AuthorTopic: Portfolio Review Questions  (Read 11785 times)

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.
Oh yes naked women are beautiful
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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.
A mistake is a mistake.
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The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline Helm

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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.