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Archive through June 14, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Furthering what purpose? » Archive through June 14, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 7:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh yeah, it matters- but becoming a slave to it and forgetting why you started is a mistake many have made. Art school seems to suck the life out of people that way sometimes.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 7:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That's exactly why I think the French are so full of shit! I can't understand a damn thing they're saying!!!
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


I would rather read, for instance, a well thought out poem with some soul and five hundred spelling mistakes than one written in perfect metre with no meaning.

What about a poem written with grammar and spelling so poor that you can't understand the author's intentions?

Technique is certainly not everything, but it matters.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 6:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well here's an analogy:

"I heard this nuclear physicist talking yesterday. Nothing he said made any sense. He's got to be full of bullshit."

By the way, Anatomist, I've seen your work and I think it's great. Sincerely.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 6:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The structure, that is the grammar of a communication is a meaningless abstraction without a message to send.

Technique is grammar.

A painting without inspiration, a song without it, is like me typing 'These are words in English, without any technical mistakes in structure or spelling.'

It is masturbatory, useless posturing.

I would rather read, for instance, a well thought out poem with some soul and five hundred spelling mistakes than one written in perfect metre with no meaning.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 6:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would venture to say that most people have a sort of 'Romantic' disposition toward art and music - whether they make it or just take it in. I think the mindbending theoretical smartass stuff has a limited appeal for most. Like any fashion scene, it seems like an elitist game of staying one step ahead of most of the pack... hence it mostly appeals to eggheads with elitist inclinations that can be satisfied via achievement in a social setting. For many people, all the eggheadery is just noise, at best, and an unwanted element of paranoia that they don't know what's going on or that they are being ridiculed for their ignorance of something obscure by unforgiving know-it-alls, at worst. They're looking for something to satisfy their emotions and their senses in a fairly straightforward way. They want sincerity, passion, and inspiration in art, not thorny puzzles.

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 5:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sheesh, that is so Romantic I don't know where to begin...
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 5:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ever heard someone pick up a guitar and play the blues who didn't know jack shit about the theory and heard magic come out?

Ever heard a theoretician with no soul try the same thing, from a sheet of tab and heard crap come out?

The soul of what you want to do is the most important. Technique you need, but it is empty in itself.

For me, at least, the technique happens by itself after a bit of practice, but ONLY if I mean it, yknow?
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 5:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What kind of artwork do you do? Or want to do? We can't help you until we know.

"I never intended to imply (this is if it came out that way) that I would like an art degree of some sort for $$$$$."

No, it wasn't taken that way. But you gotta eat.

"I feel that if I add to much to my mental practice I might slow it down. That would be counterproductive."

Yeah, that's the pitfall. 'The more I know, the less my tune will swing'. But I say, fill your head with as much crap as possible and then regurgitate it as quickly as you can. Head, can I get a witness?

One big advantage is that you're near Chicago -- whatever you're into you should find a niche of like-minded artists.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 4:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Do a search for LothLorien.

It's a great big fuckin amateur art site, devoted to both fantasy and sf.

People post drawings and paintings and get detailed critiques and suggestions. Even if that doesn't do it, SOMEBODY on there will no doubt be willing to give you more involved instruction.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 3:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

All of you make quite valid points...Where I am currently is wanting to learn more techniqe. I kind of read up a bit on the theory of arts and artists, but only enough to satisfy the task at hand. I never intended to imply (this is if it came out that way) that I would like an art degree of some sort for $$$$$. I personally would feel soulless for doing so. I want to paint pics that people would enjoy looking at. That is one of the only ideas I really employ for the moment. I feel that if I add to much to my mental practice I might slow it down. That would be counterproductive.
I do want to learn more theory as well though. I fear that my work may become superficial in some

Well, I live near Chicago (NW Indiana). Are there any artists that visit this here forum that might like to mentor? Possibly for a fee, of course. This is my first option. Second option is to take some small school courses. I just don't think I can afford the time or money to go back to school full time. Of course, I just plain like to learn things. At school I would take quite a variety of courses probably.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 2:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If it's technique development you're after, there's the private lesson option (pricey), but there's also the community college and/or "knowledge network" type of option. In those cases, the instructors usually ARE teaching technique . . . and for a nice, low price. "Introduction to Flower Painting" is not likely to be a course on the assorted interpretations of Georgia O'Keefe's floraginas.

Personally, I believe theory has a place, and an important one; it's my belief that art should have a motivation behind it, and be more than random squirtings of paint from one's assorted orifices, or the creation of pretty pictures that will match Ma and Pa Middle-Class's sofa to sell at the "starving artists" sale. Therefore, the "independent non-credit study" portion of my landscape architecture program has included a number of art history and theory books.

Some of those "conceptual" courses might help you to think of your art in new ways; however, learning a technique that effectively expresses your message is equally important!

Were I in your shoes (and I suppose to a degree I am, except for the pregnant wife and shaky job thing), I'd look for both; the technique-only courses from the cheap people (like my friend with the gallery), and the abstract/conceptual study. You might be able to audit those sorts of "thinking, not doing" courses inexpensively, or contact the professor for a suggested reading list. The library is still free, last I checked!
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 12:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 12:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Or me, find a stupid companie hiring you for doing close to nothing and waste your days on internet forums !

That would leave you full of energy on every evenings.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Or me-
and decide to bring the system down from the inside!
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 11:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Or you can do like me and go into the lucrative field of Art History.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 10:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was only half jesting with my first answer. Nearly all the artists I've known (and that's a lot) fall into one of these catagories:

1. They work in a good-paying blue collar job which tends to sap their physical energy but leaves their mind intact for working on their art in the few remaining hours they have.

2. They work in a low-paying arts-related job, or more likely a series of short duration ones, which tend to sap their mental and spiritual energy but leaves their physical energy intact for working on their art in the few remaining hours they have.

3. They have a spouse who has a very well-paying job allowing them to work exclusively on their art.

But they all have one thing in common: they live like paupers. My advice to young artists is always: work cheap and fast. If you can't adjust your circumstances to fit your art, adjust your art to fit your circumstances. Don't get bogged down slaving away on your "masterpiece" in your garage. If you want to make an impact (and you should want to if you're an artist) don't necessarily rely on the conventional methods of making art or the conventional outlets for showing it.

Sounds like you're only considering teaching as a way to market your skills. But, teaching kids art is just pulling them into the hole you're in. And that's if they're interested in the first place -- and most won't be. No, they will be much happier and better adjusted in America if they stick to sports and focus their minds on making money. America puts virtually no value on art. And why should it? It doesn't fit the overall plan. Cynical? Sure, but facts is facts.

Really, I think there's just two reasons for making art: self-satisfaction and disturbing people's equilibrium. (You gotta do both.) But making money or having a settled life are not reasons.

You don't say what it is you want to learn, but I figure you probably have the basic skills you need already. I would say: don't focus on developing your skills, focus on developing your ideas. Anatomist and I disagree on this -- I'd say study theory, study the fundamental avant-garde artists, not to copy their style, but to learn from their motivations and their strategies. For me it's the Futurists, the Dadas, the Surrealists, the Situationists.

Well, this is coming off as patronizing, I know it is, but really, I think all artists at all stages in their lives need to ask themselves: Why am I doing this? Who is my audience? What am I trying to say to them? Is this really the best way to say it?
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 8:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I do agree with much of the debate about art school and it's relevance...or irrelevance. But, It's not bad everywhere and it does depend on where you go. I chose a school where the instructors were in the field (Artists), not just teachers. I began a new career when I went back to school and I did NOT finish my graphic and web design certification - Why? Because I had a job before I could finish.

Lucas Arts as well as many others sent scouts to our school on a weekly basis. It changed my life, that's for sure. As far as competition, sure! Any job that's worth it has competition, but not in every state! It does depend on where you land!
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 8:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I second anatomist`s post. I have many friends and relatives (including my sister) studying art/music/literature and belive me, it`s mainly theorical brain stuffing. A big pile of bullshit. Many real artists just get thrown out of this system anyway.

As for the web design business, it`s not the gold rush it use to be anymore. There`s a lot of competition. That doesn`t mean you can`t do a living out of it doo.

I`m also trying to finish a degree (electronic engineering) while working full time without loosing friends and while trying to keep my relationship together and it`s really hard to do. I had to take a break until next fall because I was close to burnout and I don`t even have kids yet. Good luck.
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 7:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

lISTEN TO ANATOMIST on this one. I was there too. I was in a figure drawing class where the model was told to change possition every 30 seconds. That is great to learn some things, but we were never allowed to move on. So I learned to draw really fast, just do highlights...

Then I took my portfolio to my next art professor, and I couldn't believe it. She told me she didn't want to see my "girlie" pictures again!!

How enlightening it all was...
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 11:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You could invest in some inexpensive (community or tech college) vocational courses that would boost your hourly wage a bit by teaching you some kind of actual marketable skill. Then you could work part-time and still pull your share of the load, while you pursue your artistic interests.

If you really do feel stuck and need a master, some starving untenured part-time faculty might be willing to tutor you on the side (if their terms of employment allow it). The great advantage here is, you're not working for a grade, you're working to learn something, so your teacher will never have the kind of leverage over you that an art student usually must endure.
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 9:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

University art schools won't improve the appearance of your paintings one iota. If they succeed in indoctrinating you, the paintings will probably look much worse... but you'll be able to spin a good line of BS about how that isn't important, replete with half-baked philosophy that philosophers would laugh at, and a bunch of obscure insider's references to contemporary art that almost no one outside of art schools are aware of. Craftsmanship is largely irrelevant to the kind of activities and skills needed to succeed in the academic art environment. The professors I encountered there were hostile to my emphasis on craftsmanship, and were constantly cajoling me to take my work in flighty, random, smartass conceptual directions that had little to do with my interests. Find a private teacher whose interest/focus is aligned with yours, or, better yet, work your ass off on your own. In my experience, improvement in technique is about setting up a situation where you can learn from your own mistakes and working like a maniac. Find a job that is less than full time, that doesn't suck up too much of your energy, and just work.

Going back to school is no panacea. The only thing art and art ed degrees are good for is teaching - the competition for those jobs is unbelievable, and the pay is not very good.

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 9:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The most rewarding part of my life was the day I decided to go back to school. I always considered what other people told me to do and not do...mistake. My art degree was getting me nowhere as a traditional artist. My business degree didn't work as I hated wearing starched shirts at the financial institutions.

Beyond all opposition, objections, denials, firings, persecutions, angst, and all around critiques, I decided to combine my degrees and start my own company. Graphic and Web Design! The best of both worlds...Look into it. It's a blast and the internet is the wave of the future. Just my opinion though.
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 8:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tell your wife she needs to get a second job.
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 7:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am strongly considering going back to school. Other than the pregnant wife, mortgage, 2 car payments and a job on the bubble, my problem is that I just can't think of what I'd like to do.

I know for a fact that the arts will be central to my schooling, but for what? I know that I would like to further that part of my education since I have recently hit a brick wall in my paint studies. But what about a career to pay for the schooling. (and my family, home, pets)
This country is in serious need of better art schooling. Sports has taken precedence for much too long and to relatively no avail. For instance, ask a 'sporty' person any basic question about life in general, and he/she will surely laugh in your face as if you asked the stoopidest question on earth. But the thing is, they will not know the answer.
So, if I use an art degree of some sort to teach then all is good? No. I can't stand bratty kids. I am at a loss. But the real reason I want to go is to continue to learn on my own for my own benefit. I want my painting too look good dammit!

Decisions decisions...

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