Monday, May 4, 2009

The "Art" School Myth

I felt this needed more discussion than it got in the previous post.

If I am able to talk at least one kid out of wasting their time going to "art" school I feel I will have done my duty. Now, I am not saying that you don't need to learn how to make paintings. If you want to be a painter, you have to study with someone that has mastered the craft. Painters are made, not born. I suppose you could say that some are born with a certain genetic makeup that will allow them to become a great artists, but most anyone can learn to paint if they get good training, and then go off to paint miles of canvas so as to master the craft yourself.

Good training is not readily available in most if any accredited colleges. For one thing, the way to learn how to paint is to work at the basics; study of form, value, color, proportion.
You are studying drawing and painting. You are doing studies not making art.

In fact, it should not be called Art School. You are not making art in art school. A few years ago I fill two large trash cans with the "art" I made in college. I saved a few pieces for giggles and to humble myself a bit.

You will be funneled from room to room, with professional teachers, rather than professional artists, given silly assignments that have little to do with skill. When on the rare occasion you get to draw the human form, you will be put in front of a figure model, that will most probably take a vulgar pose and then told to express yourself on the paper.
In one advanced figure drawing class the teacher got angry that I was not experimenting- I was under the silly assumption that I was supposed to try to do a faithful representation of the model before me. Being the smart ass that I am, took a dollar bill out of my wallet and started drawing on that. The teacher exclaimed, "That's it Richard! Finally, you understand."
I understood enough to drop the class.

I had great fun in "art" school. I made some great friendships there. I even liked most of my teachers, but I graduated without the skills needed for a career in the arts. Why would you put yourself or your children through the same time wasting activity?

Of those friends that I graduated from college with, only a small few are working as full time artists. Most went back to school or moved on to other professions.
Those of us that studied under Paul Ingbretson, all are working as painters. Some of us even have hilarious and informative blogs.

1 comment:

Dave said...

ohhh...yours is the informative one!