Generations of students and teachers

tumblr_inline_nvx1b9H8ZF1r4920y_500

The newly renovated Illustration Studies building at RISD

Since I’m teaching in the Illustration department at RISD this semester,  I’ve gotten the chance to reconnect with some of my former professors who I haven’t seen in years. I was an Illustration major at RISD, and many of the professors who taught me are still teaching in the department.

I remember how odd that transition was at first.  When you’re a student, it never crosses your mind that your teacher might become your colleague one day. I started teaching at RISD in 2007, and suddenly, these professors who I had tremendous respect for, who I was always at least slightly intimidated by, who were pivotal figures in my development as a visual artist were sitting next to me in the faculty lounge eating lunch.

A few weeks ago I ran into one of my former Illustration professors who I hadn’t seen in several years.  I always find that my personality and behavior shifts to “fit” the person I’m with. At times it can feel like I’m practically a different person depending on who I’m with. I found talking to this former professor that all of the sudden, I was 19 years old again, and it was wonderful. There are a lot of things I don’t miss about being a student, (roommates, moving every year, having no money, never exercising, etc.) but one thing I do miss is that lovely, reassuring feeling that my professor will be there to catch me when I fall on my face.(even though they’re simultaneously whipping me to do my best work)

As a professor, a lot of my time and energy is devoted to giving my students various forms of support as they push through their creative process.  I’ve been teaching long enough that I feel confident dispensing advice and helping students when they feel anxious or worried. I’m able to suggest concrete actions and tell them that yes, it will be okay. And yet I can’t seem to do this for myself. I have to hear it from someone who is at least a generation above me, who I trust and respect.

Talking to this former professor, I felt this inspirational rush that felt so familiar and almost nostalgic from my time as a student. I had been feeling self-conscious about this project I’m working on (I hope to be able to talk about that publicly soon!) and this professor totally laid down the law and told me point blank “Clara, forget about what other people think!” He gave me some other gems of wisdom like “if you’re bored, it’s time to move on”, and “any time you need a pep talk, give me a call!”  He pumped a vital sense of motivation and enthusiasm back into me, and it felt great.

night

One of JooHee Yoon’s recent editorial illustrations

I’ve also now found myself wedged between 2 generations with a milestone of my own:  my former student, JooHee Yoon is now teaching an elective in the RISD Illustration department. JooHee was in my sophomore drawing class in the Illustration department back in 2008 and I remember her student work with great clarity because of her fierce determination and incredible innovation in her work.   She’s now published several books and has had her striking editorial illustrations featured in the New York Times and The New Yorker.  I hadn’t seen her in years, but when I ran into her a few weeks ago, we had a lively conversation about that transition of moving to the other side of the fence to become a professor at your alma mater.

Here’s an ink drawing JooHee did when she was in my sophomore drawing class.

_MG_0036


Subscribe to my email list! I send announcements only a few times a year.

Advertisements

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation From Your Professor

Gesture Drawing

College admissions season has already started with early decision application deadlines coming up next month.  I’m already getting my first flood of requests for letters of recommendation from students.  On average, I write about 20 letters of recommendation a year. That may not sound like that many letters to write, but I devote a lot of time to each letter so that I can best articulate each student’s unique strengths to support their application. I can imagine from the Admissions office perspective,  many letters of recommendation probably all start to sound the same after a while, so I work hard to make my letters distinctive.

Because I get so many requests, I require my students to follow specific guidelines in order to get a letter from me. I’m sure each professor has their own requirements, so check with each of your professors and see what they require. Here are my policies:

1) Achieve a certain grade or higher in my course.
When I write a letter of recommendation, I have to feel that I can enthusiastically rant and rave about how incredible the student is, in terms of both their character and academic accomplishments. I won’t say here exactly which grade is the cut off point, but it’s pretty high up there.

2) Ask politely and don’t make assumptions. 
You might think this is obvious, but you’d be surprised how many students are not polite when asking for a letter. It’s important to know what’s good practice when asking, because this is definitely a process you’ll have to do repeatedly throughout your career.

I’ve had students email me, stating that they listed me as a reference on a job application without ever asking my permission. That alone is presumptuous enough that I will tell the student to remove me from their reference list. One student asked for a letter and in the same email, told me that they had already sent the school my email and that I should be expecting an email where I could upload my letter. I had a student who asked me to write them a letter for a grant application that didn’t exist yet, and then continued to pester me about it even after I said no twice. It got to the point where I had to tell them, point blank, that I wouldn’t write letters for them in the future. Ask politely, and wait to hear my response before you do anything.

3) Provide 2-3 months advance notice of your earliest deadline. Even if the student got an A in my course, if they ask 2 weeks before their deadline, I won’t write the letter. My schedule is so densely packed that I simply can’t take on last minute requests. I am sure that this is also the case for all other professors.

4) Correspond with me promptly throughout the process.
Asking for a letter is just the beginning of a mutual effort between myself and the student. Don’t disappear after I’ve agreed to write the letter, you have to be involved every step of the way. There are so many little details that have to be followed up on, and when students don’t provide information I need promptly it makes everything unnecessarily complicated.

5) Say thank you. 
This is a mandatory habit to establish for the future. I’m appalled at how few people do this, especially when it’s so easy to do, and takes so little time.  I’ve had several instances where students emailed me asking for help with something, I took the time to write them a lengthy email with advice, and then never heard from them again. I guess they got what they needed from me, but I find it rude to not even reply with a quick “thank you.”  It bothers me enough that I have a list in my head of who didn’t say “thank you.” Sometimes that’s the difference between whether I recommend someone for a job or not. A few weeks ago, I got an email from a lawyer I had never met in person before, thanking me for referring one of my students to them.  That email made a difference; that lawyer is now cemented in my head as someone who is polite and professional.

Gesture Painting

Writing letters of recommendation are part and parcel of being a teacher, and I am always happy to help my students however I can. Plus, when you have phenomenal students, the letters practically write themselves. If you’re a student, be prepared to put in effort on your end, I can guarantee that your professors will appreciate it!


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.

Unexpected Influences

I always encourage my students to supplement their studio practice by looking at visual artists who work with similar subject matter, or who they have stylistic correlations with. If you want to paint portraits, most people would agree that you should study great portraits throughout history, as well as contemporary portraits.  As a student, and later as a professional, that’s exactly what I did when I wasn’t in the studio creating work.

There are many visual artists whose artwork I’ve studied in tremendous depth as a direct influence on my own artwork.   Giacometti, Kollwitz, Caravaggio, Messerschmidt, William Kentridge, and Michael Mazur have been artists I’ve revisited countless times.

430N09216_7G7H8

Kathe Kollwitz, Woman with Dead Child

I have specific experiences and moments that I associate with each of these artists. My junior year at RISD, I went on the European Honors Program, and was hell bent on seeing every Caravaggio painting in Europe. (I came pretty close)  I saw my first Kollwitz prints  at the Study Room for Drawings and Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC during graduate school.  I had never so physically close to a print of hers before. I’ve haven’t seen a Messerschmidt sculpture in person, but my interest in his work got me to buy the first expensive art book I’ve purchased in years. ( I love art books, but when prices start at $60, you realize that your money is better spent elsewhere most of the time)

My students are often surprised to hear that I find artwork that is dissimilar to mine just as fascinating, and maybe even more so.  The subject matter and creative process of these artists is so vastly different from mine, that I can’t wrap my head around how they arrived at creating their artwork.  I’ve been intrigued by Sopheap Pich, El Anatsui, Chiharu Shiota, Sarah Sze, to name just a few.

ap_pich_Morning_Glory_902

Sopheap Pich

However, recently I’ve been traveling far beyond these contrasting artists, deliberately pushing myself away from visual artists altogether. Many people assume that because I’m a visual artist, all I want to look at and read about is visual artists. Lately though, it seems like I’m not interested in reading about or looking at visual artists at all. You would think my lack of interest right now would be a negative thing, or a sign of being burned out.  Actually, I feel more creatively stimulated than I’ve felt in a while, all because I started reading books again.

Oddly enough, my desire to read books got started because I stopped watching TV, and needed a way to unwind before going to bed. I think I quit TV because I’ve now watched every video remotely related to Louis CK, or because the last 4 movies I saw made me wish I could get those 2 hours of my life back. (Interstellar, Exodus, Edge of Tomorrow, and Theory of Everything. Okay, I should have known with Exodus what I was getting into, but I had hope with the other three)

I always enjoyed reading books before college, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I can count the number of books I’ve read since college on one hand. Part of this is because I’m an extremely picky reader, and if I’m not utterly captivated by the book within 10 pages, I can’t go on. I have to read books that are so incredibly engrossing that I can’t put the book down. With this stringent requirement, it can be hard for me to find the motivation to read because I am so easily disappointed.

BeingMortal  71CwWiCJhuL-319x479

In the last few months, I’ve gravitated towards books about food, comedy, and medicine. (you can see my book lists on my Goodreads account.)  I’ve been fascinated by seeing how other fields function, and their various methods of thinking. These fields might seem totally unrelated to visual art, but I’ve found many parallels.  I’ve been ruminating about how strategies used in other fields could be applied in my own artwork and teaching.

I’ve found myself mesmerized reading about the intricacies and issues in medicine discussed in Atul Gawande’s books. “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” was so riveting that I actually became sad when my Kindle app told me that I had finished 80% of the book. I just finished “The Checklist Manifesto“, which has less content about medicine than Gawande’s other books, but was just as gripping. In this book, I found concrete, practical strategies that I might eventually implement into my classroom. For example, next week I’m introducing linear perspective to my sophomore drawing class at RISD.   If you understand linear perspective, it seems so simple, but if you don’t, it can be daunting to learn the rules and terminology of linear perspective, and then figure out how to practically apply those rules as you draw. After reading Gawande’s book, I thought about creating a checklist based on linear perspective for the students to use as they work on their drawings in class.

I’m not nearly finished with looking at and researching visual artists by any means, and certainly I will be back for more at some point. For now though, it’s lovely to stumble upon resources for my artwork and teaching in places where I don’t usually expect it.


Subscribe to my email list! I send announcements only a few times a year.

My Toxic Habits

Chipboard Personality Sculptures

A few posts back, I talked about my “poisonous checklist.”  While thinking about writing my new checklist, it became clear that in order to do that, I need to eliminate some toxic habits.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to do what you know is good for you, and why destructive behaviors are so incredibly seductive.  For example, I hate thinking about exercising, and every time I know I should go to the gym, I dread going. Yet I have repeated proof that I am guaranteed to feel great after a workout. For me, exercise is the most effective anti-depressant that exists. I am well aware that I shouldn’t wander the Internet aimlessly. I waste time which I feel guilty about later, I lose sleep, and I feel worse about myself.   Inevitably, I end up reading about people who look happier, smarter, richer, and more successful than me.

Below are 3 habits I’m trying to erase.  This list is very specific to my current situation, so this is not applicable to everyone.

Figure Armatures

1) Stop reading about successful artists.
(I know that there are many, many different definitions of “success.”  In this specific context, I am defining “successful artists” as artists who have achieved the items on my old checklist.)
I believe strongly that it’s critical to look at the works of other artists, this process has been a huge part of my artistic development.  In the best case scenario, looking at other artists is inspirational and you can learn from their work. However, I do think that you can overdose on this, (which I have) and the worst case scenario is that you can become bitter and jealous. Having so much content at your fingertips can be great, but sometimes that colossal quantity of information can consume you. I’m at a point where I need to step away from the noise.

2) Stop checking my phone constantly.
I used to check my phone any time I had an idle moment, or when I was waiting, even if I knew my wait would only be a few minutes. I think for many people, the impulse to check your phone is there because people think they will be bored.  On the contrary, since I’ve been letting myself just stand there, I enjoy the little things I notice: the shape of the shadows on the ground, and the mixture of random sounds I hear. After changing my behavior, I noticed that checking my phone stresses me out, and it’s rare that I’ll see something on my phone that can’t wait for later.

3) Stop telling myself that there are no other options.
I once went to a meeting where one person spent the entire meeting shooting down every idea.  When suggestions were made, they talked about how that would be very difficult, or that it wasn’t possible. They didn’t make a single statement that discussed what we could do, which made for a very unproductive meeting.  For the last few years, I was that person, saying these things to myself.  My old checklist dictated that there was only one way to do things, so when those things didn’t work out, I told myself that there was nothing else I could do. I felt helpless and paralyzed, and my progress would come to a grinding halt. A friend of mine told me that their way of coping with their anxiety was to find an action they could take right away, no matter how small. Now that I’ve shifted my outlook, alternative actions are becoming visible.


Like this post? Check out Ask the Art Prof Live, a weekly live video broadcast on my Facebook page where I provide 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.  Ask me your questions by commenting on the live video post as the video streams, and I’ll answer right away. I’ll discuss being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more. Like my Facebook page and you’ll receive a notification when each live video begins.


Video Critique Program
I offer 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for aspiring/professional artists working on a body of artwork, and for students working on an art portfolio for college admission. Watch sample video critiques and get more info here.


Subscribe to my email list! I send announcements only a few times a year.

Ask the Art Prof: How Can I Balance Planning and Spontaneity in My Artwork?

Chipboard Personality Sculptures

“I paint based on my intuition, and I usually do not know what the message of the painting is until the draft is down. This usually evolves over a few weeks, with new insights and connections happening. I feel rather out of control, and my tutors say I should finalize a plan and then execute it. Instead, I modify during execution. Is there some balance between planning and going on impulse that is ideal? “

The key is to strike a balance so that planning and spontaneity are mutually supportive. You can maximize the benefits of both by organizing your time and fostering work habits that will allow these two approaches to complement each other. I organize my time so that I have periods that are dedicated to loose experimentation that are balanced by periods of executing finished pieces. Managing these periods in this way keeps me focused and provides a well-rounded experience.

The ability to think and work in an unpredictable manner is most useful in the beginning stages of an artwork. This approach significantly expands the range of work you can create, and is especially critical when brainstorming ideas for your artwork. From a practical standpoint, it’s crucial to limit the physical execution of the artwork to small scale sketches. This strategy allows you to quickly make fundamental, sweeping changes without the consequences of wasting expensive art materials or needing to start over a time-consuming piece. You can explore many options without investing large amounts of time.

At this early stage, spill everything on paper and entertain every option without passing judgment prematurely. Maintaining flexibility is hugely important; you have to give yourself the freedom to react to anything that arises and then run with it. If you are too fixated and on your first ideas and unwilling to make impromptu changes, you will shut down potential options that might have been great.

An impulsive approach can lead to fresh and exciting ideas that might otherwise not come up. Excessive planning and thinking can sometimes paralyze your creativity. The equivalent would be a baseball player who ruminates about how to hit the ball, when really, no amount of thinking will help when the ball is being thrown at you at 85 mph. I frequently tell my students to turn off their brains and just touch the paper with the charcoal. Start a physical action and then let yourself react to those actions in the moment. This approach will get your creative juices pumping and push your progress forward.

However, you can’t do this forever, and ultimately you have to arrive at a cohesive vision. At a certain point, you will start feeling scattered and overwhelmed. When jumping around becomes detrimental to your process, it’s a signal that it’s time to start making decisions and nailing down what you want to do.

If the preparatory stages of your work was substantial and exhaustive, fabricating the final pieces should be fairly straightforward and smooth. In my own artwork, executing the final pieces always takes much less time than the planning stage. Frequently I spend months, sometimes even up to a year brainstorming and sketching. As a result, I reap many rewards; my preliminary work is comprehensive enough that by the time I’m ready to make the final pieces, I’ve anticipated and ironed out almost all of the problems. I can concentrate exclusively on the technical aspects of interacting with my art materials. This allows me to work without the distraction of troubleshooting unresolved issues.

Keep in mind that fundamental, sweeping changes at the execution stage can be disruptive, expensive, and impractical. You can waste a lot of time and art materials, and end up doing a lot unnecessary backtracking. Once you’ve spent $300 on canvas and paints, and invested 12 hours working on the painting, it can be painful to discover that deep into the process, you want to scrap everything and create a pastel drawing instead. Once in a while, the situation can be so dire that starting over really is the only solution. After all, no one wants to squander their time beating a dead horse. So, be thorough in the brainstorming stage, and avoid this situation if you can.

I’m not saying you can’t make changes while you execute the final work. Inevitably, new challenges emerge that you couldn’t predict, and you have to build in room for adjustments. Modifications made at this point should be minor, so that they enhance the overall work without sabotaging your progress.

Sometimes major changes are just not possible because of a professional commitment you’ve made. When I’ve spent a year creating a body of artwork for a solo exhibition, I cannot make hasty decisions one month before the exhibition opens. Despite a burning desire to investigate a new idea, I’ve had to immediately reject radical changes because it was just too late. Running with a last-minute idea at that point would have been foolish, and I couldn’t risk everything I had accomplished.

Take the initiative to exercise both spontaneous and planned approaches in your work process. If you limit yourself to only one way of working, you’re missing out on everything the other has to offer. Let these methods influence each other in a positive manner, and you’ll begin to achieve a balance that will make your overall studio practice more fluid and coherent.


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 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?”
“How can I study to become a professional artist on my own?”
“How do you begin to think conceptually as a visual artist?”

My Poisonous Checklist

John Waters speaking at this year’s RISD commencement

Since it’s graduation season, there are tons of commencement speech videos circulating right now. My perspective may be cynical and unpopular, but I will admit that I find most commencement speeches irritating because most speeches tell you that the world is your oyster, and that you can do anything!  Frequently, the speeches offer a bullet list of things to do in order to achieve success. What most speeches don’t mention is that things will probably go nowhere before they go somewhere.

What I’d like to talk about today is what to do when you’ve been consistently doing everything on those bullet lists for years, but nothing is happening. I would estimate that artists are more likely to experience this circumstance than phenomenal success.  The truth is that the vast majority of people will not be the top superstars in their field, most of us will not win the Turner prize or a Guggenheim grant.

clara_yupin

At my MFA graduation in 2004 (I’m on the right)

When I was a graduate student, it was easy to imagine and aspire for the most prestigious professional achievements in my field.  After completing my MFA,  I felt ready to take a serious plunge into the professional art world. Everything seemed possible simply because I hadn’t experienced anything yet. At that time, I made a checklist of long term goals that was very specific:

1.  Win a top artist grant.

2.  Be represented by a respected New York City art gallery.

3.  Get my artwork into major museum collections across the nation.

4.  Become a tenured professor.

It’s been 11 years since I received my MFA, and I have yet to check off a single item on that list. I’m know that 11 years is a drop in the water compared to some other people, but it’s long enough that I don’t feel like I graduated yesterday. In retrospect, it seems like I must have been egotistical and naive to have thought at one point that one, even several of the items on my checklist could be in my future.  I’m not deluded enough to think that I would just wake up one morning to a call from the MacArthur Foundation. I was well aware early on what I had signed up for by choosing to be a professional artist, and certainly, I’ve made some personal choices that determined where my career could go.

Still, it’s tough to have toiled this hard for this long, and not feel disappointed. With every year that passes, I watch the ship sail further away. At this point, becoming an internationally renowned fine artist is just not in the cards for me. Looking at what I’ve done so far, I know that I will never have a solo retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and that I won’t be representing the United States in the next Venice Biennale.

Whitney Biennial Exhibition

Over the past few years, I watched my checklist transform from a positive source of inspiration into a toxic distraction. Obsessing over this checklist became extremely unhealthy; I used to torture myself by reading articles about artists who had achieved meteoric success in their 20’s.  I became very resentful and making art wasn’t fun anymore.  What was supposed to be one of my greatest joys in life had mutated into something that just made me miserable.  If you’ve ever experienced this, you’ll understand what a truly frightening place this is to be.

Below is an excerpt from a column by New York Times columnist David Brooks titled “The Small, Happy Life.

“Elizabeth Young once heard the story of a man who was asked by a journalist to show his most precious possession. The man, Young wrote, ‘was proud and excited to show the journalist the gift he had been bequeathed. A banged up tin pot he kept carefully wrapped in cloth as though it was fragile. The journalist was confused, what made this dingy old pot so valuable? ‘The message,’ the friend replied. The message was ‘we do not all have to shine.’ This story resonated deeply. In that moment I was able to relieve myself of the need to do something important, from which I would reap praise and be rewarded with fulfillment. My vision cleared.'”

That checklist wasn’t my own; it was a very narrow minded idea of success formulated by other people that I let myself succumb to.  Reading this column reconfirmed that I don’t need to fulfill those items on my checklist to be creatively satisfied.

I’ve moved the aspirations on my old checklist to the back burner. The goals are still simmering quietly, but they are no longer front and center in my mind. Oddly enough, letting myself not care has been remarkably effective, and this is the first time in a while that I have been able to think clearly. This week, I’m going to start writing a new checklist.


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
Keep Looking For Your Dreams
Face Yourself: How I Defeated Self-Censorship

Student Progress Reports

Final Crit

This week I’m writing student progress reports for my freshman students at RISD.   I always write the reports within a week after final reviews; if I wait any longer, my thoughts aren’t quite as crisp and I have a harder time being specific in the reports.

I had 40 students this semester, so writing these reports is very time consuming. I can’t write the reports in one sitting either, I have to spread out the writing over several days so I can come back and revise the reports with a fresh eye.  I try to be succinct, but once I start writing, I find that there is so much to say.  This approach takes more time, but I think it’s important to explain things thoroughly to make sure that the report is coherent.

I also understand how meaningful these reports are for the students.  I know this because I was a RISD student once, and I vividly remember the tremendous impact these reports had on me.  Reading the reports cemented my progress, and provided a sense of accomplishment that made all of the late nights worth it.

Today I unearthed my own student progress reports from when I was a student at RISD. The reports shown below were written by Fred Lynch, Alba Corrado, and Fritz Drury, all of whom are now my colleagues.

img441 - Copy (2)

I was petrified of Alba Corrado when I met her the spring semester of my freshman year in 1995. Her teaching methods and assignments were vastly different than what I had experienced in my 3D class in the previous semester. I was terribly worried that I wasn’t equipped with the technical skills and thinking strategies necessary to surviving in her class. Alba revolutionized my thought process and understanding of 3D concepts. Eventually, I discovered that she was a brilliant teacher who was also a lovely person.

img441 - Copy

When I took Fred Lynch’s class over Wintersession in 1996, I was a complete wreck. I had a miserable experience in the fall semester of my sophomore year, and decided to switch into the Illustration department. Fred’s class was the one requirement that I had to make up in order to change majors.  I had no idea what to expect, and at the time, I didn’t even really know what illustration was. I didn’t feel confident about switching majors either.  A friend of mine switched and I followed him because I didn’t know what else to do. Fred’s class turned out to be a pivotal moment in my time at RISD.  His class was refreshing, exciting and highly stimulating.  I didn’t know that group crits could be so challenging, and yet have me laughing throughout.  I couldn’t have asked for a smoother, more inspiring transition into the Illustration department.

img441

Fritz Drury’s class was my first drawing class in the Illustration department in the spring semester of my sophomore year. After taking Fred Lynch’s class over Wintersession, I was all revved up and ready to go.  Fritz’s class fulfilled every creative craving I had.  I couldn’t wait to get started on my homework assignments, and class sessions fostered a new level of engagement with my work. I knew then that I was finally in the right place.


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.