hopefully i will be able to do so.
    Sveta

  21. #20
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    thanks for all of the comments guys. i really appreciate it.

    figure2: the college im attending (WTAMU) is really poor on art. even our professors will tell you that. as far as attending an actual art institute, thats really out of the question. one institute that was always in the back of my mind was a college near dallas texas... UNT.

    i have had a lot of time to think and cool down... basically ive just realized me and this guy are always going to class. for some reason it really is a power struggle between the two of us and i don't see a change.

    im the only one in the class with strong skills and im also the only one who won't take his crap.... so we fight.

    im just going to take yalls advice and stick to my guns.... take into consideration his "advice" and keep developing my own style

    thank you guys.
    "Cause now we say goodnight
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  22. #21
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    oh also..... does anyone find my work cliche and contrite? my professor said it was... haha.

    haha.... he told me that when he looked at my website "it looks like superman just walked in" mockingly of course..... i don't really get it.
    "Cause now we say goodnight
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  23. #22
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    Yes, there are those teachers. We have all had fuckheadteachers. I remember some real loosers. Basically I sensed they were jeolous of our energy and juice and edge and that was something they lost and why some of them are teaching. They lost a long time ago and gave up.

    A really good teacher reaches into your soul and finds the light there and blows life into that - no matter what. They look for the genius and nurture that. It doesn't threaten them, they recognize it and are committed to keeping that fire burning.

    Know this... your teacher is just having a hard time with themself. Who knows, their dad may have just died, their wife has cancer, they may not be able to relate to their kids. I recommend (and this is a senior conversation - not for the weak at heart) have compassion for them, say a prayer for them, and then take them out of the equation for your own happiness.

    Use them truly as your teacher, they are teaching you how to take care of yourself, and how to have healthy boundaries, how to know "who you really are." If they are asking you to question yourself, don't get caught up in the external world, go inside, get out into nature by yourself. It's a calling for you to be a really good superman, I call it an Artist Warrior.

    You are on the right track. Watch your mind, practice the space between thinking, keep practicing your art - that is the real key here.

    Great little book: Sacred Path of the Warrior - by Chogyam Trungpa

    In the Creative Spirit,
    ~M

  24. #23
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    Dallas- I may be generalizing...but I don't think so (however you may disagree and that's great everyone has their own a opinion and this just happens to be mine ) I feel that all art is about communication. Abstract art (and this includes things other than paintings, such as that stupid glass of water display someone posted awhile back) has as it's goal the opposite of that. The artists seem to say, "I am purposefully confusing you so that you will feel stupid for not ’getting’ it, which will cause you to want to buy it just so your friends think you did." But I could be wrong (not that I think I am )

    You mentioned abtract art being posted here, but I haven't noticed any (not that I'm doubting you, I just haven't seen it.) Now there are some people here who use impressionistic techniques (such as Sparth), but this is not abtract art. While simple at times there pieces always convey the information they are trying to get across.

    Now having said all of this don't think that I do not value abstract "thinking". Being able to look at an object or landscape and seeing something you haven't seen before is a fundamental key for any artist, and particularly concept artists.

    WingMan - I don't know if I would call your work Cliched or contrite, but It does need some work (no offense). I can possibly see his opinion i nthat the style you have is fairly common at the moment (I call it Ashley Wood style as his was the first I encountered, though I love his work so don't take this comment as negative ) I just think you need to work on your technical skills such as anatomy.

    As to his superman comment...I don't get it either lol.

  25. #24
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    markwanger: thank you for the advice.... very insightful.

    crow: i appreciate your honesty... ashley wood is one of my main influences and THE main. i do have a LONG way to go and look forward to the journey.

    thanks all.
    "Cause now we say goodnight
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    I think a major difference between fine artists and the majority that kick around here is that in fine art, cliche is tends to be bad unless it's being subverted, saying something about society. Commercial art is more based upon technique and often uses cliche to get a message across to consumers.

    Something you may want to determine is whether or not cliche is something you want to avoid. If you like doing sci fi/fantasy/cyberpunk/etc. illustration, then your work is going to be cliche, and people like your teacher aren't going to like it. Do you care? How can you make your work enjoyable and fresh in spite of it? Don't buy into their notion that work can't be good and cliche at the same time. It's just that standards by which we judge fine art and commercial art have to be different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerD
    T no matter what, especially with teachers and bosses, you always have to act like a professional. More importantly, it's just good for your own personal betterment to be level-headed, even with asshole bosses & asshole teachers.
    This is the best advice right here. On top of being a professional, when you are asked why you do not like abstract work or a particular piece of work, have your reasons. Be able to communicate and explain yourself and if he still wants to argue then he just looks more like a jackass.

    I went through the same thing you are going through in college. Graphic Designers are the bastard children of most art departments. They are not fine artists, but at the same time they not advertising majors either. And usually they end up being better visual communicators than both. Just my experience.

    Keep on keepin' on.
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    he actually called you a jackass? i'd punch him in the face
    Self-improvement is masturbation, Self-destruction on the other hand....

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    Quote Originally Posted by WingManMedia
    figure2: the college im attending (WTAMU) is really poor on art. even our professors will tell you that. as far as attending an actual art institute, thats really out of the question. one institute that was always in the back of my mind was a college near dallas texas... UNT.
    No real advice on how to handle the instructor. I'm not too proficient at that myself, and besides, it looks as though you have gotten some VERY good advice already.

    I just wanted to mention that if you have the means to make it down to UNT, I would definitely say go for it. So far I have had an amazing experience here, and the cost of living is relatively low because Denton is a college town with TWO major universities. Very student-oriented.

    Right now I am going for my BFA in drawing and painting, and plan to transfer to UT Austin for my Masters in illustration. Oddly enough, the TA for my drawing lab is a grad student that did just the opposite: undergrad at Austin and transferred up here to complete her grad studies. I've been meaning to ask her reasons behind that decision...
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    Didn't read the whole thread, so sorry if it's been said already.

    If he ever brings up that 'banana outlet' piece again, ask him why the bananas represent the outlet, or atleast why those weird yellow blobs are supposed to represent an outlet.

    If he just says 'because it's abstract' or some other shit, well you've got him right there; abstract art is by defenition NON-representational. It's not supposed to be an outlet or a dog or a tree, it's just there. At most it could represent or try to invoke an emotion.

    If it IS representational art and what he shows is supposed to BE something, then there should be some REASONING behind why he chose to represent an outlet with some yellow blobs. If he has no reason, then he's engaging in pure self-indulgence and should not be a teacher.

    My 2 cents.

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    When dealing with assholes that are higher up on the foodchain than you, just grin and bear it politely. It doesn't pay to be abrasive, so just go with the flow and draw whatever crap he wants when you're in his class. Putting in effort just to have it bashed is counter productive, so think of it as an opportunity to fuck around. Who knows, you might learn something.

    Es fliet durch meine Venen, Es schlft in meinen Trnen
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