AuthorTopic: Portfolio Review Questions  (Read 11812 times)

Offline rabidbaboy

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Portfolio Review Questions

on: March 30, 2008, 01:41:33 pm
I know at least some of you guys have attended art school, and I know you probably had to go through a portfolio review (and then a talent test) to be accepted.

I have a portfolio review in a few days, and here are a few questions:

1) Should I put my best work in the front pages, or should I put the "doodles" in front, and build up to the good pin-ups?
2) Should I put the sequential art, doodles, and pin-ups together, or is it best to alternate? How about putting same quality work together? Or by chronological order?
3)Should I talk only when asked a question? Are statements like "Oh, I think that's one of my best" or "That's one of the worse ones" pretty taboo?

More when I think them up.
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Offline ptoing

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #1 on: March 30, 2008, 02:19:34 pm
One thing I can say you is to not have any doodles in your portfolio. Only have stuff you consider good in there. Mindless doodles wont do you any good.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #2 on: March 30, 2008, 02:27:42 pm
No bad stuff no doodles, only finished work, a good selection shouldn't be too much art, don't stretch it, but show variation if you can. There's no reason to be all DVD commentary while someone looks at your art.

Offline rabidbaboy

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #3 on: March 30, 2008, 03:53:49 pm
No doodles then.

To be clear, not even WIPs?

Also, Helm, what do you mean by "a good selection shouldn't be too much art"?
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Offline Terley

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #4 on: March 30, 2008, 04:59:04 pm
I suppose you want a few things that show some flexibility, it'd be useless having loads of work to show if it's all basically the same stuff. People looking for pixel artists want someone who's capable of living up to anything what they want, so you'll have a better chance getting hired if you've got a wider variation of work to show.

I do agree that you shouldn't put up anything that doesn't show the best of your skills, you may of liked how it came out but if it has obvious mistakes or you know it's not a true reflexion of what you're capable of i'd just consider it to be a good learning experience, not something to put in a portfolio.
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Offline ptoing

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #5 on: March 30, 2008, 05:22:31 pm
Wips and sketches only if they show progression towards a finished image you have in there as well. Shows that you can stick with something and think it through.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #6 on: March 31, 2008, 03:32:17 pm
Look I don't think getting in art school is going to be as severe a process as it will be to get hired by someone with high standards so you shouldn't sweat it too much. If it shows you're artistic and have the patience to finish art (this is a big thing) they'll take your money to teach you 30 things that you wouldn't be able to learn anywhere else, and 30000 things you can learn on your own or if you show your art at randomers and pay close attention to how they respond.

by 'a good selection shouldn't be too much art' I mean it's an asset to the artist to have the confidence to select just the cream of the crop from his stuff and show that, instead of just putting everything in there in the folder.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #7 on: March 31, 2008, 08:53:19 pm
All this based on a fine or communicative arts goal (not photo, fashion, ID, architecture, design management, etc):

A good portfolio would be between a dozen and 16 pieces, no sketches, no wips.  More than 20 would just be tedious.  You can tailor the content to their specificities, but it's not necessary - good work speaks for itself.  Try to show breadth if you can, and the ability to observe directly - most schools are looking for somebody who can see in order to be taught, not who can be taught in order to see.

you won't get into any school without figure drawing, landscape/still life, perspective, and wet media (or at least some of these).
you won't get into any good school without the ability to create space.
you won't get into any great school without the ability (or potential ability) to create meaning.

"master copies" are "old fashioned", but "appropriation" is "hip." - this one i wish was not so true.

If a school cares about sketches they will ask for a separate book of sketches that will be given in addition to your portfolio - do not include them otherwise.  Note though, a finished piece done quickly may be an asset.

"Severity" of process is very hard to measure because there's no such thing as a hard application or even a hard interview (if you're honest and attentive), it's all based on whether your competition is good.  You'll be ranked and measured and assigned all sorta of qualities (accurate or otherwise) but at the end of the day, it comes down to the same stuff as most things : perseverance, honesty, confidence, and luck/talent.

You get out of art school exactly what effort you put into it.  If you go in with the "I can learn everything on my own" attitude, you'll never learn anything from anyone.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #8 on: April 02, 2008, 08:34:00 pm
You get out of art school exactly what effort you put into it.  If you go in with the "I can learn everything on my own" attitude, you'll never learn anything from anyone.

Attitude is one thing. A backed opinion is another. When you're done with art school you can discuss opinions with me.

I went into art school hoping for the best. I left having been taught more by my fellow students and myself (the all-familiar critique process we know from here) than all these people that were getting paid to channel artistry. I'm not saying every art school is the same, but if someone is really serious about art (and by that I don't mean just to make a living from it) he's better off not paying anyone to be an authority over them. If someone just wants to guilt themselves into becoming great craftsmen, yes, submitting to the process of 'I pay you to take me seriously, have expectations of me regarding regularity of art-making and quality' might help. But it's still pretty funny a process if you think about it.

You can go to art school and rub shoulders with artists and craftsmen, it's really fun. Or you could just go out there and draw 10 studies a day of all sorts of things, in all sorts of mediums and with a couple of art books, you'll probably end up where the art school boy ended up, if not better than him, without the financial hit. It's all about how much willpower you have to sit your ass down. I personally, didn't have it, so art school with all its failings helped me a lot even if it meant that I just drew every day, committed to meaning and not just rendering for 3 years. I'm just saying, the final matter is just how much you DRAW and how much you THINK about what you drew. If you do enough of both, you'll achieve your full range eventually.

Offline junkboy

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #9 on: April 02, 2008, 08:44:53 pm
3)Should I talk only when asked a question? Are statements like "Oh, I think that's one of my best" or "That's one of the worse ones" pretty taboo?

Now granted, I haven't had the best success with being accepted into art schools, but I think, like someone else said somewhere, that you should generally avoid doing the whole DVD commentary-thing. Sit back, relax and let them look at it in peace. Don't be defensive about your own work, but don't put it down either. If you are particularly proud of a piece it's alright to say it, but be prepared to explain why.

Offline Helm

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #10 on: April 02, 2008, 09:28:12 pm
junkboy, I read your advice as if a dancing cowboy is telling it and it just adds to it a lot.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #11 on: April 03, 2008, 01:38:21 am
It's not about money, or authority, or being taken seriously, it's about surrounding yourself with people who are in the same situation and are exploring at the same time you are under the focussed tutelage of someone who has demonstrated proficiency in their field.  That's what all of college is.  There isn't another place where so many people come together in such a way (except maybe the gallery scene).  I still stand by my opinion that real life is the only place where anything of the greatest value occurs; the internet is a wonderful place to get help and meet people and have a good time, but it's still, no matter what anybody does, imaginary.

When it comes to professors authority, any student who doesn't question their teacher at every turn is going to lose big.

At least in America, the only people who succeed without going to college and meeting all of the people that are there are the ones who already have important friends (or are extremely good at making them).  You go to college to see what's out there and receive help, then you either go into private business in galleries (which you can get to alone, though it's infinitely harder), or stay in academia (which you can't do without degrees).

As far as making a living, it's not the end of the process by any means, but if you aren't eating or sleeping, chances are your art is going to suffer.

I'm almost certain going into the professorship when my college career is over, and it's not for the money, and I've yet to meet anybody here who does it "because it pays".  Most people I've met became professors because they actually want to help young artists.


As far as a backed opinion, you've been to an art school, but you're attacking far more than you've experienced (a line or two aside where you admit this).  I've not come anywhere near completing school yet, but while my endorsements carry less weight than yours, I've already seen enough at RISD, CCA, and Parsons to know that your condemnations are widely misapplied.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #12 on: April 03, 2008, 02:50:27 am
I don't know what goes on in the US. I am from Greece, I'm talking about the situation here. Obviously this might not be as useful as you and the US so anyone reading this discussion should keep that in mind. Here be a bit backwards, there be -apparently- much better. Also here be cheaper, there be ridiculously expensive so I guess that evens out as well.

it's about surrounding yourself with people who are in the same situation and are exploring at the same time you are under the focussed tutelage of someone who has demonstrated proficiency in their field.

Yeah that's all great.

Quote
I still stand by my opinion that real life is the only place where anything of the greatest value occurs; the internet is a wonderful place to get help and meet people and have a good time, but it's still, no matter what anybody does, imaginary.

Greatest value? Well each to their own as far as categorizing values goes. But I don't understand how the internet is imaginary because there's no physicality to the critique process. I've met many, many people from the internet in real life, I go to trips with them, generally my real life and internet life are blurred. I don't treat critique any less seriously if it comes from an internet source and in fact, I am much more careful what I write when on the internet because it's a public platform for communication. Great things have happened for me online, generally. I'm sorry to hear that for you it's imaginary, but on the other hand I'm glad you're taking art school in stride and dynamically and putting your focus there, as you should in this period of your life.

Quote
When it comes to professors authority, any student who doesn't question their teacher at every turn is going to lose big.

Look, it's not about this Dead Poet Society type of thing you're discussing. I'm not talking about being taken seriously and/or questioning authority in this wonderful world of academics and high art where you can stand to gain at every turn blah blah blah. I am saying that regardless how testy or pernicious or deep a relationship with an art teacher is, at the end of the day he is getting your money to teach you art. This always creates a certain dynamic between customer and provider and whereas higher ethics are welcome on the part of the provider, it should be realized that a provider he is. I am saying this because it's a lot, a lot different from coming on the internet and getting good critique out of the good will of strangers. You say it's imaginary, what's going on here. I say it's a freakin' miracle. There'll always be professional teachers providing for those that can afford it. I could afford it, you can afford it. A lot of people here cannot and yet they learn and progress out of a sense of belonging to a community on the internet which you strike off as imaginary. I've bettered my art at the critique of Ptoing much more than I did from the services of a teacher that got thousands of euros from me on the whole. This just blows my mind.

Quote
At least in America, the only people who succeed

I don't know the first thing about any of this, I'll take you at your word. Most professional artists in Europe have had at best, fringe connections to the academic world. At least in the fields I follow (mostly sequential art) people are self-taught and highly sought out for their individual talents. I don't know if that is success in America, but it is success of inner ambition, so hey, that means it's possible.

Quote
As far as a backed opinion, you've been to an art school, but you're attacking far more than you've experienced (a line or two aside where you admit this).

I am sorry, I do not understand this statement.

Quote
I've not come anywhere near completing school yet, but while my endorsements carry less weight than yours, I've already seen enough at RISD, CCA, and Parsons to know that your condemnations are widely misapplied.

Fair enough. A discussion such as this is surely to the benefit of the reader interested in applying to art school.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #13 on: April 03, 2008, 12:11:52 pm
it should be realized that a provider he is.

You're right, that is the inescapable nature of the professor, which remains there when you strip away all of the human qualities of the post.  I just needed to point out that it's not as simple as that for most people, largely because being a professor is not a cushy job anymore (tenure no longer exists for all but the most well-liked), and the pay is mediocre.

I don't treat critique any less seriously if it comes from an internet source
No, not less seriously, in the context of what can but critiqued on the internet (formal, progressional, and conceptual).  But there is so much more to a piece of art than just the projected image (again, formally, progressionally, conceptually) - and the screen just can't convey this.

I've met many, many people from the internet in real life, I go to trips with them
That's exactly the point though - living is what happens away from the screen.  whether you met them online or another way, there's no sense of really knowing someone unless they overlap at least slightly with out physical existence.

I've bettered my art at the critique of Ptoing
Yes, we all have.  Many people here, particularly those who frequent but also those who speak well but seldom, have offered a lot of things.  To say that pixelation has contributed to my artistic growth more than some professors would not at all be off the mark.  Still, there's a ceiling.


the line that's awkwardly worded just means that most of your statements encompass the world instead of Greece, with only a few to the contrary.


I think we understand each other for the most part, and I agree that - while our opinions differ - it's important for everyone to hear everything, particularly those who might be interested in schooling.  I wouldn't have wanted you to go to school having only heard my opinion any more than I would have wanted to go myself having only heard yours.  Yin and yang ftw.
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Offline Ben2theEdge

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #14 on: April 03, 2008, 01:19:36 pm
At least in America, the only people who succeed without going to college and meeting all of the people that are there are the ones who already have important friends (or are extremely good at making them).  You go to college to see what's out there and receive help, then you either go into private business in galleries (which you can get to alone, though it's infinitely harder), or stay in academia (which you can't do without degrees)/

I think this depends on what you want to do. If you want people to pay you to paint whatever you want, then yes, you need connections. If you want to become a successful commercial artist then you need to be good at what you do. For me personally I would be ecstatic to have my work in a gallery someday, but for now I'm okay with being "commercial" or "selling out" because I can make a good living and it's something I'm good at.

My frustrations with school stemmed mostly from the fact that I couldn't go to a huge art college (no money) and the art department at my local state school was filled with slackers who cared nothing for the craft, they just thought art would be easy, and the professors, although they taught with conviction, were there mostly because they couldn't find work anywhere else.

If someone can go to a good art school with a scholarship, then they should. I think it's worth taking a couple years off. Reality is, it doesn't happen for everyone and fortunately for those of us who don't get that kind of deal, it's still very possible to get a good job. Either way, if you want to be successful as an artist you have want to be the best. One thing I have learned from my limited experience in the industry is that you need Ash Ketchum-like determination. There's no way around that.
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #15 on: April 03, 2008, 07:05:01 pm
If someone can go to a good art school with a scholarship, then they should. I think it's worth taking a couple years off. Reality is, it doesn't happen for everyone and fortunately for those of us who don't get that kind of deal, it's still very possible to get a good job. Either way, if you want to be successful as an artist you have want to be the best. One thing I have learned from my limited experience in the industry is that you need Ash Ketchum-like determination. There's no way around that.

Yes, I shouldn't negate personal financial status because, despite the fact that both my families barely scrape by in the "lower class, higher hopes" method with my mother about to lose her house, my grandfather's will and generous scholarships allow me to attend a very good school (currently my investment portfolio is maturing at a rate just perhaps four or five thousand dollars annually more than what I'm spending).  And yes, you can do very well for yourself without going to school and grabbing life by the horns, it's just much harder.
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Offline Terley

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #16 on: April 04, 2008, 04:37:36 am
I don't know how Universities in the UK compare to this artschool, but in my personal opinion I wouldn't get too worried about it. If you know you're talented, and or you have a lot of passion for what you do, with the right grades you can get into to anywhere with a solid portfolio.

I worked my butt off trying to perfect my portfolio, some days I was petrified that I wouldn't get in, seeing most the stuff I see on the internet and the amount of quailty work you lot seem to churn out so easily I assumed thats what I'm up against. I thought, crap im not that good. But surprisingly I sailed onto the course unconditionally, with one of the best portfolio's they've ever seen, plus the general interview went really well. I was totally overwhelmed, and since being on this course everything to me has seemed so easy, yet everyone else seems to be struggling. Honestly, seeing the quality of most people work in my course you wonder how any of them got into university. Im starting to think maybe it's getting too easy to get in.

Well bit off topic but, I don't think you should be too worried. Art school's just another road to getting a job, you still have to walk it.


Yea I agree It'd be much harder If instead I took the hard way of becoming an animator for example, studied in my own time, took up freelance work, applied for small jobs and work my way up the career ladder but If I was put into any scenario, any place in time, I'd still fight to become what I wanted to be. I don't think it matters where you've been, who you know or what qualifications you have, I think it's all down to you as an individual in every sense. But I do think art schools are a much easier option.
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #17 on: April 04, 2008, 05:46:51 pm
yet everyone else seems to be struggling.

I think this is mostly an attitude thing, because everyone I know who really cares gets through easily and learns a ton even in the things that they've already done a thousand times, regardless of "natural talent," prior experience and other excuses.  Obviously this is not black and white - my friend hanna leah and I had neither of us used illustrator or any vector tool before last semester, and neither had we worked with fabrics, and while I picked up the pen tool far faster than she did, she pwned me in the sewing studio.  Still, both of us got straight 4.000's in all the classes, which supposedly is for demonstrating proficiency, without much stress at all.



Art school is like a really relaxed job, as far as getting in and staying in is concerned:
     Show up on time and hand in the work when due (anything late has to be one hundred times as good as if it were on time, if anybody even bothers with you after you blow them off).  Be attentive.  Speak up when appropriate (it looks like/shows that you know your shit).  Introduce yourself and everyone else when appropriate (it looks like/shows that you not only "know people," but that you care enough to remember who they are and what they do).  On that note, be familiar with the personal work of all your friends and professors.

DON'T USE YOUR LAPTOP DURING CLASS (not even to take notes - the teachers assume you are on youtube or worse).  Care for your tools, especially if they belong to the university (computers, easels).

Once you start looking for employment, have a website.  I'm behind on this :(.

you probably know more about all this than you think.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #18 on: April 04, 2008, 09:13:45 pm
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Art school is like a really relaxed job, as far as getting in and staying in is concerned:

In Soviet Russia your job gets paid to do you!

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #19 on: April 04, 2008, 10:02:37 pm
Quote
Art school is like a really relaxed job, as far as getting in and staying in is concerned:

In Soviet Russia your job gets paid to do you!

haha, i lol'ed for real.  seriously out loud.
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Offline Willows

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #20 on: April 05, 2008, 07:48:28 am
Interesting debate to read. In a normal headspace, I'm with helm on the whole "I could learn more through the goodwill of communities for free!". However, I started attending a rather career-driven art school an' that's changed my mind a little bit. It comes around to myself not knowing what I didn't know.

The most prominent example of things I'd never ever have done if I was attempting to teach myself would be to attempt to draw a model in 10 seconds. I'm still not sure what the logic behind it is, but it's improved my form significantly. Any more than "normal" practice would? I couldn't say either way. It has given me some window on how fast things CAN be done, though, which is another something I strongly doubt I'd have figured out over the interwebs.

I figure school is worth it between the resources, networking opportunities, and the piece of paper you get that says you went to school that you 'quote' need 'quote' to get a job. I hate that concept. Needing a piece of paper to say you're good enough.

Offline Locrian

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #21 on: April 05, 2008, 08:55:51 am
Piece of paper doesn't mean shit.  No art job will turn you down just because you didn't go to school, if you've got awesome work.  If you have a piece of paper and a portfolio thats just "ok", things are iffy and that paper really isn't helping you any.  Art jobs care more about your art.  An art degree probably WOULD help you get a government art job though.  They care for some reason.  (This is for the U.S.A)

As for portfolios, I've been told put your best works first and last, but don't have any work that isn't awesome.  heh.  I think you could go as low as 10 pieces if they're all good.  Better to have 10 good ones than to throw in 2 crappy pieces to meet the commonly stated 12 - 16 requirement.  I wouldn't do much talking if any.  Let them do the talking.

I didn't feel that I had enough good stuff for my portfolio when I was applying to college.  So I did the other option they gave, to do 6 or so assignments they listed.  Did them in a week, turned in portfolio, and got in.  You have to be really shitty to fail an incoming freshman review I think.  I had no clue about the world of illustration or painting or anything.  I hadn't seen all the awesome stuff I've seen now online.  I was blind.  But I loved to draw since as long as I can remember and had some chops.  And honestly, so many people go into art school that probably hardly ever drew, and never seemed to work on anything while they were in art school. 

Some of those people didn't pass the freshman to sophomore portfolio review, but still many did pass that had lousy work, even all the way through graduation.  I can't fathom how people could fail the first year though.  I had to put my incoming sophomore portfolio together in 3 months instead of 6 or 7 or whatever everyone else had, since I started school late, and I got into the department I wanted (illustration) anyway, no problem.  They let me in and let me make up the classes I missed over the summer.  Schools are businesses, they aren't going to judge very harshly.  If they did they wouldn't make as much money.

But don't relax because of that.  The work place WILL judge harshly.  Myself as well as most of my fellow ex-classmates can't get art jobs.  yay.  Some of us do a little freelance but nothing thats paying the bills.  A lot are working retail and shit.  $8 an hour to put up with the stupidest people on earth.  I could have worked harder.  I should have.  And I was by no means one of the super slackers.  I don't think I ever missed an assignment.  Hardly missed any days of classes.  But just meeting the requirements of school won't get you very far.  I see that now.  You gotta keep busy with personal work.  And do more than one finished piece for assignments if you can.  School didn't tell me what to do, how to get better.  They just dished out assignments.  Which actually tends to make you fall back on what you already know (which is probably WRONG cause you're young).  Ugh.

As for the "is school worth it?" discussion.... I'm a bit bitter about my education.  I don't feel I learned much.  I feel I have learned more from books, forums, and exploration.  And just plain old learning to see better.  Analyzing.  But I think I may not give school enough credit.  I was exposed to things I probably would otherwise have not been.   I remember in the beginning teachers constantly telling us to loosen up.  I draw very differently now than when I first entered school.  (though I still think I'm too tight and too much of a pussy).  And though I feel that school was overall just an endless parade of mindless assignments with very little in the way of goals and teaching and useful critique, there were a couple great teachers that have certainly sculpted me.  There are also a couple of great students that have provided some friendly competition.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 09:03:48 am by Locrian »

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #22 on: April 06, 2008, 02:19:27 am
School didn't tell me what to do, how to get better.  They just dished out assignments.  Which actually tends to make you fall back on what you already know (which is probably WRONG cause you're young).  Ugh.

As for the "is school worth it?" discussion.... I'm a bit bitter about my education.  I don't feel I learned much.  I feel I have learned more from books, forums, and exploration.  And just plain old learning to see better.  Analyzing.  But I think I may not give school enough credit.  I was exposed to things I probably would otherwise have not been.   I remember in the beginning teachers constantly telling us to loosen up.  I draw very differently now than when I first entered school.  (though I still think I'm too tight and too much of a pussy).  And though I feel that school was overall just an endless parade of mindless assignments with very little in the way of goals and teaching and useful critique

this is surprising, as it's pretty much the antithesis of my first year experience, which is generally understood to be of lesser quality than the years spent in one's major (i don't know if this is true, as i don't enter fine arts until autumn)
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Offline Helm

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #23 on: April 07, 2008, 12:30:33 pm
Locrian's accounting is similar to my experience with art school

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #24 on: April 07, 2008, 12:42:22 pm
occasionally we get an assignment that seems to have only purposes in terms of design, but the class begins to murmur and the instructor adjusts accordingly.  Even those assignments too do not bar artistic expression the way some might (high school assignments were extremely confining), and it's easy to bed an assignment to the ways you feel like exploring (and instructors will always like I said adjust to meet your goals, so long as it doesn't seem like it's a harm).

As far as falling back on what you know, if you turn out the same amazing shit day after day, they'll hand it back (at least in the classes where I've known girls who do that).  Most of my projects get back a "progress" grade which is partly about continuing on a path and partly about going somewhere new each time.  I suppose you could, if you had a ton of experience, just throw out different facets of your prior knowledge every class, but you'd have to have tons more experience and infinitely less ambition than anyone I know to pull that off.
A mistake is a mistake.
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Offline Conzeit

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #25 on: April 12, 2008, 02:11:23 pm
Yin and yang ftw.

Almost brought a tear to my eye. seriously.

I wish I could understand more, what this phisicality of an art piece conveys so intrinsically to a critiquer.

Anyone else get the feel from this discussion that maybe we should do sessions of pixel teaching for people to sing up to and learn from at unison?

Offline Sherman Gill

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #26 on: April 12, 2008, 04:42:44 pm
Anyone else get the feel from this discussion that maybe we should do sessions of pixel teaching for people to sing up to and learn from at unison?
This is a great idea, if you can find someone knowledgeable enough and willing. Though honestly, I'd be more interested in more traditional topics, ala anatomy and composition, then just general pixel art.
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #27 on: April 12, 2008, 06:16:49 pm
how about both?  pixel art - placing squares of completely opaque color side by side and then observing the emergent whole - is like Josef Albers on crack.
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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #28 on: April 21, 2008, 12:15:06 pm

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Portfolio Review Questions

Reply #29 on: April 21, 2008, 01:02:25 pm
a bit has changed in the last twenty years, he forgot the guy that does "street art" and flunks out in the first six minutes.

...and the guy that spent a few years making his own life (somewhat poorly, because he didn't "need" to go to school, he could make it on his own!) so he's given up chelsea in exchange for being the only twenty-five-year-old in the freshman class (and still finds a way to underperform).


also i think the level of competition has made the critique end a little more hilarious (but still more instructional).  at least in my classes, group critiques have a one crying student minimum (even in the electives where there aren't any freshman....well, except me).  Most people come away really pissed off but really inspired (in the "i'll show him! I'm the greatest artist in the universe!  I just need to practice..." sorta way).  Also the idea of the bullshit assignments isn't true of freshman year - maybe we'll earn that right later, but if you haven't bled on a project (figuratively) by the time it's done, you'll be sliding your way through with a C (or fail - we've lost this year maybe two or three from every class of 18).

electives makes me think, since we're on the topic of people looking to art schools - do not overload your credits without reason.  31 hours of class each week is a lot when half of your work (and all of your writing) is outside the studio.  it's doable, and people have their reasons (they don't mind getting C's in 8 classes instead of A's in 6, they are trying to save a semester of tuition, or, like me, they are in a double-degree program and need to work on two separate theses at the same time and want to have an easier schedule senior year).

on the note of double-degree programs, i highly recommend the one I'm in at the moment as long as you can hack it (BA+BFA between parsons and lang), if for no other reason than that you have a wider range of opinions to draw on by going to two colleges and the additional skills (writing, WRITING) will help in the long run.

one last thing - IF YOU CANNOT WRITE, LEARN NOW!!!
College courses (yes, even studio art!) FAIL poorly written or conceptualized pieces.  Perfect spelling/grammar is implied, as well as competent use of language and structural clarity.  You'll also need to be at least interesting if not profound in your ideas - paraphrasing the textbook for five pages gets C's.  You'll be writing at least 2 short (2-4 page) papers a week (i write a few more because of my liberal arts courses) and at least a dozen longer papers (8-12 pages) throughout the time.  From what I hear of years beyond freshman, it doesn't slow down much either.  If you have experience writing or are actively trying to gain it these assignments go nicely, but for some reason most people coming here weren't expecting that (and a lot of people get C's or fail each paper).  The upside of these is that they actually help (in my opinion) a lot in that they require to student to become knowledgeable (to an extent) about the subject (and the professors are knowledgeable, for the most part, so don't expect to fudge anything like you might have in high school).  In New York, papers also require the students to visit dozens of galleries they might not otherwise have gone to (ok, so the ideal student doesn't need to be told where to go or why they should, but the other 99% of people benefit from a little "positive stress".)



as a PS, I had to lol at the model thing.  I've never been to a school (URI, RISD, Parsons, CCA) that had attarctive models on a regular basis (there have been exceptions, but typically the description is "a really interesting form".  It doesn't matter because anybody who's done nude studies knows that it's completely clinical (even on the odd change that you get a looker, and those are usually men anyway), but on occasion you get handed someone really grotesque (women in excess of four hundred pounds that need to, when reclining, ensure that their breasts do not fall over their shoulder).
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.