The semester is drawing to an end at both RISD and Wellesley College. At the end of the semester, I ask students from both schools to fill out a “Final Self-Critique” form that allows them to take the time to think about and reflect upon their experience in class this semester. The process is an important from both ends: students are able to articulate what their accomplishments, realizations, and areas to improve, while I’m able to get further insight on their thoughts.
After reading through the self-critique forms, I compile anonymous excerpts from the forms and send them to the class. Below I’ve listed some excerpts from my Freshman Drawing course at RISD, and my Drawing I course at Wellesley College. The excerpts have an amazing range of thoughts and opinions: they’re insightful, intelligent, funny, revealing, engaging, serious, and much more.
If I don’t put it down on paper, I’ll never know what might have happened
I think this class was about learning how to learn.
I realized that it was impossible to get people understand my drawing when I
myself couldn’t really understand what I was doing.
What may seem like a good idea to me may seem like a bad one to everyone
I’ve learned that there are so many other ways to go. It’s like I was living
in the first dimension unaware of all other possibilities, but now, I know
that there are infinities of infinities that I can explore.
I learned that I still don’t know much about myself.
I’ve learned that I must think about everything I do and the effect it will
have because when I don’t, someone will most definitely notice and comment
For the first time, I am excited to do work that has a purpose.
I guess I have to lose myself to be able to find myself again.
I find that I am most interested in an assignment if I have an innovative concept.
I think the most valuable habit I gained from this course is almost a new way of viewing the world. Now, nearly everywhere I look I think about how I would approach what I see in a drawing.
I feel that I learned most from the assignments where I made the most mistakes.
I learned how to look at the things around me not as single objects but as a compositional unity.
With each drawing I went through so many emotions, frustration, fear, anger excitement.
I also learned that it will get worse before it gets better.
I feel less of a need to have my drawings look a specific way and instead let them morph into what they can be.