How to Survive an Art Class

January 22, 2010

So here I am currently shadowing Digital Design, hoping some unfortunate soul or three will drop so that I can formally embark on the hard work and camaraderie on the horizon.  Already the project-based syllabus differs from the massive regurgitation of subject matter that characterizes anatomy class, combined with a whole new level of promise and intimidation:  “You’ll be dreaming in Photoshop before we’re done with you.”  But the prospect of being judged on my actual working creative ability, instead of my ability to accurately fill in circles on a Scantron, is strangely intriguing.  People can and do become successful doctors, lawyers, or engineers mainly on the strength of their knowledge, and to some extent their problem-solving ability.   To most people, creativity is seen as something unfathomable but necessary in trace amounts, like limes to British sailors, or like sunlight.  Taking that Gift and honing it into a reliable, fully realized skill, seems more akin to training professional athletes than just professionals.  Yet the best professionals, of all kinds, are those that love their work and make an art of it.

“Make an 8-page flyer (animation/graphic novel/movie poster/trading card set).  It can be about anything, but make it good.”

“Come up with 10 ideas.  Narrow it down to 3.  If one jumps out at you, work on that one.”

“All your progress will be displayed and commented on, from first ideas through every stage to final execution.”

“You’ll take criticism and you’ll give it.  It’s the only way you’ll get better.”   (That sentiment, at least, both science and art share.)

Favorite artists, off the top of my head:

James Gurney of Dinotopia fame. He fills his blog with artistic lessons, commentary and analysis.

Patricia Piccinini who sculpts half-human, lovable monsters that tend to show up on WTF?! sites all over the internet.

Pavel Riha, whose dinosaur paintings appear all over the Wikipedia Commons.
Therizinosaurus embryo image

Amazing Flash artwork shown in class tonight, by Motomichi Nakamura: (view with Quicktime)
We share our mothers’ health

Edited to add Youtube link: We share our mothers’ health

Song for the night:
IAMX – Nightlife (via Youtube)


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