by Clara Lieu
This past weekend, I got together with Art Prof Teaching Assistants Casey Roonan, Deepti Menon, and Lauryn Welch for an intensive weekend of shooting video, brainstorming, and preparation for the upcoming Art Prof site launch. Thanks to our Kickstarter campaign, we have been able to purchase essential lighting and sound equipment, and most importantly-a new laptop for me which operates at the speed of light compared to my old laptop which had the functionality of a brick. This equipment has probably quadrupled our productivity level in terms of shooting high quality video footage.
Although we have been working on Art Prof for two full years now, it’s incredible the way the project keeps growing and progressing. This past weekend, we learned so much about what we are capable of with this new equipment. While we’re far from a Hollywood movie production, we were really pleased with the quality and quantity of video footage we were able to produce in a short period of time. We shot intro videos for various sections of the new website, Crit Quads, and clips for our upcoming site launch preview video.
The first budget that Tom and I put together over a year ago was $35,000 a month. At that point we had a very, very different vision of what we needed to produce the content-this included staff like a professional cameraman and editor, etc. Now that my Premiere skills are half decent, and with my husband Alex Hart on hand for technical support on set, we’ve learned that on the contrary, we can be very self sufficient with producing the videos-priceless.
We don’t have exact numbers yet, but a super rough estimate is that we will likely be able to produce Art Prof for a fraction of that $35,000 per month that we initially projected, which is huge in terms of keeping Art Prof free. That’s still a bare bones budget that is far from cushy, and we will still have to cut corners in many places, but what that means is that it’s looking really likely that Art Prof will be able to be free much longer than we initially thought.
We brainstormed like crazy all weekend, it was a rare opportunity for a group of us to get together in person and discuss future events, our site launch, and ideas for future content. Most of the time, our communication between our staff is largely online, and it’s incredible how much faster and efficient things go when you can work together in person.
Shooting in a group is terrific, you can bounce ideas off each other in between takes, get feedback, and come up with spontaneous improvements that we could never have anticipated in advance. Most of the time, many of us shoot videos by ourselves, and we had so much fun this weekend working together. And boy, did we do our share of uncontrollable laughing on set. (keep an eye out for a Casey blooper reel in the near future!)
In other news, our September Art Dare was an incredible success! We had 56 submissions from artists, and 4 art teachers who assigned the Art Dare to one of their classes. Many artists followed my charcoal drawing tutorial and posted their works in progress as they developed their drawings. We are thrilled with this outcome, check out our October Art Dare! We would love to see you participate.
For those of you in the Boston area, we are hosting a free portfolio review event in Concord, MA on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 12-4pm. Artists who attend will receive several 15 minute, one-on-one portfolio reviews with our staff. Many artists tell me how difficult it is to find trusted, professional feedback on their artwork, so consider joining us! This event is free, but advance registration is required to be guaranteed a spot. More info here.
We accept submissions from artists in 8th grade and up. Please know that due the volume of submissions, we are unable to provide a Crit Quickie for everyone who submits. If you’re an art teacher, you’re welcome to submit on behalf of your students!
ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages to learn visual arts in a vibrant art community. Imagine all of the resources here on our blog, except exponentially bigger, in greater quantity, and in more detail. Our Kickstarter campaign hit its $30k goal on July 19! Get info on our future launch by subscribing to our email list.
FREE ART PORTFOLIO REVIEW EVENT!
Sunday, Oct. 23, 12-4pm
Bring your art portfolio and get 1 or more 15 minute one-on-one reviews from the ART PROF staff. Unique opportunity to receive diverse feedback from several trusted professionals all in one day! Great chance for high school students working on a portfolio for college admission and for professional artists working on a body of work. This event is free, but registration is required to be guaranteed a review. Scroll down for registration info.
Can’t make it?
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Please bring 5-8 artworks in any media. We prefer to see actual artwork, but we can also view artwork on laptops/tablets.
This event is free, but advance registration is required to be guaranteed a review. You can register for a maximum of 3 slots in advance of the event day. Please do not register for more than 1 slot with the same reviewer, all slots you sign up for must be with different reviewers. Every participant must register themselves with their own email address. Please do not register for more than 1 person using the same email address.
If there are still slots open the day of the event, you can sign up for as many reviews as you want, on a first-come, first-serve basis. (there is still a limit of 1 slot per reviewer the day of the event) You are welcome to show up the day of the event without registering in advance, however, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a review. If you are not present at your slot time, your slot will be given to someone else.
Hear what our past event participants had to say!
“I found our review very helpful in fine-tuning the direction with my work.”
“Your team was amazing! I feel blessed to have been part of this day.”
“Both portfolio reviewers I talked to were encouraging and helpful.”
Clara Lieu is an Adjunct Professor at RISD, a Partner at Art Prof, and a fine artist who works in drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. She wrote Ask the Art Prof, an advice column for visual artists for the Huffington Post for 3 years, and now hosts a weekly live video broadcast of the column on her Facebook page. Watch her portfolio critiques here, her Crit Quickies here, and see her charcoal drawing tutorial here.
Casey Roonan is freelance illustrator, a cartoonist, and a Teaching Assistant at Art Prof. Casey does editorial illustrations for the blog Narratively, and other clients. He writes and edit an anthology-format comic book called Ciambella with Mike Karpiel. Listen to some of Casey’s critiques here.
Lauryn Welch is a painter, a performance artist, and a Teaching Assistant at Art Prof. She currently teaches at the Peterborough Art Academy. Her artwork was featured on the cover of Art New England, and was recently shown in “Portraits, Expanded” at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. Listen to some of Lauryn’s critiques here.
Deepti Menon is an independent filmmaker, an animator, and a Teaching Assistant at Art Prof. She has worked with Nickelodeon’s international on-air promotional team as a motion graphic artist. Recently, her independent work has been shown in North America and is scheduled to be shown in India this fall. Listen to one of Deepti’s critiques here.
Leyla Faye is a Painting major at the Rhode Island School of Design. She works primarily in oil paint, but is also a printmaker with expertise in monotype, mezzotint and drypoint. Her cartooned and distorted figures are used as motifs which are composed into surreal patterns. Leyla has been a Teaching Assistant for RISD Project Open Door, the RISD Pre-College program, and RISD Freshman Drawing. Recently, Leyla studied abroad in Rome and was awarded the 2016 Gamblin Paint Award. Listen to one of Leyla’s critiques here.
by Clara Lieu
Since 2009, I have maintained a crazy gigantic archive of student art projects on my Flickr page. Once I got started documenting all of the student art projects, the perfectionist side of me had to keep going, so it’s incredible how many images I’ve amassed over the years. When you have taught at numerous schools and programs for over a decade, and have had over a thousand students, that makes for tons of student artwork images! Good thing too, because these student artworks have been a priceless resource building all of the content needed for Art Prof. (more soon, but our official site will be launching in a few months!)
My fabulous Teaching Assistants at RISD have spent countless hours photographing student artwork, tweaking all of the photos in Photoshop, and uploading/organizing all of these images student art projects for many years. Without their efforts and time, this archive could never exist!
Seeing that few artists and art teachers are on Flickr, I recently revamped our Pinterest page as a new place for to view my student art projects. (I’ve organized all of the boards on our Pinterest page so that you can browse by level (high school & college) and also by subject matter. Boards have subjects like Linear Perspective, Drawings in Color, Sculpture, Printmaking, Painting, Narrative Drawings, and much more.
I hope our Pinterest page is a valuable resource for both art teachers and art students! I know when I was a student, I learned tremendously from just seeing the artwork that my peers were creating, and seeing the incredible range of unique responses to every assignment. That’s what I find so fascinating about teaching studio art-you could teach the exact same project 35 times, and every single time each student will create their own unique take on the assignment.
“How do I become an undergraduate art professor?”
“What should I be working on now if I would like to be an art professor?”
“What makes a student artist stand out from their peers?”
“How did you become an art professor?”
“How do I become a teaching assistant?”
“How can I make the transition to teaching art at the college level?”
“Can a math teacher become an art teacher?”
One of the aspects of being an artist that I really enjoy is the surprises that occur within the creative process that you can never predict. When I started this series of drawings of elderly figures, I never anticipated that these drawings would eventually become so sculptural. I have a lot of experience in figure modeling and casting, but I still consider myself to be largely an artist who works in two-dimensional media. This project is an exception in that I’ve been able to combine sculptural qualities directly into the context of drawing.
by Annie Irwin
My days making art are made up of a series of problems, which over time, I learn to avoid by trial and error. Or sometimes, I just fall flat on my face.
I find the artistic process to be no different. We learn to avoid problems only by bumping right into them. The uniqueness of any individual artistic process is how we troubleshoot. When I started art school, I was quickly frustrated by my lack of ability to find subjects in life to draw that truly interested me. I lacked control over what I wanted to make. My drawings of shells and plants were the results of as much inspiration as comes from a souvenir bag-o-shells in a coastal town gas station or a plastic houseplant with no context. The hours I spent sitting in front of houses that did and continue to actually inspire me, might well have warranted my arrest for loitering.
Dilemmas happen every day in art making. They are never a bad thing. Creative thinking is a means to work around these dilemmas. Reframing your problem will allow you to approach it with new direction. By shifting perspectives you can flip your problem into a prompt. How can I draw what I have around me to create what I am inspired by conceptually?
While this question lingered, for an assignment in drawing class, I was set on including a sock monkey in my drawing. The catch was, I didn’t have a sock monkey. I had to make it. To be perfectly honest, it was a Frankenstein monster made from paint-dyed socks, yarn and lace from the thrift store, and terrible embroidery. Monster grotesqueness aside, it was my monster, and I could control how the lighting would work, the space, and the context in which my bizarre sock creature could be drawn.
That initial sock monkey was a turning point. The physicality that I could apply in my drawing started before the canvas, and opened all of the doors I had seen as locked. These objects were essential in my artistic growth and contributed to my choice to pursue a degree in the medium of Textiles instead of Painting. My new found practice fueled the concept for countless works, and inspired my entire undergraduate thesis. Today, the monkeys live on and are being sold as artist edition objects in Colorado. The artistic process calls for these moments, to encounter problems, while frustrating, is the most eye-opening thing that can happen. Fail faster, fail better, and troubleshoot!