Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) with the Art Prof

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This week I did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) in the subreddit /learnart. Below are some of the questions people asked, and you can read the entire thread with my (very long) responses here.


“What do you think is the most prevalent difference between self-taught artists and those who have gone to art school(s)? Are there any benefits of being self-taught, aside from the money issue?”

“How does an artist learn to see?”

“In the art world right now do you think that the business aspect of becomes more important due to the high competitiveness?”

“In your years teaching at RISD, what are characteristics that successful students have in common? Have you noticed similarities?”

“What is your opinion on digital art? I have noticed that digital art is sometimes disregarded as not quite being art since you have access to tools not available in traditional art.”

“Do you have any tips/websites/books/blogs on how a student can find their own voice, how to express it? And how to teach that to a student, or at least guide them in knowing how to express themselves verbally and through their work?”

“I spent most of my life drawing in pencil, and find that I have a very poor understanding of light and color. Could you recommend any exercises that I could complete in an hour every day that would best help with improving color and light comprehension?”

“I am an emerging artist. I have tried to contact commercial art galleries but there’s no interest. My press releases to art magazines and traditional media are ignored. How can I get more exposure to the right people, collectors looking for emerging artists who can judge by themselves the merit of a piece of art?”


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

Giveaway Critique Winner #1: Jeff Wrench

Giveaway #3 starts today! Win an “Audio Crit Pack,”see giveaway #1 winner’s Crit Pack below. To enter, do one of the following by Wed., May 25, 11:59pm EST:

The winner will receive directions to submit their art which is due Mon., May 30. Winners’ art & critiques will be posted on my blog. You can be posted 1) anonymously, 2) with your name or 3) with your name & website.


Check out our first giveaway winner, Jeff Wrench:

Jeff_Wrench

Jeff Wrench, “Chelsea Rose”, acrylic paint on wallpaper and paint chips, 11″ x 17″
Visit Jeff’s website

“This painting is from an an ongoing series of portraits on wallpaper and paint chips, based on my snapshots or (in this case) photos provided by someone I’ve met online. I’m trying to paint intuitively and quickly. I am interested in rough, semi-abstract marks and colors that still converge into convincing and recognizable images. The found background is another source uncertainty in the process and opportunity for happy accidents. If successful, I think such an painting can ‘vibrate’ in the viewer’s mind, and maybe excite the imagination in ways that a realistic rendering would not.”


Casey Roonan, Teaching Assistant
Casey Roonan, Illustrator & Cartoonist
“Stay open, and keep asking yourself questions, and try to really be conscious of all the decisions you’re making.”
Mentioned: Lucien Freud, Alice Neel


Sara Bloem, Teaching Assistant
Sara Bloem, Multimedia Artist
“I want more information about how you’re choosing the subjects of these pieces.”
Mentioned: Jean Arp


Lauryn Welch, Teaching Assistant
Lauryn Welch, Painter & Performance Artist
“I love the idea that something can be seen both as a collection of patterns, as well as having a character to it, like an identity.”
Mentioned: Jenny Saville, Euan Uglow, Chantal Joffe, Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard


Clara Lieu, Visual Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
Clara Lieu, Fine Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
“I want to know more information, more specificity, for example, where did you meet this person online?”
Mentioned: Frank Auerbach, Lucien Freud, Francis BaconOskar Kokschka


Follow up from Jeff on our critiques:

“Clara, this was great for someone like me — I’m not in school and I haven’t really found a way to get thoughtful input on my art. And mostly when I’ve found someone who I trust to give input, it’s been about the actual painting process — while much of the input here was about concepts. So that was new/surprising/interesting to me. Many of the critique comments highlight things I hadn’t explicitly thought about, so I am excited that pursuing these ideas may lead me to some interesting development. Thanks to all four of you!”


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

Ask the Art Prof Live # 7: How do I Improve My Art? How do I find My Artistic Style?

0:26
Other than “keep practicing,” how do I improve my art?

01:53
Set short term and long term goals.

05:14
Recognize your automatic pilot and the plateau.

06:39
Build in periods of experimentation.


09:58
How do I find my artistic style? Related article.
Mentioned: Picasso and Cubism


11:57
Style doesn’t develop overnight. Jackson Pollock


13:34
Try everything! Be a restaurant critic and sample everything that exists.
Former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni’s memoir “Born Round
Mentioned:  mezzotint, lithography, intaglio printmaking


15:36
Make a series


16:48
Your style will keep evolving. Alberto Giacometti


The next live video broadcast will be Thursday, May 26 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
#6: Teaching High School Art, Teaching Color
#5:  Starting Art School, Avoiding Cliches
#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 mid June that you won’t want to miss.

Free Art Portfolio Review Event in Concord, MA

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FREE ART PORTFOLIO REVIEW EVENT
For artists of all ages!

Print

Concord Center for the Visual Arts
37 Lexington Rd., Concord, MA, 01742
(978) 369-2578

Sunday, June 19, 12-4pm

Bring your art portfolio and get 1 or more 15 minute reviews from professional artists. Unique opportunity to receive diverse feedback from several trusted professionals all in one day! Great chance for art students and professional artists seeking support on their work, and for high school students working on a portfolio for college admission. You don’t even have to get a review to attend this event-we’ll set up the event to create an open environment where everyone can see other artist portfolios, and learn from listening to everyone else’s critiques. This event is free, but registration is required to be guaranteed a review.


Can’t make it to this event?
3 more free portfolio/critique events and a major art education project are coming in June and July!
Stay tuned by subscribing to our email list.
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Still can’t come? Check out my art portfolio video critiques & Ask the Art Prof


Contact

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Portfolio Requirements
Please bring 5-8 artworks created in any media for your portfolio. Neatly organize your portfolios in advance to ensure an efficient review. We strongly prefer to see actual artwork, but we are willing to view artwork on laptops/tablets. (no phones)


Registration
This event is free, but registration is required to be guaranteed a review.
If you want to only look at portfolios and listen to critiques, no registration is necessary. Please register for a maximum of 2 slots. Register here.  If you sign up for more than 2 slots, we will delete the extra slots. If there are still slots open the day of the event, slots will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis at our information table. At that point, you can sign up for as many reviews as you want. You are welcome to show up the day of the event without registering in advance, however we cannot guarantee that you will receive a review. If you are not present at your slot time, your slot will be given to someone else. Feel free to RSVP on our Facebook event


Portfolio Reviewers

Clara Lieu is an Adjunct Professor at RISD, and a fine artist who works in drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. She wrote “Ask the Art Prof,” an advice column for visual artists for the Huffington Post for 3 years, and now hosts a weekly live video broadcast of the column on her Facebook page.  Watch her video critiques here.


Cynthia Katz is a photographer and has taught photography and bookbinding in the Visual Arts Department at Concord Academy for over 20 years. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout galleries in New England.


Wendy Seller is a fine artist working in digital media, painting, and photographic images. She has taught at Simmons College and RISD, and has had her work exhibited throughout galleries and museums in New England. Recently she was awarded an artist-in-residence fellowship by the Ballinglen Foundation.


Casey Roonan is a freelance illustrator and a cartoonist. Casey does editorial illustrations for the blog Narratively, and other clients. He writes and edit an anthology-format comic book called Ciambella with Mike Karpiel. Listen to one of Casey’s critiques here.


Lauryn Welch is a painter and performance artist who teaches at the Peterborough Art Academy.  Her artwork was featured on the cover of Art New England, and was recently shown in “Portraits, Expanded” at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.


Sara Bloem is a multimedia artist working in drawing and installation. She was recently an artist-in-residence at the University of Indonesia, where she worked on a series of drawings exploring multiculturalism. Listen to one of Sara’s critiques here.


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.

Crit Quickies on Instagram

“Crit Quickies” are 30 second art critiques on my Instagram. Submit! Post your art with @claralieu, #artprof, and “Crit Quickie.” Art must be submitted by the artist who made the artwork, so if you’re a teacher, you can tell your students about Crit Quickies and they can post themselves!

Winners will get their Crit Quickie posted on my Instagram!


Video Critique Program
I offer 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for aspiring/professional artists working on a body of artwork, and for students working on a portfolio for college admission. Watch sample video critiques and get more info here.


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.

Giveaway #2: Free Audio Critique Pack

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We’re doing another giveaway! This week, one lucky person is going to win an “Audio Crit Pack,” a 2 minute audio critique from myself, and artists Yves-Olivier Mandereau, Annie Irwin, and Alex Rowe on one of their artworks. (total critique time is 8 minutes) Getting feedback on your artwork can be challenging if you’re not in school, and here’s a unique opportunity to get trusted advice from not one, but four professional artists!

To enter, do one of the following by Wed., May 18, 11:59pm EST:

  1. Subscribe to my email list
  2. Post my Ask the Art Prof page to your Facebook status; be sure to use #artprof and make your post public so we can find it.
  3. Like my Facebook page.
  4. Retweet my tweet about this giveaway.
  5. Reblog my Ask the Art Prof page on your WordPress blog.

I will email/message the winner this week with directions for how to submit their artwork and a text statement (maximum 100 words) or an audio recording (maximum length 1 minute) to accompany their artwork.  The artwork is due Monday, May 23. If the winner doesn’t submit their artwork by that deadline, we’ll pick another winner.

Please note that if you win this giveaway, your artwork and audio critiques will be posted here on my blog. You can have your artwork posted either 1) anonymously, 2) with your name or 3) with your name linked to your website.


Below is a sample Audio Crit Pack:

Student Collage

25″ x 15″, cut paper collage on mat board

“’I wear makeup because I hate my face,’ is a truth that drives my lengthy morning ritual. I used collage because I wanted to mimic the mishmash of packaging in my makeup bag, and to give the piece a graphic style reminiscent of magazine advertising. I used a clear paint medium on paper to create glossy lids, a razor blade to score ridges, and experimented with translucent paper.  I recreated my makeup collection, complete with labels explaining the true intention of each product, instead of its actual labeling.”


Casey Roonan, Teaching Assistant
Casey Roonan, Illustrator & Cartoonist
“You could think about it this way: What role are these elements playing on a metaphorical level?”
Mentioned: Maira Kalman, Claude Cahun


Sara Bloem, Teaching Assistant
Sara Bloem, Multimedia Artist
“Use your materials to show that tension more clearly. Let your materials tell the story too.”
Mentioned: Louise Bourgeois


Yves-Olivier Mandereau, Teaching Assistant
Yves-Olivier Mandereau, Designer, Ceramic Artist
“This piece can definitely resonate with a lot of different people.”
Mentioned:  Barbara Kruger, Mickalene ThomasCindy Sherman


Clara Lieu, Visual Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
Clara Lieu, Fine Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
“What’s so striking to me about this piece is the absolute, brutal honesty of the text statement.”


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.

Ask the Art Prof Live #6: Teaching High School Art, Teaching Color

 

00:34
What are the most important things a high school art teacher can do to help their students?

03:16
The importance of instilling enthusiasm for visual arts at the high school level.

07:43
Teachers need to establish trust with their students

Clay Portrait Sculpture

08:48
A high school student’s story:  Teacher “A” and Teacher “B”

11:18
Keep the classroom mood light, celebrity gossip and the Kardashians

Clay Portrait Sculpture


14:36
How do you approach color? How do you teach color?

16:45
Color is about relationships

17:53
Colors are like people

Edgar_Germain_Hilaire_Degas_032

20:23
Light and dark contrast in color:  Edgar Degas

21:26
The importance of muted colors

Degas.etoile

23:57
How I learned to really mix colors:  three colors for an entire college semester


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
#7: How do I Improve My Art?  How do I Find My Artistic Style?
#5:  Starting Art School, Avoiding Cliches
#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.