Tuesday, August 31, 2010


“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss

In honor of another semester coming up, here’s some excerpted and anonymous student input. Mostly this is an excuse to post a few of the funnier comments received back from the summer courses. Okay, mainly the most awesome cartoons all over the forms from the comics class: if there ever was a demographic inclined to doodle all over official paperwork, that’d be them.

"The attacks of which I have been the object have broken the spring of life in me... 
People don't realize what it feels like to be constantly insulted." - Edouard Manet 

The IAS results ranked 53% Excellent, 19% Very Good, 11% Good, 17% Fair, with no Poors or Very Poors, and a median of 4.6%. Overall average scores, and some sound advice hurtled from the trenches for objective assessment in much the same manner as you would for a critique. I always appreciate the input.

"A great deal of contemporary criticism reads to me like a man saying: "Of course I 
do not like green cheese. I am very fond of brown sherry." - G. K. Chesterton

In particular, nine out of twelve respondents in the drawing class all suggested for improving the class with pleas for more time: longer individual classes and a longer semester. That there will not enough time (or definitely feel like it) to do all the work and assimilate all the information is pretty much a given. I always make a point to forewarn the class on day one that it will be prudent to plan for devoting significant time and energy to these ends.

“I guess if you take yourself seriously as an artist there starts either the problem 
or the beauty of doing good artwork.” – Bill Griffith

I don’t think that ever changes, in school or out: learning to make time and prioritize art - as opposed to any aesthetic challenges to actually making the art - is the ultimate challenge that defeats many artists. Not individual talent, skill, ability, success, public reception or any other mitigating factor, will account for more creative fatalities than the inexorable crush of reality imposing itself.

“Dance like nobody's watching.” - Joseph Joubert
“Pee like nobody can see you” – Joe’s brother up in Alaska

And same goes for art and teaching it: when all is said and done, looking back on a semester or a particular piece of art, all you can say is that you tried your best with what you had to work with at the time, and now it’s time to move on and do more.
More, more, more. Better, better, better. Every day, each semester, every year, either turning on the lights in either the classroom or the studio.

"Talent is so loaded a word, so full to the brim with meanings, that an artist might be wise to 
forget about it altogether and just keep on working." - Eric Maisel 

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