by Clara Lieu
We are truly in the home stretch for the site launch: I finished up editing the final video for the site launch last night. I’ve been working on preparing content for the site launch around the clock, and there have been some very late nights with just a few hours of sleep. All I can say is, I will be really, really glad when we finally go live!
When I look back on the past 3 years, it’s crazy to think how much has changed in the project. While the fundamental concept of Art Prof is still the same, the delivery and presentation of our content could not be more different than when I started back in 2014. It’s been really challenging to constantly revise our content and formats all the time. We often times spent many hours preparing content and getting everything set up, only to decide to scrap it a few days later. I’m used to throwing out artwork, but definitely not to the degree that we have done on Art Prof. This is a completely different scenario as well, because when I decide to scrap something it affects our entire staff, not just me.
On the other hand, I am also confident that those major changes vastly improved our content. I know that it’s so tempting to keep something because you don’t want to throw out something you slaved over, but I’m glad we didn’t keep things that obviously weren’t working. One of my greatest concerns has been efficiency, distilling our content to the most core essentials and delivering it in the most clear, succinct way possible. So much of our process was just shaving down our content to the barest essentials, which is much harder than it sounds!
Art Prof has hands down been the most ambitious project I have ever worked on. One of the toughest parts is the multiple roles I’ve had to take on, I think if I listed all of my roles, it would be something like: director, video editor, production designer, writer, manager, publicist, webmaster, accountant, producer, chauffeur, cook, janitor, mover, buyer, wake up service, “hotel” manager, travel agent, interior designer, art director, photographer, and more…
I’m hoping that at some point I’ll have fewer roles, because it’s making me a little nuts to have to be responsible for so many parts of the project. But with projects like this, you quickly realize that because you don’t have a large budget, if you don’t do it, it simply won’t get done. I realized that Art Prof will only go as far as I want it to go. Given my compulsive attitude about doing nothing half way, I decided early on that Art Prof is going ALL THE WAY!
Sometimes, when I find myself doing grunt work like getting on my hands and knees scrubbing paint off the floor, I wonder how I got here. On the other hand, it always makes me think of the elementary school principal I used to work with many years ago. I taught at a private elementary school in a posh neighborhood, and sometimes when I was at the school late, I would hear the principal throwing garbage bags from each floor down the stairs. I was always baffled to see the principal, who had this lovely classy office and who wore a bow tie and suit every day, taking out the trash. Then I remember that he literally started the school all by himself, with only 3 students the first year. After Art Prof, I totally understand why he still took out the trash after so many years.
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ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts which provides equal access to art education for people of all ages and means.
Portfolio Video Critiques for Art Students & Artists
Prof Clara Lieu offers 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for students working on a portfolio for art school admission, and for artists of any age working on their artwork. Watch a sample below, and get more info here.
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories, and post select submissions on our Instagram and other sites throughout the month. Use #artprofwip and Prof Clara Lieu might just stop by and give you some feedback! We have a special prize for art teachers who assign the Art Dare to one of their classes. More info is here.
Ask the Art Prof Live was a weekly live video broadcast on our Facebook page where Prof Clara Lieu provided 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. Prof Lieu discussed being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more.