Art School

In high school, as you can see in my previous post, a lot of the images I created were taken from movies. When I got to art school though,  I found out that this sort of thing was kind of  a “no no” (reproducing rather than re-appropriating other people’s images) and we were instead encouraged to make and create our own art from real life. 

While I had done this kind of process before, I hadn’t been so rigorously engaged in it. It’s not that easy to teach your hand how to express what your eyes see of an actual, dimensional object or scene – and produce a believable, compelling image. I did get much better at it, but then I wandered into other art techniques. 

I took an intaglio class, which was really interesting – but I found I had no patience for the intricacy and length of the process (which included acid baths, being fastidious and conscientious with paper, and mixing inks with oil for hours just to be able to print something). Although I was happy with my results at the end, I swore I would never do it again for my own sanity.

To progress through the program, we were also required to take 2D and 3D art classes (graphic design and sculpture). I hated, hated the 2D class because it required a level of preciseness and analytical thinking about lines that drove me bananas, but I did learn how to make and bind a book from start to finish – which was pretty cool. The 3D class was also quite a struggle because we had a snooty English instructor who was very picky, but at the same time not very clear in his instruction. I would just sit sometimes, staring at my pile of cardboard, wire, and wax, completely befuddled.

Then I had to quit my fiber arts class because my knitting homework made me cry. I knitted and knitted long into the night, and then I couldn’t figure out how to finish my project and get it off my needles. I think I was wailing in my dorm room. It seemed so ridiculous to be crying over yarn, so I dropped out. 

Despite these experiences, which were valuable in their own way, I did end up with piles of art that I was pleased with and kept: 

This sketch was made while we (my parents and I) were waiting for our plane in Minnesota (?) or wherever the Great Mall is at. We were on our way back from a summer trip to Massachusetts and New York. I was excited to draw because I had a new MOMA sketchbook, but I was also bummed because I didn’t get to capture one of the more fabulous passengers also waiting for the plane: a middle aged lady with frizzy hair, a fanny pack, and a “HOTTIE PATROL” t-shirt. 

This sun painting I made for a (making a) children’s book class I took during the same summer. I had decided to do an adaptation of the traditional Hawaiian story of “Maui and the Sun,” which I unfortunately never finished. 

A few years later, when I was a senior, I took a photography class. I was a little nervous about it, since photography is such a different process than drawing or painting, but it turned out to be a really interesting, challenging class. One particular pleasure I took in this class was during a critique, when the instructor said I had “New York” aesthetic sensibility. This really REALLY annoyed this one hipster-girl who was always bragging about using her fancy macro lens and sneering at everyone else’s work. I think I took more enjoyment in her death-stare than the compliment itself.

This last sketch is from my last art class, which was a ceramics sculpture class. I was making a pair of figures to represent my parents 🙂 


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