I was in an art high school for 2 years and have just completed an intensive foundation course that allow me to skip straight to my 3 years undergraduate course.
In my college, there’s a sharpie graffiti on a toilet cubical wall saying, “ Art college makes me hate art.”
Oh the irony.
I have 3 years or more of my art student life to go and how am I already feeling this way? I found myself forgetting the fundamental love for art at the beginning, the love that made the big decision of my artistic future.
Where has that love gone?
In Art College, we have to make visual documentaries in sketchbooks, write a piece of reflection every single day and keep a stack of analyzed research. Oh and don’t let them fool you, quantity IS everything. You would begin with a strong and solid idea backed up by another pile of research, draw plans and sketches repeatedly, change your idea a couple times, then you can start experimenting and finally making your final outcome. For every-single-tiny-step you take, you would need to have a reason to how that is useful to your initial idea. Here’s a little tip for you, if you want good grades, you better become an excellent bullshitter.
How do you even grade art, you may ask.
Well, we are given guidelines and rules that we have to follow. If your tutor did not approve your ideas, you either suck it up, or be prepared to receive a bad grade.
What about drawing just because I find that beautiful?
What about discovering new materials just for the sake of curiosity?
What is art?
A strong concept is what makes art exciting, but ideas cannot be forced by squeezing your brain out. Inspiration comes and goes and I would really want to just start creating when it does because if I have to do all that, that drive would be long gone on the road. Research and plans are important but sometimes, really, I want to just make art, to have fun, to do what I love! Sometimes all it takes is that tiny spark of imagination and experiment along the way, try new techniques, go crazy, create my own creative journey, not the checklist they print out for me. The simple joy of making art of out the blue. Not everything I make need to have a reason. When I was younger, I remember I would do art and craft to procrastinate, but right now, art became the thing I procrastinate for. How ironic.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso.
Sometimes I envy a child’s mind where everything to them is new and brilliant. They can pick up a crayon and begin to doodle their limitless imagination on the table napkin. That, I would definitely call art. No they might not have philosophical ideas or powerful statement behind it, but they are unique, creative and honest. I feel like art colleges are stripping that all away. They sculpt an idea to what is art and slowly that became a generic idea of art to the students. Tom Milsom made a video about making dumb art. It dragged me back to thinking the value and definition of art. He mentioned, simply making lines and squiggles on the page, seeing how the ink from the pen seep through the paper is a form of joy itself. Immediately I grabbed myself a pen and paper and start emptying whatever there is in my mind without second thought, drawing whatever I like just because I can. I know this sound disgustingly cheesy but I haven’t felt so free and happy making art in a very long time.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the opportunity to allow me to do what I love and I do believe I will continue to grow and develop as a better artist through my courses, it’s just that it becomes very difficult to actually enjoy the work I’m doing.
I should actually be writing my project evaluation instead of this.
Tom Milsom’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kl_n3jAKRw