I love learning but I have learned to not love the classroom. Whoever invented putting people in a classroom for over three hours and expecting them to be still and passively absorb tons of complex information must have been insane. I now completely understand why hardcore jocks hate school; the lecture hall system takes kinesthetic learners and traps them in a desk for long periods of time which is the exact opposite of how they operate. If the boredom of the situation makes it hard for a much more sedentary art slug like myself to cope with concentrating, more physical people have to be climbing the walls from the inactivity and I sympathize.
This is why TED lectures are perfect: someone introduces their subject material with clarity and precision to you in under twenty minutes.
Unfortunately, I don’t see the college or university system of education ever innovating anything more dynamic. Professors do not want to put the extra effort into helping visual learners or hands-on learners have a better classroom experience when mass dumping verbal information is easier. Packing people into classrooms and lecture halls (and now online videos) is just too profitable to abandon for a better system.
And this is where sporty people and those who go to art school are actually a lot more alike than different. In art school, you are expected to make stuff. Very few of your classes are total passive learning situations and studio classes are often completely hands-on in continual active creation. The real opposite of being active like athletes or art students would be the students who truly thrive on sitting around a lecture hall like potted houseplants.
Imgur is a sad, toxic social media site and is useless for designers and artists. The general user base sucks and the functionality of the site is weak. I will explain the cause of both opinions which stems from a two week experiment in heavy use.
Back to school season is upon us again, you can tell by the merchandise displays in the big box stores. Use this free poster for your upcoming art class, especially if it is a college studio class. Hang one in your locker or student lounge as needed. Pass them out to classmates and see if anyone actually picks the first choice. No one had for my survey attempts: sea eels FTW big time.
Originally blogged 9-11-2010
I started this blog to mainly do one thing: dump my art school education online for free.* (I saved you all tens of thousands of dollars. You’re welcome.) Also, I tried to serve as a translator for the real world to have a portal to the academic art world, but doing so in plain English, hitting some of the more interesting parts of theory or art history while avoiding any snootiness.
I looked to particularly post practical things that non-art people would not know offhand, like the difference between acrylic paint and oil paint. I added art media tips, digital resources and troubleshooting tips like getting oil paint off a dog. I’m kind of surprised how many people have needed to Google that last one.
Well, after 1,287 posts I am crazy bored of my own blog. Really, crazy bored. I never went for junk blogging: like ranking something via numbers articles, re-blogging other people’s content for quotas or teaser click-bait posts. It’s not too late, I can still write “CLICK HERE to Learn the Top 5 Reasons to Not Recycle Posts From Other Blogs!”… but I won’t.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes I’ve experimented with an animation program and have been doing cartoons and short form comics the past year when I found the time. The cartoons and comic art was mostly autobiographical and local Chicago stuff which I have circulated as physical media, and I’m talking photocopied zines; because that is exactly how you get wide circulation in the 21st Century digital world. The only thing more useless is large scale paintings that no one wants to buy and are hard to store in an urban apartment.
I am now adding a Cartoons & Comics category to this blog. This is what fine art programs tell you is garbage and anathema but what is most accessible to the general public –and probably the most appreciated art form. Basically, if it is fun and people like it, the academic fine art world will denigrate it as rubbish by calling it illustration, fan art, commercial art and a number of other things that indicate it is trash and not “art.” The fine art world can be really cerebral but also a real drag. They are cranky because of decades of economic distress.
Around 85 – 95% of Chicago’s smaller or entry level art galleries have gone under since 2008 and Chicago’s largest art show died in 2013. William Conger wrote an article about how art schools are self-perpetuating –that art schools just turn out students and some go on to work at art schools– and that it is impossible to have a fine art career anymore; then Judy Chicago went and wrote a whole book about the same subject. When it comes to the business aspect of the real world, art school teaches outdated information about having an “art career” that has no basis in reality. All the rap about “being serious” and doing things “right” to be a “real artist” is claptrap. The college I graduated from was repeating pedagogy from before I was born like a broken record, steps on a path that washed away and is a memory now. Lack of success which falls in the “paying your dues” mythos thus putting blame on graduates and not the school. Art school is people whose income comes from teaching ironically teaching you how to sell art in a way that would not even work for them. The things they added to the traditional “art career” pedagogy regarding social media and the internet for self-promotion is laughable.
Case in point: the last gallery show I had paintings in, about seven people came and they were all relatives of or dating the artists. No one bought anything. That gallery went under afterward.
The moral of the story is: never go to art school. They don’t teach any secrets and do not confer any kind of beneficial pedigree. There is plenty of informative books that you can read for free or cheap. You will find far more information online than will be taught in any degree program.
I have had all sorts of an art career but not a dime in profit from making art. I think you can make art or you can make an art career. I’m just going to wander off into the social media world and have fun. Check back for some cartoons or comics as they appear.
*Any ads you come across on this WordPress are being inserted by your Mac, Apple device, internet service provider, browser, etc. I still have zero ads or monetization on this blog. When I made this blog to be free, I meant it.
I came up with a new method for collage or at least a variation on the process which I published here. The intended audience is people within the hacker/maker community and are more likely to have access to laser cutting technology.
If you are enrolled at a college or university and you are not learning how to use current tech in laser cutting and 3-D printing, see if there is an available hackerspace / makerspace in your area. Laser cutting and 3-D equipment was on the campus I graduated from in 2010, in one department and locked behind closed doors, the private playthings of the professors. Students did not even know this equipment existed on campus. Demand education and access to this technology if your campus is missing it or is restricting access to the equipment. Robotics, rap rep [rapid reproduction] and being able to prototype creations on your own are current technologies that a wide range of creative and technical fields are using now. For me, becoming proficient with a laser cutter has opened new doors creatively, has been interesting and a lot of fun.
Upworthy.com put this video poem up which is done as a brilliant theater piece. It is wonderful and only four minutes.
Not-so-fun fact: A waiter’s minimum wage in America is $2.13 per hour plus tips. Waiters are three times more likely to fall under the poverty line than average workers, and women are three times more likely to be a waiter. They average $18,590 annually in income. Which ain’t much to live on. Which is why this waitress has something blunt and kind of hilarious to say.
I am archiving this by re-blogging it here. Many thanks to author Alexandra Rosado for her courage and clarity.
February 27, 2014
Even though most of my profile is private, I’m making this post public on the off chance that the person who reported me will see it if they aren’t on my friends list (I am still unsure about that).
Today I changed my Facebook profile picture to a self portrait that I took in September of 2013 as part of a photo project that I ended up abandoning eventually. Even though I gave up on the project, I liked the picture. It holds important significance for me. Just moments after I changed it, however, I received a notification stating that it had been reported to Facebook for “nudity and pornography”. Someone had seen the photo of my bare torso and had immediately been so offended by it that they decided it needed to be removed from Facebook within seconds of it showing up. To the person who reported my photo, I would like to say I am sorry.
I am sorry that you have been conditioned to believe that a woman’s bare skin is pornographic and obscene by default. I am sorry that you cannot separate my skin from sex. I am sorry that you believe the flesh I was born in, that I learned to walk and dance and swim in, that I scraped my knees on the playground in, that I carried my daughter in, that has been held and hurt and rejected and sunburned and painted on and pierced and filled with too much food or too little food and bruised at punk shows, is lewd and meant for the consumption of others and not for my own use.
I am sorry that I was not born male. If I had been, I could walk down a public street showing the same amount of flesh pictured here and no one would bat an eye, because the only sexuality that needs to be silenced is female.
I am sorry that you couldn’t bear to go about your day without correcting my behavior.
I am sorry that a photograph that was meant to be a statement about myself became a target for your own discomfort, that you couldn’t look past my tits and try to see what I was saying.
In this photo I’m crying. In this photo I am 105 pounds and I am tugging and squeezing and pinching at my body to make it smaller, smaller than it was ever meant to be because I have days sometimes when I feel like I am too much, that I take up space that I don’t deserve. I have days sometimes when I want to shrink so far inside myself that no one else can see me. I have days sometimes when I don’t eat enough. I have days sometimes when I don’t want to eat at all. I took this photo to illustrate a part of myself that I don’t have the courage to talk about even with the people I trust the most.
Thank you for reporting me, because until now I haven’t said these things to anyone. I hope that you come to terms with your own issues about bodies and sexuality and skin.
Since this photo was taken I’ve gained ten pounds. I’m healthier now. I still want to disappear a lot of the time, but I can’t yet. I still have things I want to say.