The Future of Artprof.org


Since launching Artprof.org, it’s been thrilling for me to watch our creative community grow. When I’m having a crummy day, I re-read viewer testimonials, which always gives me a lift. Here’s one that made me laugh out loud: “I’ve replaced Netflix with Art Prof Instagram Live videos.”  Now that’s a compliment!

In our staff group, we have many lists.  One list stands out: my queue of 34 videos that have been sitting on my server for weeks, some even for months. Why?  We don’t have the funding to hire a sound designer to do the sound mixes. (that’s not even counting the hundreds of hours of footage that have been shot, but not edited!)

With the exception of 2 interns this summer, I have done all of the editing since we started.  Not because I knew anything about editing, but because if I didn’t do it, no one else would. (only took me a year to learn Premiere!)

After being on sabbatical, I’m returning to teach at RISD in September. With my teaching schedule, I know that I won’t be able to keep my prior production schedule. The only solution is to hire editors and sound designers.

If everyone on this email list donated $5 a month, we could easily pay our TAs, editors, sound designers, a web developer, and cover critical expenses. Beyond that, we can show you what we are REALLY capable of!!!

One fundamental premise of our mission was for Artprof.org to be 100% free. I really, really don’t want to have to set up a paywall, but we’re at a point where we may have to. I literally have 20 years of content stuck in my head that I want to share with you! I care deeply about this artistic family and I want so much for us to keep thriving.

Clara


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

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Art Prof Draw Along!

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We’ve been experimenting with Instagram Live Video at Art Prof, which has been a fun new format for us to connect to our viewers.  After getting feedback and troubleshooting the format, we are pleased to announce our Art Prof Live schedule through the end of the summer!

We strive for our video courses to be comprehensive and high quality, but the consequence is that without a large production staff, our courses are very time consuming to produce.  Art Prof Live is our solution to this situation, and it’s an exciting platform because our teaching will occur in real time, and gives us closer interaction with our viewers.

Get a sketchbook + pencil and draw along with me TONIGHT @ 9:30pm EST on Instagram Live Video! Post your drawing with #artprofdrawalong on Instagram, and we might feature your drawing on our Instagram.


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

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Will Art Prof Survive My Return to Teaching?

Artist profile on Judy Brown, the latest release in our Emerging Artist section.


I was on sabbatical from RISD this past spring semester, so the last time I was teaching on campus was way back in December 2016! As much as it was wonderful to finally have the head space to think clearly during sabbatical, it’s also been lovely to come back to campus.  I missed seeing former students and colleagues on a weekly basis. (I’m not an artist who can sit in the studio by myself for 8 hours every day.)

However, my life is very different from where I was in December 2016. The difference? Artprof.org, which didn’t exist before I went on sabbatical. This summer I’m teaching studio courses 5 days at week at RISD Pre-College. While my schedule is still densely packed with my commitments in teaching and Art Prof, I’ve got an incredible team of interns who are producing written columns for our Emerging Artists section, writing thoughtful and constructive comments on Artprof.org, creating video content for future use, and much more.

Most importantly, I have 2 Assistant Editors, Monika Hedman and Anjali Shankar, who are burning through our vast stock of video content, which has been huge in terms of getting new content released. The preparatory editing process is extremely tedious, and having that part of the process lifted from my shoulders has made all the difference in the world.  Despite that support, there is still plenty to do. I’m still doing heavy lifting in the second half of the editing process. I’m compulsive about keeping our high standards of quality that regardless of my 2 Assistant Editors, the process remains very time consuming.

However, this fall I’m returning to RISD, and I’ll be teaching 2 courses in the Printmaking department; Relief Projects and Senior Print Workshop Seminar.

I’m worried.

The teaching load in the fall is a little less than what I’m doing now, but the big difference is that my amazing team of interns are going to disappear in the fall, along with my 2 Assistant Editors. I’m scared that we won’t be able to continue hiring our incredible staff of Teaching Assistants, maintain content production at a reasonable pace, and keep Artprof.org 100% free.


Our options aren’t pretty.

We could stop hiring our Teaching Assistants, and lose an extraordinary team that make Art Prof what it is. We could set up a paywall on Artprof.org, which in my opinion basically destroys our mission to provide a free visual arts education for everyone. Or our content production slows to such a pace that we release a tutorial only once or twice a year. And that still includes myself, my partner Thomas Lerra, and Alex Hart all continuing to work on a volunteer basis.

I have only 2 months to figure this out.  Despite our push for donations on our Patreon, the donations have been very slim.

Which is why I’m going to ask you, if Artprof.org is a resource you are learning from, please consider a monthly donation to keep us alive. Even $1 a month will make a difference! 

Consider this: if every person on our mailing list gave us $1 a month, none of the hypothetical scenarios will happen in September.


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

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We Need Your Feedback!


Now that Artprof.org has been live for about 3 months, we want to hear from YOU!  Tell us what you like, what could be improved, and what kind of content you want to see in the future.  Your feedback and thoughts are tremendously important to keep us moving forward.

FILL OUT SURVEY


Since our site launch in February 2017, we’ve already made several fundamental improvements to Artprof.org:  our site now loads much more quickly because we compressed files, glitches on the mobile version have been fixed, and we are adding new content every week. (see our homepage for new releases!) In the coming weeks, we are working with our web developer to make Artprof.org AMP compliant. (Accelerated Mobile Pages) so that the mobile version will be significantly increased and load times will be super quick!

Stay tuned!  The first half of my Self-Portrait from Life tutorial is now available, with the second half and Casey Roonan’s charcoal version coming soon!


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

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Patience, Patience, Patience

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Self-Portrait from Life,  video course


Yesterday I was speaking to my Art Prof partner Thomas Lerra, about the pacing of the project and whether I was doing everything that I “should” be doing at this point. Tom has been so important to Art Prof because he has several decades of experience in digital production and strategy that I simply don’t have. I’ve taught my studio courses at RISD so many times, that I have confidence in my ability to evaluate where my students should be at midterm, and what I expect to see by the end of the semester.  With Art Prof, I have no clue about what type of timeline I’m supposed to be on.  Most of the time, I feel like I am just making things up as I go along, which is really exhilarating, but also tough as well!

For me, comparisons to athletics always work well when I think about my projects, specifically, marathons. The three years we spent developing Art Prof was the training period before you run the actual marathon.  Launching Artprof.org was us starting the actual marathon itself.

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Q&Art video:  Getting a Critique


Now comes the tough part:  you just have to keep going for a while, and to a certain degree, it’s simply a matter of time.  I think in some ways this can be the most challenging part of the process.  At the beginning of the marathon, there’s the initial thrill of getting started which is really exciting.  Then that adrenaline rush dies down and you realize how much further you have to go.

I’m a pretty impatient person by nature, so Art Prof is definitely testing my patience to a degree that I never thought was possible.  Generally speaking, I can stay focused on the crazy multitude of tasks I have to do every day to maintain video production and keep Artprof.org maintained.  However lately, I’ve had some brief moments of sinking doubt that I really need to break out of. Coming up with ideas and producing content for Art Prof is the easy part. The most difficult part is keeping your faith in the project.

Tom said to me yesterday that at some point, a “bike” might appear that we can ride on for the marathon. But until then, I have to keep running.

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Art Supply Encyclopedia


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

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


ART DARES
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.

Art School Portfolios: Advice & Stories

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Watch: Art School Portfolio advice from Catherine Huang


Art Prof has been keeping me busy.  Really busy.  What’s challenging is trying to keep all aspects of production going at the same time:  shooting footage, editing footage, and maintaining Artprof.org.  Even though I have hours and hours of footage that has yet to be edited, I am still scheduling shoots regularly to continue creating new content. I always feel behind, but slowly I am creating a system for everything that is starting to become much more concrete and predictable than before.  That’s actually what is so time-consuming; when you produce something for the first time and there is no system in place that you can rely on!

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Watch: Art School Portfolio advice from Annelise Yee


One upcoming video course that I am particularly excited about is about Art School Portfolios.  Hands down the top blog post here on my blog is an article that provides advice for what to include in an art school portfolio.  This video course will exponentially expand on the content in that post, and provide new content, such as the video testimonials from art school students on their experience preparing a portfolio.

The testimonials have been so much fun to shoot.  For some students speaking about their portfolio felt like a distant memory, while for others, it was very recently that they completed their portfolio. Every student has their own unique story, but pretty much across the board, it’s incredible how much frustration and lack of resources almost every student had preparing their portfolio.

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Watch: Art School Portfolio advice from Julie Benbassat


The idea behind this art school portfolios course is to provide concrete advice and resources for students combined with personal stories and experiences. If you are preparing an art school portfolio, you don’t have to do it by yourself anymore!  I know that when I prepared my portfolio 23 years ago, I did everything entirely by myself.  It was a really isolating, miserable experience that I am hoping this course can spare some students from.


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

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


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


ART DARES
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.

Artprof.org is here!!

by Clara Lieu

We are pleased to announce that artprof.org is now LIVE!!!  After all the blood, sweat and tears of the past 3 years I am in complete disbelief that we actually made it this far.  What started as a 1 paragraph blog post is now a full fledged, online educational platform for visual arts.

Thank you to our Kickstarter supporters, to the artists who granted us permission to feature their artwork, to the professionals who were willing to give a complete stranger advice on how to get started 3 years ago, to those of you who trudged through a snowstorm so I could film footage, to the artists who participated in our monthly Art Dares, to the many artists and teachers who did many rounds of usability testing on the site, to the art teachers on Facebook who I have never met but who were more than happy to help in so many ways, to the artists who allowed us to critique their artwork, to our followers who have watched us grow, to my family, friends, and colleagues who provided unwavering support and advice, to all of you who BELIEVED in Art Prof early on, cheered us on with your enthusiasm, and many more.

My brain is complete mush from working around the clock for the past few weeks, so I am sure there are other groups of people who helped who I am missing, but please know that I so deeply appreciate every shred of support mattered, every single contribution made a difference.  Launching a major platform like this is no small feat, and it’s one that truly takes a village.  Art Prof would never have happened without you!

RISD Pre-College, Clara Lieu, RISD Adjunct Professor

Thank you to my 2 groups of pre-college students, who provided ongoing, essential feedback on the project and website, who made me feel old and out of date, who explained to me how to use Snapchat, told me the secrets of using Instagram, who boosted me with their constant enthusiasm and energy, to the point that they would jump on board for tasks that hadn’t even been announced yet.  (that’s when I tacked on running through the hallways of their high school naked to their task list.  Hey, they asked for it!)

ART PROF Interns

Thank you to our summer 2016 interns, who put up with my meandering, spontaneous, random ideas, and who were willing to experiment and do (and come up with) odd tasks like run through sprinklers, swing from trees, jump into a lake with “Art Prof” written on their bare back, bake a cake with my face on it, construct a cardboard head of me that is traumatizing my children as it sits in my living room, design the most entertaining Prof fan art I’ve ever seen, and much more. Thank you to Janice Chun and Olivia Hunter, who provided indispensable support from in production assistance, video editing, designing, and much more.


There are no words to express my immense gratitude to our extraordinary Teaching Assistants: Casey Roonan, Lauryn Welch, Yves-Olivier Mandereau, Annie Irwin, Deepti Menon, and Alex Rowe, who had no idea what they were getting into when they said “yes” to an ambiguous email I sent to them way back in 2015. Their outstanding tenacity, perseverance, endless energy, enthusiasm was absolutely critical to the creation of Art Prof. I am the luckiest person in the world to have a dream team like this as my staff, and I am forever grateful to them for their unconditional faith in Art Prof. They were the part of the primordial soup of Art Prof, and were nuts enough to jump off the biggest cliff I’ve ever climbed with me.  Thank you TAs, Art Prof would not be here without you. I am not someone who cries at movies, but thinking about you, TAs, and what you have accomplished, I’m getting choked up.

Cheers to my amazing partner Thomas Lerra, for believing in my vision way back in March 2015, when a random art professor who pushed their way through 4 degrees of separation that took 4 months, to worm their way into your path. For your fundamental belief in our mission, and sticking with me, even in the most trying situations.  Tom walked the plank for Art Prof in a way that most people wouldn’t even dare think of. He was my rock, keeping a level head through thick and thin, through every challenge when we were blocked by numerous obstacles, and banging our heads against the wall with frustration. I’m still astounded that I found Tom, it’s very rare that you find someone who is willing to invest so much into an artist’s vision.

Clara Lieu, Thomas Lerra, and Alex Hart on the Art Prof set

Lastly, the person who really, truly made Art Prof happen is my husband Alex Hart. Without Alex, there would literally be no Art Prof.  Let’s put it this way:  if Alex sent me an invoice for the colossal numbers of hours he willingly put into Art Prof over the past 3 years, I’m sure it would be at least 7 figures.  (this is not counting a bill for emotional support and daily therapy) It’s one thing to have a vision and mission, it’s another thing to actually make it happen and turn it into a tangible product, and Alex was the one who facilitated the execution of Art Prof. His comprehensive skills in video, sound, graphic design, and much more were what made Art Prof into a concrete, usable platform.

Alex was literally always there, behind the scenes doing all of the invisible technical work that most people never saw, or were even aware of. He did every conceivable task: everything from the most mundane to the most technically challenging.  He made coffee for the TAs when they stayed at my house for filming, researched every single piece of equipment we purchased, gave me tutorials on how to properly use tripods and equipment, dealt with multiple panicked phone calls from me in the middle of the work day, spent many long, tedious hours glued to headphones and a computer doing the sound mixes, cared for our kids on more weekends than I can count, put up with me when I was super grouchy and sleep deprived, and much more.  All of that, with no complaints. (well, okay 99% of the time) Most importantly, through all of that, Alex kept telling me that he believed in me.

Thank you everyone, I am so grateful to all of you for making my dream come true!!

Clara Lieu & Alex Hart on set


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

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