One of the five Advanced-level students in my drawing class this session was Sakura Koretsune. She's originally from Hiroshima, Japan, and started the BFA program @ UAF 2006, majoring in painting with a sculpture minor. After her thesis show, scheduled for March 2010 she hopes to go on to graduate school. It was a real pleasure having her in this mixed class, as her work was often a polar opposite of what I was attempting to instill at the Beginning level, yet she set the gold standard as far as productivity and maintaining a consistent level of output. Having that as an example is invaluable as a meta-lesson and reinforces the crucial message of discipline and a work-ethic that is behind any artist's success.
Sakura's pieces weren't the only works that differed from the majority of the other student's: given the wide range of talent at the advanced level and my free-ranging approach to letting them launch off whatever creative trajectory they care to explore, there was a great variety of content, style and execution. I'm highlighting a handful of her pieces as an example of A) getting one's work out there, up on-line and also B) the illustrative possibilities in selective cropping and re-usage of pieces in the sense that even when one is "done" with a work, one isn't necessarily finished with it. A lot of artists tend to focus on the end product being the end of the process, whereas the creative recycling and re-contextualizing of the piece can lead to many other interesting works.
I tend to harp on the possibilities for using images of works instead of just creating them for display in a gallery in hopes of selling it. As I've babbled on before in earlier posts, the odds are rather grim for exposure going that route, to say nothing of profit, and while there's nothing wrong with staying the traditional route, there are considerably more options in experimenting with and maximizing potential commercial venues. This sometimes is at odds with many artist's priorities, which, again, is fine, but students should at least be made aware of and consider marketing their works beyond the creation of a single object. Case in point would be the 3-dimensional skull above and an interesting excerpted element, and the scratch-board below with its accompanying edit. Both of said original works stand alone and are fully-formed pieces unto themselves but the possibilities start to exponentially multiply (art as a verb) when one thinks about re-usage of even isolated portions of the pieces for illustrative purposes. There are numerous publications in a variety of media that would pay for printing such imagery, or maybe band posters, fliers, tshirts, cards tattoos etc. (nevermind the web possibilities).
Sakura's works were a perfect counterpoint to the traditional acquisition of skills I teach for drawing; having her consistent quality in output and creative content was an excellent example of discipline and personal expression, and along with the outstanding contributions from the other Advanced level students, the entire class, including me, benefited from having their works displayed alongside everyone else's.
A definitely well-earned congratulations and humbled thanks go out again for another amazing summer session.