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Art School

IS Hard! By Keith La Rue


Art School

IS Hard!


WOW! You have it so easy!

Your an Art Major?!

What exactly are you doing You must not do anything in the Art School I wish I couldWhygoare to school you doing that? to finger paint... Art is not hard...


final submissions hours in the studio... I can’t go out tonight, I am doing sketches for class peer reviews

candidate in a selective critique day BFA program

explorations Art is hard!!!


concept

Countless hours in a coffee house, or at home thinking of concepts for a project, is just one part of coming up with the idea of the year. After one idea, another concept pops into your head that makes you second guess your first idea. In return, you crumple up the first idea into a nicely formed paper ball, and throw it onto the floor with all of the other “good ideas” you have come up with. This process can take more time than one might expect. Friends never understand that, instead of going out on a Thursday, for the “Thirsty Thursdays” festivities, you are going to stay in and think of a concept that will wow all eyes that view it.

Photography by: Keith La Rue

Grab your coffee mug, filled with the most powerful and full-bodied coffee- that is promised to keep you awake- along with your sketch pad, pencils, erasers, and iPod; most Art majors spend their nights with these things.


GOT IT!

erasers, paper, pencils,ect.

process of concept excitement

graphite stained fingers,

developing an idea combination of elemen countless hours

inspiration

daunting task hours or weeks libraries and coffee shops perfect combination


research

A detailed study of a subject, especially in order to discover (new) information or reach a (new) understanding, is the definition of research. Friends think that they have it bad when they have to research for a single paper. We spend hours, if not days, sitting in a library looking at books just for a concept. We read all sorts of materials just to get an idea for what we want to have happen on the paper, or in the medium that we are studying. From what type of paper, to what type of pencils or pastels to use- we explore all materials. In the world of art, there are countless possibilities to explore.

Photography by: Keith La Rue

We could also spend days going to visit galleries around town to get some inspiration for our upcoming piece. When researching for our piece, we explore whether we should use a different medium. We rarely get one idea and stick with it. Art Students explore millions of different ways to convey what our piece is saying.


define

books, encyclopedia’s, internet

in the library explore all materials 100 sketches of concept

gallery visits

read all sorts of material detailed study of a subject looking at reference books


selection

During this process we also start thinking about the reasons why we are doing this. One of the big things in art is to be able to explain exactly what you were trying to convey with your piece. Some art students do works based on a certain phobia they may have. Some might do works that deal with family and friends. Regardless of the work, you must be able to explain what the work means and what it is supposed to be about. Its not just saying, “ Oh I did it because I like it.” Or, “ I did this because it was cool looking.” In art there is always a deeper meaning to what a piece is about. Whether it is discussing the rhythm of the piece or the way the work is designed, the meaning is just as important as the process.

Photography by: Keith La Rue

The selection process can be quite overwhelming. At this stage, you select exactly which way you want the piece to go. You choose in which medium you would like the piece to be done. From going and looking at different weights of paper, to checking out the way various paints work on the canvas, we spend time deciding how we want this to feel.


dry mount or spray mount...

what colors should I use

acrylic or oils? I really like this one, but I like this one as well...

glossy paper or matte paper... I could use bothpencils crayons and pastels... or pastels...


feedback

Feedback is constant throughout your art school career. Hearing constant comments about whether or not your work is understandable/ liked, can be hard to endure. Unlike many other programs, peer review is a must. That’s the only way you’re going to know if you are doing good work, or if your work makes sense to others.

Photography by: Keith La Rue

Having your work scrutinized by your peers and/or professors is part and parcel of being in art school. It might be hard to listen to at times, but it is rewarding in a sense that you get an understanding as to how people are viewing your work. The feeling that we get during this feedback can be gut-wrenching. Sometimes, the criticism is hard to listen to because you feel that you have conveyed the meaning of your piece via your explorations of the medium and composition of your piece.


did I do enoug

you need to push it more...

what will they say? maybe you should try this... it doesn’t look right... why are you doing it that way?

hey, can you give me your opinion

it reminds me of... something about it just doesn’t fit...

try it this way well, what if you try this...

I don’t like it...


production Grab yet another cup of coffee and get ready for a couple of sleepless nights getting exactly what you want your piece to look like. This is one of the most important parts of being an art student. During the production phase, you explore different ways in which to establish the look of your concept. Hour after hour, we begin putting piece by piece together to get that perfect composition. Whether it’s trying different colors, or seeing the perfect angle, the production of your piece relys heavily on your eye.

Photography by: Keith La Rue

Cut after cut, mark after mark, you begin seeing the outcome of your perfect piece. Through many explorations and hours of sitting in the studio, you’ve finally got it!


ntpaint brushes brushes Should I try it this way?

White or black mount board?

I need an exact-o knife...

Why doesn’t this look right? can you please print this out on 8.5x11 regular paper?

oh no! I need more paint!

I don’t like the way thisIisthink looking... this is it! canvas

where can I get supplies at this time of night


refinement This part of being an art student is by far one of the most meticulous, nit picky parts of an artist. When refining a piece of art, one goes through each and every inch of the composition and makes sure everything is exactly the way it should be. I would describe refinement as trimming all of the excess fat off of a beef tenderloin; it has to be done. This also takes time and talent. With refining a piece, you study all outs and ends and make sure all the t’s are crossed and all the I’s dotted. Just like the photograph suggests, you go from a dull point and refine it to its sharpest point possible.

Photography by: Keith La Rue


clean aline up allthe edges... elements on the page...

put a finish on...

make it your own... add a little more color here... erase the smudges off...

use feedback making sure everything is cohesiv use feedback to refine more...


critique Grab yet another cup of coffee and get ready for a few sleepless nights, while you attempt to get exactly the end product you want, as you finagle the piece to look perfect. This is one of the most important parts of being an art student. During the production phase, you explore different ways in which to establish the look of your concept. Hour after hour, we begin putting piece by piece together to get that perfect composition. Whether it’s trying different colors, or seeing the perfect angle, the production of your piece relies heavily on your eye.

Photography by: Keith La Rue

Cut after cut, mark after mark, you begin seeing the outcome of your perfect piece. Through many explorations and hours of sitting in the studio, you’ve finally got it!


Brilliant!Interesting...

Wow! Nice job! The negative space is very interesting. I really like it!

Very Cool! This is what I was going for... I really enjoy the rhythm in your piece!

I don’t understand...


relief

After all is said and done, and the dust has cleared from the night of producing the actual work, the sigh of relief is extremely welcomed. Not only did you just go through the most intense critique of the semester, but you also made it through, and your work did exactly what it was meant to do. Most art students will go home, have a beer and a smoke, and relax after a long couple of weeks of getting their piece together. Some might even spend a couple of days sleeping; not thinking about anything that has to do with art, before going back to the drawing board for another go at another project that will wow audiences that view it. The only thing we have to say for ourselves is, “Glad that’s over!”

Photography by: Keith La Rue


That wasn’t so bad. I need a drink.

Done

Glad that’s over! Thank GOD! Mmm, Mmm, Mmm... It wasn’t quite there yet...


Art School IS hard!  

A book about being in Art school

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