Many Roles at Art Prof

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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.

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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…

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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.

Don’t miss the site launch, it’s seriously just around the corner!!!  Subscribe to our email list to be notified. 

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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.

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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.


ART DARES
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.

Embracing the Artist Process

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by Casey Roonan, Art Prof Teaching Assistant

There was a long time after art school when I felt like I was just spinning my wheels. I’ve always been a very product-oriented thinker, and throughout art school I treated both class assignments and freelance projects as problems to solve. I loved the challenge of finding a visual solution and the perfect art media or format to express it. If the first image that popped into my head was at all workable, I would go for it. There wasn’t room for exploration. I was excited just to skip to the end.

When I was home on break I would give myself the objective of completing a comic book every summer, each time increasing my target page count. In a sense, I was doing exactly what I used to do as a kid when I would steal stacks of printer paper from my Dad’s office, staple them together, draw a “cover” on the first page, and then fill in from there… I was starting with the product first, then working backwards. The primary difference was that now I would at least finish the booklet, instead of just wasting office supplies.

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That approach worked for me at the time, and I’m still proud of a lot of the art I made during those years. But shortly after graduation, I found I no longer was finishing the little booklets I dreamt up in my head… I’d start in on those preliminary sketches, and then things would sputter out before I could move onto the final artwork. I was stuck in my sketchbook. Without school deadlines to push me, I found I couldn’t prioritize one idea over another. How did I know a concept was good? Which product was actually worth making? I was filling up sketchbook after sketchbook with fragmented, half-imagined notions and unresolved doodles. Everything looked awful. I was wasting paper, again!

Paradoxically, my only solace from making such bad drawings came from… well, making more bad drawings. I began regularly hanging out with my old high school art buddy, Mike Karpiel, and we started making “jam” comics: We would pass our sketchbooks back and forth, trading off panels in collaborative comic strips. We drew directly on the page in pen – crummy pens, even – without any kind of forethought or pencil under-drawing.

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Jam comics with Mike Karpiel


The goal wasn’t to make drawings that looked good, as we didn’t plan on showing them to anyone. The point of the exercise was to pass the time, to riff, to surprise the other person with a weird twist, and to make each other laugh. At first we would work at my place or his, but soon we were drawing while hanging out at coffee shops, or in bars. We started incorporating characters and objects from our surroundings into the strips. Suddenly, I was drawing from observation again! Not in the way I used to when I was going to figure drawing sessions in art school, however… In an unprecedented way, I was taking in my every-day surroundings, and drawing from my life as opposed to simply “from life.”

My sketchbooks started to look completely different. I’d tricked myself into enjoying drawing again. I started treating drawing as a process, rather than a means to an end.

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Lately I’ve been drawing virtually everyday, and I do it for a number of different reasons. I doodle aimlessly to get my mind moving. I brainstorm by drawing directly with my black pen, to fully resolve ideas as they come to me. I sketch out compositions in pencil for my freelance work. Before starting a finished piece, I warm up with blind contour drawings in colored ink, using photos I find on Instagram, magazines, or old yearbooks as my references.

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Teaching Assistants Casey Roonan with Yves-Olivier Mandereau on the Art Prof set


I carry smaller sketchbooks with me when I go out, so I can capture the faces I see, and I draw “master copies” of the art when I go to museums. I draw on top of the lists I make compulsively to keep myself on task, or over my notes for future projects. If something feels compelling I redraw it, over and over again. The disparate ideas gradually come together. Initially unrelated influences meet and become coherent.

I mark an especially interesting idea by leaving an empty page following it – a space to resolve the concept more fully in the future, when I’m nearing the end of the book and my need to just fill it becomes undeniable. As a result of all of this, I’ve probably doubled or tripled the amount of paper I stack up on a regular basis, but at least now those pages are filled.


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.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

subscribe


FB  Youtube   tumblr   Pinterest   LinkedIn   Instagram   Twitter   snap_chat  email  etsy


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.


ART DARES
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.

Just Show up

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by Yves-Olivier Mandereau, Art Prof Teaching Assistant

As an artist, it is all too easy to sit around and wait for some elusive and imaginary muse to tap you on the shoulder. If we fall into that expectation, we will never get anything done. But as Woody Allen said, “80% of life is just showing up.” That is especially difficult for us as artists, because for the most part, our studio practice is up to us. Unlike working at a cafe or an office where you have to essentially punch your time card upon arrival, studio habits have to be diligently formed to induce the creative process. Creating art is less about motivation to create something beautiful, but more about forming habits of making.

During my sophomore year at school, I got frustrated when my pottery wasn’t yielding the results I wanted. I would sit at the wheel and throw for a bit, but would quickly dislike what was in front of me. In my frustration I would go for a walk, or grab a coffee, and wait ‘till I felt inspired.’ Maybe I was waiting for the right form or shape, who knows. This went on for about a month. When I realized that I wasn’t experimenting with the material enough, I committed to 5 hours a day on the wheel. This was essentially a way to experiment all the tricks and techniques I had been compiling from online videos, and books.

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Yves-Olivier on the Art Prof set with Prof Clara Lieu


What I realized was that as I was futzing around, I would get bits of inspiration and would ‘run with it.’ In the span of the week I had managed to experiment with the material, and I had enough work to fill a kiln—and I liked what I had made. None of that inspiration would have come to me had I waited on my couch for it to come. Had I not experimented to see what cooking oil would do on the wheel; or what happened when I poured lighter fluid inside a piece and lit it on fire; I would not have gotten the expansive results I had. Within all the experiments I picked my favorites, I wrote down my process for each, and crossed off experiments I had on my to-do list.

Just show up to your studio and put in the hours. At some point in between all the ugly paintings and scribbles that you’ll never show anyone, you’ll get some beautiful work.

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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.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

subscribe


FB  Youtube   tumblr   Pinterest   LinkedIn   Instagram   Twitter   snap_chat  email  etsy


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.


ART DARES
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.

Art Class Critique with Students at the El Haynes High School

 

Art Teacher Lana Gloschat’s class at the El Haynes High school in Washington DC won the Art Teacher’s prize for our October Art Dare! The prize is a class critique; each student submits one artwork of their choice which I do a video critique on.  While it’s great to get feedback from a teacher who knows you very well, I think it’s also helpful to get a critique from someone who doesn’t know you at all. Critique is subjective, that I think it’s great to absorb as many different point of views as you can.

Hope you’re participate in our February Art Dare, “RAPID FIRE DRAWING.”  Get more info on guidelines/prizes/tips here.

Art Prof February Art Dare


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.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

subscribe


FB  Youtube   tumblr   Pinterest   LinkedIn   Instagram   Twitter   snap_chat  email  etsy


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.

ART DARES
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.

Enter the February Art Dare!

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“RAPID FIRE DRAWING”
When Prof Lieu’s daughter was in 1st grade, she would come home with these drawing charts. This month, draw responses for each word on one (or more) of our charts!

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Requirements
Print a hard copy of a chart from below. Draw directly on the hard copy chart with any 2D media.  You must fill in every box on at least 1 chart to qualify, brownie points for doing more than 1!

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To Submit
Post your chart on Instagram, tag us @art.prof  w/ #artprofdare. Or, post your chart on our Facebook page.  Use #artprofwip and one of our staff may stop by and give you feedback!

 We feature your submissions on our Instagram and Facebook page too!
Submissions close Tues., Feb. 28 @ 11:59pm EST
Questions?  Comment below or Email us.

Subscribe to the Art Dares email list and be notified on the first day of each month!

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Artist Prizes
We award prizes in categories based on the submissions we receive. In the past, prizes we’ve given have included “Tremendous Improvement,” “Innovative Brainstorming,” and Honorable Mentions. To be eligible for a prize, your artwork must be created specifically for this Art Dare, and follow all guidelines.

Prize winners receive: Prof Lieu’s book Learn, Create and Teach + a 10 min. Q&A audio response to 1-2 questions about any art related topic. Your audio will be from 2 Art Prof Teaching Assistants.  Honorable mentions will win an Art Prof sticker set.

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Art Teacher’s Prize
Art Teachers: assign this Art Dare to one of your classes!
For your class to be eligible, each student must complete at least 3 charts. 

One class will win a large Art Prof sticker for each student, and a class video critique from Prof Lieu. (watch below) In the class video critique, each student will receive a 1 minute critique on an artwork of their choice. Limit of 25 students. Grades 8 and up are eligible.

Submission Guidelines for Art Teachers
If you have an Instagram for your classroom, post your students’ responses there. Encourage your students to post on their own accounts as well!
For each submission, tag us @art.prof w/ #artprofdare.

You can also submit via DropBox or Google Drive.  Place your students’ artworks in a folder, and then share the folder to Prof Lieu‘s email.


Related Articles
How Do You Begin to Think Conceptually as a Visual Artist?
How Do Visual Artists Come Up with Ideas for their Art?
How to Brainstorm
When Should a Visual Artist Let Go of an Idea?


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.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

subscribe


FB  Youtube   tumblr   Pinterest   LinkedIn   Instagram   Twitter   snap_chat  email  etsy


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.

ART DARES
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.


Video Editing Hibernation

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by Clara Lieu

Although I’m now fairly proficient with using Premiere to edit video, I’m still learning more every day about the editing process.  I’m constantly looking for ways to make my editing process more efficient, but it’s still a rocky process at times, with occasional moments of panic that can be pretty stressful.

However, as challenging as the process is, learning how to shoot and edit video has been really exciting. It’s been really interesting for me to compare how completely different the process is compared to drawing/printmaking/sculpture. Not only are the materials incredibly different, but the entire mindset and work rhythms are in great contrast to what I’m used to.  For example, I’m accustomed to having only about 40% of what I create actually get used and exhibited in a public setting. The concept of not using everything I create, and throwing out pieces that took hours of labor is not foreign.  However, I was not prepared for how much more dramatic this would process would be in terms of video. I feel like with video, only about 5% of what I create actually ends up in the finished product.

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Putting together our sizzle reel to announce the upcoming site launch took a painful amount of time for a video that is only 1:30 minutes long. I spent two afternoons outside of our studio shooting B roll clips with various artists that amounted to about 10 hours total. In the end, only about 15 seconds of those 10 hours ended up in the sizzle reel.

When editing the tutorials, I feel like I’m lopping off heads left and right.  I do several passes of editing because each time I watch the footage, I see something different. A video that began as a 10 minutes long, gets whittled down to 7 minutes, then 5 minutes, and then 3 minutes.  I’m hoping that in the future my first pass of editing will be more vicious, but I’m amazed at how difficult it is to judge your own content and ask yourself, “do I REALLY need this clip?” Boiling the videos now to the barest essentials is so challenging, and I’ve had to make some tough decisions about what is truly critical to get across. People have such short attention spans today, and I know that if I ramble off about something I will lose them.  I would rather teach a short lesson that gets people to truly grasp a simple, fundamental idea really well, than have them watch a tutorial that is overly full of detail to the point that they end up tuning out.

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On top of that, there are so many details to this process that it’s hard for me to even keep them straight.  I had absolutely no clue that file storage was going to become such a huge issue. With the vast quantity of video we are shooting,  I had a bit of scare this week because my laptop started crashing really often.  My laptop was getting too full and we had to buy several new drives and compulsively back everything up in several places to be sure that nothing would be lost. Things got so bad that I actually spent 2 whole days just organizing, renaming, and copying files.  I can’t think of a task that is more boring and tedious, but it was critical to do.  The thought of losing everything was enough to scare me into doing it!

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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.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

subscribe


FB  Youtube   tumblr   Pinterest   LinkedIn   Instagram   Twitter   snap_chat  email  etsy


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.


ART DARES
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.

Super Busy Bees at Art Prof

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by Clara Lieu

Things here at Art Prof may have seemed fairly quiet on the blog recently, but on the contrary, our work flow is seriously heating up for our upcoming site launch.  This past weekend we had a four day marathon of shooting video content with myself along with TAs Annie Irwin, Yves-Olivier Mandereau, Casey Roonan, and Lauryn Welch. We stocked up on what will be several months of video content, while I transition to video editing hibernation for the next several weeks.

The TAs and I created a wide range of video content for the new website this past weekend:  bio videos for each staff member, intro videos for each section of the site, Q&Art videos which are spontaneous round table discussions on various art related topics, and Crit Trios where three of our staff critique a single artwork.

One aspect of the production process that we’ve realized is that despite the fact that being on set feels messy and disorganized at times,  (let’s just say that we will have more than enough content for blooper reels) it’s truly incredible the way the content is dramatically transformed in the editing process. What can at times feel like a stream of mistakes can turn into a slick, polished video in the end.

What’s very exciting is how diverse the video content has become.  Even just 6 months ago, we were relying heavily on stills to fill in the gaps in our videos.  Now, we have left our “Ken Burns” stills behind and have gone all out to video. Of course, that’s about ten times more work, and much more complicated, but wow, the results are totally worth it. I’ve also been surprising myself by the sometimes ridiculous situations I have put myself into for the sake of getting the right footage.  At one point, I found myself carrying all of the lighting equipment, cameras, my laptop and more on my back, as I walked up what must have been a 45 degree hill in the middle of a fierce winter blizzard.  One thing I’ve learned about being an artist:  when you’re truly passionate and believe in your project, you’ll do ANYTHING to make it happen.

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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.

Be notified of our early 2017 site launch by subscribing to our email list.

subscribe


FB  Youtube   tumblr   Pinterest   LinkedIn   Instagram   Twitter   snap_chat  email  etsy


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.


ART DARES
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.