SOOO much has happened this past week!
Besides the snow. Good things, good things. And they all have one thing in common.
I’m an enrolled art student for the first time ever. Homework assignment? Color compositions!
Honestly, I don’t know why the heck I’ve NEVER done this before. The time I could’ve saved! All the super detailed paintings I’ve done up to this point, I’m very very proud of; don’t get me wrong. They could be so much better though. One of my art instructors put it perfectly: If you put on a play or do a performance, YOU GOTTA REHEARSE!! I have been embarrassingly “winging it” this whole time. No wonder I have canvas fright ^^;.
Color compositions are quick rehearsals for final illustrations. I can build on them, pick the best START I like, or start over with a better idea of how I want to tackle the project. Either way, I don’t get too attached to every brush stroke or mark I make, get a good warm-up AND half of my work is done if I really apply myself. [hmmm….I think I like the top two the best.]
I still can hardly believe it. Kinda surreal. I studied four years in college to get a bachelors degree in Multimedia, minored in theology and studied the Japanese language for four-years-PLUS. I never once considered art school as a viable prospect, ironically enough.
I’ll be honest, though. There were plenty of occasions where I sighed to myself, pondering the holy benefits of an accessible art supply store – exclusive student access & college discounts ON ART SUPPLIES?! A girl could dream. Art school was never a PLAN though. Not to mention UNAFFORDABLE.
I DID try, once upon a time. Fresh out of high school, I applied to Carnegie Mellon’s art school not once. TWICE. You could say I AUDITIONED for the dang entry. I’d have settled for the isle-seat-equivalency of the program with no complaints. My list was checked. I had my: large 2ftx3ft portfolio (60x91cm for the rest of you folks out there ^_~); had hard copies of all my best paints, sketches, and pastel work—WITH tangible thumbnail transparency versions compiled for projector use; all my required paperwork neatly packaged together with application waivers and all. I was set! Did I mention yet that I did ALL of this twice? But this was (and still is) one of the post prolific and expensive universities in Pittsburgh of THESE UNITED STATES.
Naturally I didn’t get in ^^;
My portfolio was not nearly as strong enough. BUT! No hard feelings at all. My new journey commenced ANYWAYS.
It all started with a podcast. Quite frankly it was all timing that I could not have rehearsed or planned. A few weeks ago, I caught up with all of my podcast subscriptions, up to the last minute. What to do now? If not music, what else is there to listen to while I work? Here came in the Oatley Artcast for Concept Art and Illustration. YES! This was right up my alley. A couple 8hours-worth of listening later, I hear podcaster Chris Oatley talk some more about how he founded the [affordable^^] Oatley Art academy. All courses have a monthly plan: some are lead my instructors while others are highly flexible at the student’s discretion. Exclusively online and internationally accessible to students all over the world, what really sealed the deal for me was hearing student accounts and why they decided to take a risk on something so new.
Online education is still a borderline infantile thing to many. Where’s the interaction? What about the classroom? How does the school community work? Where’s the degree? How do you show proof of education? Can you put it on a resume? People don’t want to be ripped off. WHO THE HECK DOES? But the Oatley Academy is a bit different. This school helps artists in ways that some traditional education –or art education- does not. For starters, art teachers of this school actually give a damn about their students’ artistic paths, are not only patient but are also supportive despite keeping busy with their own artistic projects –and have families on top of it ALL.
Although I’m one who’s never attended traditional art school before, all those who’ve had –whom I spoke to and/or listened to-endured pretty anticlimactic ends to their art-school careers and didn’t have too many great experiences with their art-professors. To be fair, there are many who went through bad eggs to get amazing instructors. Art school teachers that help students reach artistic goals by working patiently with them to fine-tune their skills and learn new ones are out there! It takes some digging sometimes. What’s growth without adversity, right?
So far, my new school has taught me how to conquer myself, work outside of my comfort zones, break bad habits and be open to personal discovery. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that my own human experience will determine the art I produce and how I will be able to tell stories. It’ll be a lifelong process. By the time I finish this chapter of my art education I will not be a MARVEL artist, a Disney Artist, or a PIXAR illustrator. The goal is to be ME. My art will speak in my voice even when I tell another person’s story. This school will, in many ways, make an author out of me. I am both terrified and super excited about the challenges. I am positive that this will be one of the riskiest and biggest commitments of my life.
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