ART PROF Intern: Jordan McCracken-Foster


The moment I knew Jordan was a true art nerd (like the rest of us who work on ART PROF) was when he told me that he once decided in high school that he was going to draw 1,000 heads and hands.  How many high school students do you know who sign on for a task like that voluntarily?  We even have proof of his drawing mission from high school:  you can see Jordan tracking his numbers in the lower right hand corner of this page of head drawings below.


The first year of art school, which is when I met Jordan, is probably one of the most intense experiences you can have as an artist.  For many students, the work load is overwhelming and it’s tough to see clearly, much less make visible progress in your classes.  Jordan’s breakthrough came in the 4th week of class, when he walked into class with this beautifully composed lithographic crayon drawing of a gigantic seed pod. I had been on him in the first two critiques about his composition skills, which were dull and static. This drawing below blew the other two drawings totally out of the water. This was Jordan’s first major milestone in my class, and I still remember it clearly. You can see the other drawings Jordan did in my class here.


I love it when former students pop into my class spontaneously, so it was great to reconnect with Jordan when showed up to say hi one day. Another part that I really enjoy seeing is what my former students make after they leave my class.  Below is a drawing Jordan did as an Illustration major-the progress he has made since those 1,000 heads and hands in high school, and even the seed pod drawing above is tremendous! If you want to see more of Jordan’s work, you can see his Behance portfolio here. Let’s hear from Jordan now:


“Hi everyone! My name is Jordan and I’m currently a rising senior at RISD in the Illustration department. I’m originally from Los Angeles, the place where the sun always shines and the traffic never stops. When I was in high school, I (thankfully) received a very lucrative art education program learning about figure drawing, form/volume, and things of that nature.

However, I will say that a lot of my art education also came from online platforms like YouTube and studying some of my favorite artists like LeSean Thomas, Ryan Benjamin, and Seung Eun Kim.

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When I came to RISD, Clara was my very first drawing professor. I’m happy to say that I am a survivor of Clara’s Freshman Drawing class. Being her former student, I can confirm that the techniques and lessons that will be expressed in this project will be incredibly helpful to any artist; and this is why we are so excited to bring ART PROF to the world! I know for a fact that ART PROF will encourage anyone out there who, like me, earnestly desires to grow in his or her art making skills. When I’m not doing art, I enjoy reading, taking nature walks, and finding a good burrito place.”


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.

Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.

ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


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