Video Critiques for Professional Artists & Art Students


Since I expanded my video critique program to include professional artists a few weeks ago, I’ve critiqued many more portfolios. Above is a recent video critique I did for a professional artist.

Many of the artists who have contacted me for a video critique have commented about how difficult it is for them to find trusted feedback on their artwork. One artist said that since they are not enrolled in a degree program or art class, and don’t live in an area where there is a strong artist community, it was really tough for them to find someone who could provide a professional evaluation of their artwork. In this way, these video critiques are a good alternative to being in school and/or taking a class.

I also do video critiques for students working on a portfolio for college/art school admission, you can watch a sample below. If you are going to be applying for college/art school next year, now is the time to get feedback on your portfolio, while there’s still plenty of time to make changes.  Many students wait until a few weeks before their application deadline to get a video critique. Consequently, there’s no time left for them to improve their portfolio before their application deadlines, so start as soon as you can!

Video critiques are 30 minutes long for a review of portfolio of 8-20 artworks for a $60 USD fee. You can watch more sample video critiques and get info here


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.

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Beyond the Classroom

Accordion Bookbinding Project

I’ve been teaching studio art at the college level for 11 years now, and lately I’ve been noticing that there’s been a shift in terms of my relationship with my students.  In the very beginning of my teaching career, none of my students had graduated yet, so I didn’t have a lot of interaction with students who were alums. Today, the freshman at RISD who I taught in 2007 have now been out of school for five years, which is long enough that my interaction with them after they leave RISD has changed a lot.

After a class ends, my students stay in touch with me to varying degrees: some students I literally never see again, some I run into on campus, others I’ll get a cup of coffee with to catch up, some have an identity crisis at some point and need advice, I’ve provided job references, hired alums to help with some small jobs related to my studio practice, and I’ve even had a few students call me on the phone in tears.

My relationship with my students changes tremendously once they are no longer in my class.  Once a student leaves my class, there’s no longer a grade that is looming over their heads.  When the grading situation no longer exists, I’ve found that it makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere and I can relate to them on a more casual basis.

When a student becomes an alum, my relationship with a former student shifts again. After all, we’re working both in the same professional world now.  I remember when I was still in graduate school that a music professor once told me “eventually you and your former professors will become colleagues.”  At the time, that seemed like such a strange concept, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around regarding one of my former professors as a peer. I was still in student mode, so I still felt intimidated by my professors, even with ones I really liked.

Opening reception

Me with one of my former RISD professors back in 2012 at a solo exhibition I had.

For many years, I was the former student who made the effort to stay in touch with my former professors after school.  I’ve known several of my former professors for 20 years now.  I see two of them regularly, and I greatly cherish my friendships with them. Now, I’m the former professor, hearing from my former students who reach out to me.

My experience in studio art classes is that art professors and art students go through so much together. (especially at RISD) In every class, I go to hell and back with my class several times, all of us trying to stay in one piece along the way. That experience alone is enough to create a special bond.  However, just because I interact with a student in a positive manner in the classroom, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a friendship will grow afterwards. I’ve had many students who were absolutely phenomenal in my class and accomplished extraordinary work, but who I didn’t connect with beyond the classroom.

To foster a connection after school, you have to be able to relate in a completely different context. (i.e. not in a classroom setting)  When a student truly connects with you as a person and stays in touch with you over many years, it’s really special. With 11 years of teaching behind me now, my friendships with my former students have developed a depth that I could never have anticipated. I’ve had some pretty intense conversations with former students which have been extremely rewarding. For me, this is one of the best parts of being a professor.


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.

Video Critiques for Aspiring and Professional Artists

RISD Section 19

Due to popular demand, I am now expanding my video critique program to include video critiques for aspiring and professional artists, in addition to video critiques for students preparing a portfolio for college admission.

Many artists of all ages and levels of experience have emailed to me over the past few months asking for me to critique their artwork. The people who have emailed me have said that they have no one who they can ask for feedback on their artwork, so I am pleased to be able to provide a solution for this need.

Each video critique is 30 minutes long, covers 8-20 artworks, and costs $60 USD. Get more information here, and you can watch a sample video critique of a student’s portfolio for college admission below.


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.

Ask the Art Prof: Should I Pursue a Career in Fine Art?

Organic Form Project

“I am a lifelong self-taught artist who has been accepted into a number of fine arts programs, including a BFA program at a local university. I’m really happy about this, but I feel torn. I have done many mundane jobs in my life and always promised myself that I would leave it behind and seek something more creative as a means of living.

Now that I have that chance, I feel hesitant. Part of me thinks I should do something more ‘practical’ and have something that will enable me to grow professionally no matter what happens to the economy, my geographical circumstances, etc. Another part of me says that I’m 35 now and I may as well seize the opportunity to do something creative and really invest in myself, and take this time to explore through my artistic practice what it is that interests me. What do I do?”

The prevailing piece of advice that I give to my students when they worry (which is all the time) about a career in fine arts is this: no matter what happens, don’t live your life with a sense of regret.

One of my friends from art school did not pursue a career in fine arts, and instead chose early on to switch to an unrelated field. Over the many years since we graduated from art school, he has always had a full-time job with benefits and has not had to worry about the future. He goes on international vacations, his kids go to private school, and he eats out frequently at expensive restaurants. In our past and present conversations, I am the one talking about the constant state of anxiety I live in. I never know whether I will have a job next year, I struggle to pay for childcare month to month, and vacations are just wishful thinking.

Last year, he had a crushing realization: sixteen years had passed since art school, and in all of those years, he hadn’t made any art. Those years were gone, and the sense of regret he felt was devastating.

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My friend and I are polar opposites, which raises the question about whether choosing a career in fine art really is that black and white. I really wish I could tell you that you can have it both ways and still be successful as a professional artist, but I can’t. This profession is tough, insecure, and extremely unpredictable.

All of the professional fine artists I know are so devoted to their studio practice that to reduce their commitment in any way would be a setback in their career. Professional artists breathe art daily. Their drive to create art is unstoppable. They have to have an iron-clad resilience and a fierce survival instinct. If hearing that sounds scary, and painting on Sunday afternoons for three hours can satisfy you creatively, then it’s likely that a career in fine arts isn’t the right fit for you. If this sounds exciting and inspiring, then seize this opportunity and don’t look back.

I will admit that I can’t help but be jealous all of the comforts my friend enjoys. I fantasize about having a full-time job with benefits, and I have fleeting moments where I question why I do this to myself. At the same time, I know that I will never look back and regret my decision to live life as an artist.

For me, the impulse to create art is so great that if I didn’t follow my aspirations, I would be signing on to live my life with a relentless itch. I know that it would be torture for me to take a job unrelated to art. I would be preoccupied with what my life could have been like as a professional artist. I would rather take the plunge and fall flat on my face, than live with that itch. When I think about it that way, all of the luxuries I envy in my friend become insignificant.


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.


Related articles
“How do I change careers to pursue my passion for art?”
“What are the career opportunities in fine art?”
“How long did it take you to jump start your career after graduation?  What was your first job?”

Ask the Art Prof: Should I Drop Out of Art School?

Gesture Painting

“I have a background in art, as growing up I benefited from practice, private instruction and a pretty decent art program in grade school and high school. Going into college, I am much further along technically than most of the other students here, and I know much of what is covered in the fundamental art courses. However, I am now at a point where I don’t feel the teachers are teaching me anything. It would be one thing if I simply felt I wasn’t learning anything because I already know it all and could therefore look forward to learning in the advanced classes, but I don’t feel the teachers are actually teaching.

In one class we have spent an entire quarter going over something I could have Googled in about five minutes. In another, a drawing class, my teacher gave us nothing but videos to watch. One teacher critiques our work, but only tells us what is wrong with it and refuses to tell us how we could fix it. Many of the teachers here seem to have a complete lack of understanding of the material they are supposed to know themselves.

These teachers are supposed to guide us through college and into a career afterwards, yet they don’t seem to know anything about the industries we will be going into. I am worried I am wasting my time and money going to this school. I don’t think I should be paying thousands of dollars for something I could look up on YouTube. However, I am worried that other art schools will be no different. If I transfer somewhere else, can I expect that teachers will actually have something to teach? That I won’t just be shown YouTube videos? Should I just drop out and educate myself through the Internet?”

You are right to feel concerned about the education you are receiving, as it is the teachers who define an art school experience. When I think back about my experience as an undergraduate student, it wasn’t the facilities, resources or the campus that were important. What I cherished were the relationships that I formed with my teachers. Before I went to art school, I had never met a true, professional, working artist in person. You can find out all you want about being an artist through books, articles, and videos, but nothing will substitute having the opportunity to form a personal relationship with an artist who maintains a vibrant, contemporary practice. Getting to know my teachers as people, and working with them during class sessions made the idea of being a visual artist in today’s world real.

I learned vitally important information about art through my art history courses, but there was always a significant distance between myself and the artists we were studying. All of the artists I studied seemed so inaccessible. I couldn’t figure out how it was possible to go from being an art student to fabricating a massive piece of public art that stood 20-feet tall in bronze.

It was when my teachers shared their own artwork in class, that I began to understand how a transition from student to professional could be made. These moments were truly pivotal and provided concrete examples that made sense to me as a student. My senior year, one of my painting teachers gave a slide lecture at the end of the semester about his work, demonstrating the range of art that he had completed over the past few decades. His talk was intensely personal. He referenced the traumatic death of his mother, talked about the personalities of people he had painted portraits of, and discussed the complex emotions that inspired his work.

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One of my drawing teachers brought in his prints, which were immaculately executed engravings depicting narrative scenes. In addition to his professional work, he also showed us drawings and prints that he had completed as an undergraduate student. This gave me some much needed perspective in terms of how I myself was doing as an art student. I knew my teachers as people, so I was comfortable asking them questions about their work. This information would never have been revealed in an art history textbook.

These relationships that I built over time with my teachers, and the countless lessons and depth of ideas that I gained from them would simply never happen on the Internet. While the Internet offers many resources for visual artists, it’s not even remotely comparable to an education experienced in person. What I learned from my teachers is deeply a part of me. To this day, I hear their voices in my head as I work on my art. I still keep in touch with many of my former teachers, and make a point of getting together with them from time to time in person. I look to my former teachers for continual guidance and advice, and those relationships have enriched my artistic life beyond measure.

If you can find a way to transfer to an art school that more appropriately matches your needs, I believe that you, too, can have a similar experience. When researching schools, look up the faculty who are teaching there, and make sure that they are actively working in their field. Visit their professional websites, see what kind of artwork they’re making, and find out where they are exhibiting and publishing their work. In this way, you’ll able to develop a better sense of the school.


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.


Related articles
“What is the purpose of a degree in fine art?”
“How do you preserve your artistic integrity within the strict time limitations in an academic setting?”
“Is art education really so popular in western countries?”
“Should art students study abroad even if it distracts from job preparation?”
“Who should you make art for, yourself or your professor?
“7 tips for surviving art school.”
“How can I prepare myself for the reality of the future?”
“To what extent do grades define an academic career in visual art?”

Ask the Art Prof: How Do I Choose a Field for A Graduate Program in Visual Arts?

Skeleton Drawing Assignment

“I am a junior art major, and I cannot really tell what I would like to focus on if I go on to graduate school. It makes it even harder for me to choose schools because I don’t know what field of art I want to pursue. I just love everything about art to be honest. For such people like me, feeling lost in what we’ve been doing, yet longing for higher education in graduate school, what advice do you have?”

For many art students, choosing their major in order to apply to a specific graduate school is a tremendous source of stress. Being required to select a major when applying to graduate school can feel like being asked to make a permanent declaration of your artistic identity. In reality, your field of study in graduate school does not have to set your artistic future in stone.

While a school may ask you to choose a specific field, the truth is that many professional artists work fluidly in a number of fields. Many of my favorite artists are the ones whose works defy categorization, and who are extraordinarily prolific in a number of contrasting art media.

Take someone like the contemporary South African artist William Kentridge, who has worked in everything from drawing, animation, sculpture, and printmaking, to stage design. Picasso began his career as a painter, but experimented tremendously with found objects, drawing, and printmaking. The 18th century Italian printmaker Piranesi began as an architect who later created etchings which depicted imagined architectural spaces. These artists may have started out studying one specific field, but eventually their work in multiple fields blended together into one cohesive vision.

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William Kentridge,

When it came time for me to go to graduate school, I intentionally chose sculpture, a field that I had very little experience with at the time. My primary interest and background was actually in painting, but I was curious to see how studying a different field could influence my paintings. Not only did I end up discovering a new passion for sculpture, but I found myself in the print shop for days on end. Eventually, I dropped painting altogether and emerged as a sculptor and printmaker who specialized in drawing. In this way, I created an interdisciplinary approach for myself that embraced a broad range of fields. My major might have been initially declared as sculpture, but that did not prevent me from branching out into other media.

You can approach this process as an opportunity to study an area you’ve always been curious about, but haven’t done much work in. Or, choose an area that you already have a strong interest in and would like to develop a deeper understanding of. Think about the major you select for graduate school as a departure point. From there, you’ll be able to spread out into other media as your interest and ideas dictate.


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.


Related articles
“Is graduate school worth it?”
“How are European MFA degrees viewed in the United States?”
“How do I find the right graduate school for fine arts?”

Ask the Art Prof: Where Do I Start with Visual Arts?

Scratchboard Project

“I don’t know where to start. I am a very creative person who one day decided to borrow my friend’s acrylic paints. I just started to blend and created something that was not that bad. Since then, I’ve felt encouraged to keep trying it. My question is, where do I start? I know nothing about art and I don’t want to come off as a poser.”

The visual arts are so incredibly broad that there is an overwhelming amount of options when you’re just getting started. I would suggest starting with the one classic tool that artists throughout history have used: the sketchbook. Drawing is fundamental to every area of the visual arts, so any experience you have with drawing in your sketchbook will eventually contribute to your experience with other media. Drawing in a sketchbook keeps things very simple and accessible.

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Sketchbook by Myles Dunigan.

Buy a small sketchbook, and carry your sketchbook around with you everywhere that you go. Be on a constant hunt for ideas and images. Any time you see something that excites you, draw it or write it down in your sketchbook. Think about your sketchbook as the ultimate resource for ideas and visuals; it should reflect the inner workings of your mind. Your sketchbook is the primordial soup for all of your creative pursuits. Everything in your sketchbook should be raw and unfiltered material that could some day emerge as a larger project.

The great thing about a sketchbook is there’s no pressure to perfect or finish anything. Many artists get caught up in overworking their art because they are too precious about their work. In a sketchbook, you can draw freely without feeling like you need to live up to a set of expectations.

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Sketchbook by Sara Bloem.

Commit to drawing something in your sketchbook everyday. Draw with simple materials like a pen, a pencil, colored pencils, etc. The simplicity of these materials will keep things straightforward and focused on the pure process of drawing. Date your drawings so that you can see your progress as you flip through past drawings in your sketchbook. Even if you only have time to do something quick, like a 10 minute sketch once a day, that time is still valid and will contribute to your overall progress. Spread out your work, it’s better to sketch for a few minutes seven days a week, rather than to draw for three hours once a week.

Once you’ve been working in your sketchbook for a few months, you will be able to look back on your past drawings and start to figure out where you want to go from there. I love going back and looking through my old sketchbooks, they are visual archives of my creative process at the time. You will be able to watch your ideas and images evolve, and track your progress in this way. Your experience with your sketchbook will steer you towards more specific interests, and guide you to towards the next step.

Looking for a place to get started?  Try one of our monthly Art Prof Art Dares!


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.


Related articles
“How do you keep pushing yourself to get to that next level?”
“Would you improve more if you took art classes than just studying on your own?”
“How do you learn the basics?”
“How do you break out of your comfort zone?”
“How do you get out of thinking you can’t get any better?”
“How do you develop patience for learning curves?”
“When do you let go of an idea?””
“How do I help my daughter reach her potential in art?”