Ask the Art Prof Live #5: Starting Art School, Avoiding Cliches


00:00
“I got accepted into my top choice of art schools this year.  I’m super excited, but I’m also really nervous and don’t really know what to expect. The art program at my high school wasn’t very good, and I’m worried that I’m going to be really inexperienced compared to the other students. What are your tips for starting art school?”

03:04
Work with other students on your art school projects, be a cheerleader for each other!

Charcoal Drawings of Bones

05:30
Talk to your professors, and ask for help.

09:08
Learn to separate yourself from your art in a group critique.

11:46
Start early, avoid the marathon the night before, spread out your work over several days.


15:15
“What are common cliches and design mistakes you see in students? How do you think those can be worked on or avoided?”
Mentioned: Leon Golub, Kathe Kollwitz, Delacroix

Image_Leon Golub    images    Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple


17:22
Research your art media
Mentioned: Rodin, Bourdelle, Degas, Giacometti

hb_11.173.3    45686-12    hb_29.100.395    download


18:20
Get the cliches out of your system, and then eliminate them.


19:38
The “Layers” assignment in my RISD Freshman Drawing class.

neal_uno


21:20
Ask for feedback early on, several times, before the group critique.

Final Crit
22:53
A self-portrait becomes a penis.


The next live video broadcast will be Thursday, May 12 at 9:30pm EST.  Like my Facebook page, and you’ll get notification when the live video begins.


Ask the Art Prof Live is a weekly live video broadcast on my Facebook page where I provide professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Ask me your questions by commenting on the live video post as the video streams, and I’ll answer right away. I’ll discuss being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more. Like my Facebook page and you’ll receive a notification when each live video begins.


Related Live Videos
#4: Oversaturation, Brainstorming, Beginning a Series
#3: Personal Themes, Never Too Late to Start Drawing
#2: Aches While Drawing, Professional Artwork vs. Student Artwork
#1: Graduate MFA Programs


Subscribe to my email list! I send announcements only a few times a year. There’s a big announcement coming up in a few weeks that you won’t want to miss.

Recent Video Critiques of Student Art Portfolios for College & Art School Admission

Student Portfolio for college/art school admission by Emily Jiang


I’ve been doing video critiques on student portfolios for college/art school admission for a few months now, and just recently began doing video critiques for professional artists. Many people have commented what a great learning experience it was for them to listen to these critiques. For this reason, I’m now offering the option to have your video critique featured here on my blog, on my Facebook page, and on my Youtube channel. You can choose to have your critique featured anonymously, with your name, or to keep it private.

I’ve also had people inquire about purchasing artworks seen in the video critiques. I am happy to connect artists with anyone who is interested in their artwork. More information on my video critique program is here.

Student Portfolio for college/art school admission by Dessery Dai


For many students who begin art school, group critiques are an unfamiliar format of discussion that takes some adjustment. It’s quite common that the vast majority of students people make an initial assumption that the only interesting part of a group critique is when their own artwork is being discussed.  On the contrary, pretty much all of my students talk about how beneficial it is to hear how someone else’s artwork is received and discussed.  What’s especially interesting is to witness the range of reactions and feedback other artworks facilitate, this really can dramatically broaden your awareness as an artist.

Final Crit

One of the reasons hearing other people’s critiques is so effective is that when it’s not your artwork being discussed, you can listen to the critique much more objectively.  I know for most artists, (myself included) at times we are so close to the artwork and stuck in our own heads, that it can be tough to distance yourself and absorb critical feedback.

More video critiques are coming soon, and they’re related to my big announcement which will be revealed in a few weeks. Let’s just say that these video critiques are a tiny appetizer compared to what’s coming soon. Don’t miss the big news!  Subscribe to my email list today.


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“What are common mistakes in college portfolio submissions?”
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The Biggest, Scariest, Most Exciting Project I’ve Ever Worked on

IMG_7882

Throughout my life as a student, professor, and artist,  I’ve worked on numerous projects, all of which have challenged me in different ways. I’m always looking for new artistic initiatives that will build upon my prior experience, but that will get me to exercise new muscles and take on new risks that will stretch me to new places I didn’t even know existed.

My graduate thesis Digging was the first time I had considered creating an interdisciplinary project, where multiple bodies of work in contrasting media existed under the umbrella of one core concept. Wading was a project where I began to explore a new depth of emotion and atmosphere in my work  that I had previously avoided. Falling was by far my most ambitious project at that point: the sheer quantity of drawings, prints, and sculpture that I produced, combined with the deeply personal subject of my long history with depression, demanded an immense emotional and professional investment that I had never experienced before.

Clay Portrait Sculpture

My mystery project, which will be announced in a few weeks is a completely different beast than all of these prior projects.  I see this new project as a culmination of literally every single experience I have ever had in my entire life.  It encompasses the moment I was able to pick up a pencil and draw as a young child,  the rush of joy working in my elementary school art class, my anger and frustration as a high school student desperately to find a way to rigorously study visual arts, the euphoria of attending art school, teaching studio art at the elementary, high school, and college level, working as a gallery director, and finally, my ongoing studio practice as a professional artist over the past 16 years.

The tasks involved in this project could not be more diverse and different than what I’ve done in the past: I’ve sifted through archives of photos I shot 15 years ago, revisited wrinkled paper handouts given to me by my professors when I was a student, rummaged into the corners of closets to find tools and art supplies that have been hibernating for years, reconnected with former students, colleagues, and friends, and asking for help and favors from people I’ve never met before-and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Inevitably, everything I take on asks me to draw from my previous experience in some form, but this project is on an entirely new scale that for me is completely unprecedented. In general, I have a monstrous work ethic, and I’ve always been known for attacking my projects and teaching with a feral vigor that can be intimidating for some people. Relatively speaking, the intensity and amount of work I’ve invested into this project makes it appear as if I’ve been slacking off for the past 20 years.

instagram_001

Sara BloemCasey Roonan  •  Annie Irwin •  Lauryn Welch
Yves-Olivier Mandereau  • Alex Rowe


Another major difference is that I’m not alone in this project.  I have an amazing partner who I feel so incredibly fortunate to have met, an outstanding team of 6 former students, (see above) and a group of 9 interns.  The extraordinary momentum that we’ve built together over the past year and a half has been tremendous.  In my rough moments of doubt and worry, my team has picked me up and pushed me forward with their unwavering support and zeal. They have brought a range of expertise, opinions, and perspectives that cannot exist in one person. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, and I feel constantly energized by everyone’s collective passion and dedication to this project.

Don’t miss our big announcement in a few weeks, subscribe to my email list and find out what’s been happening over the past year and a half!


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Ask the Art Prof Live #4: Oversaturation, Brainstorming, Beginning a Series

 

02:31
Balancing periods of absorption and periods of isolation.


04:55
Go to the library and look at art books!
Mentioned: Caravaggio, August Edouart’s Silhouettes of Eminent Americans

Caravaggio, Oil Painting, The Doubting of St. Thomas    August Edouarte's Silhouettes


09:01
Non-art related influences
Mentioned:  Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto, Being Mortal, Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, The Lost Art Of Healing by Bernard Lown

Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto   Atul Gawande, Being Mortal   Awakenings by Oliver Sacks   The Lost Art of Healing, by Dr. Bernard Lown


11:01
Brainstorming: keep “barfing”


17:01
Starting an art series:  striking a balance between consistency and variety
Mentioned: Quantum Leap, TV series

Quantum Leap


The next live video broadcast will be Thursday, May 5 at 9:30pm EST.  Like my Facebook page, and you’ll get notification when the live video begins.


Ask the Art Prof Live is a weekly live video broadcast on my Facebook page where I provide professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Ask me your questions by commenting on the live video post as the video streams, and I’ll answer right away. I’ll discuss being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more. Like my Facebook page and you’ll receive a notification when each live video begins.


Related Live Videos
#5:  Starting Art School, Avoiding Cliches
#3:  Personal Themes, Never Too Late to Start Drawing
#2:  Aches While Drawing, Professional Artwork vs. Student Artwork
#1:  Graduate MFA Programs


Subscribe to my email list! I send announcements only a few times a year. There’s a big announcement coming up in a few weeks that you won’t want to miss.

The Visual Arts Resource that Didn’t Exist, and that Still Doesn’t 

Ed Emberley

My mother likes to tell me that I learned to draw before I learned to talk.  I drew voraciously as a child, and some of my favorite drawing books were by the children’s book author and illustrator Ed Emberley. His drawings are so quirky, playful, and incredibly expressive.  The instructions in his books are delightfully simple and easy to follow. There are so many god awful instructional drawing books out there for kids, and Ed Emberley’s books are unique, timeless classics that still resonate with me today as a professional artist.  I’ve been reliving moments from my childhood with his drawings with my own kids, who draw daily from his books. There’s something very special about seeing an image you haven’t seen in 30 years, but upon seeing it, feeling as though you drew it yesterday.

Ed_Emberley

On the back page of Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals, is the above image. I found Emberley’s statement so remarkably poignant and moving.  So often I see long, pretentious explanations for why artists do what they do. Emberley’s statement is right to the point, and so incredibly honest and genuine.

I kept thinking about Emberley’s statement over the past few days.  His words relate to the motivation for my forthcoming project, which is going to be announced in a few weeks. Essentially, my project is for me, what Ed Emberley’s books were for him.   I desperately craved a rigorous, comprehensive visual arts resource in high school, but nothing like that existed.  Twenty years later, there is still nothing out there that measures up to what I wanted as a teenager.  Now I’m taking action to change that. Don’t miss the big release, subscribe to my email list today!

On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA


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Sneak Peek

My pie in the sky from October 2014 is no longer pie in the sky…subscribe to my email list to make sure you don’t miss the big news!

On the set of ART PROF at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA


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Ask the Art Prof Live #3: Personal Themes, Never Too Late to Start Drawing


00:00

Is it a bad idea to show deeply personal themes in your artwork?
Mentioned: Nan Goldin, Edgar Degas

Nan Goldin     Degas Dancer Adjusting laces


Student drawing based on flashbacks of his mother’s death:

MO8


Student drawing based on Starbucks:

Starbucks


05:36
Artists have to be able to speak about their artwork.

Student drawing about her personal conflict about her religion:

SB8


12:52
Am I too old to start learning drawing?

Edgar Degas’ figure sculptures:

Degas Figure Sculpture

Henri Matisse’s cut out collages:

Matisse Collage


17:18
Experience can be a crutch for some students.


Ask the Art Prof Live is a weekly live video broadcast on my Facebook page where I provide professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Ask me your questions by commenting on the live video post as the video streams, and I’ll answer right away. I’ll discuss being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more. Like my Facebook page and you’ll receive a notification when each live video begins.


Related Live Videos
#5:  Starting Art School, Avoiding Cliches
#4:  Oversaturation, Brainstorming, Beginning a Series
#2:  Aches While Drawing, Professional Artwork vs. Student Artwork
#1:  Graduate MFA Programs


Subscribe to my email list! I send announcements only a few times a year.