Janet Kutin

Illustrator,

This conversation is closed.

Does University and Art go together?

As a Graphic Communication / Illustration student I have been struggling with the whole idea of it being 'taught' at University.

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    Apr 25 2014: I believe that no university can learn you how to be unique and creative- and it is base of art. Da Vinci didn't learn about methods he used, he made his methods.

    Art is inside of you, inside of everybody, because all of us have something unique, so if you find right way to express it, you are an artist. It had nothing to do with degree. And it can't be 'taught'.
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      Apr 25 2014: so if a person had average creativity, and they got to spend a lot of time with da Vinci, they could be around him while he worked, talk to him, help him work, perhaps get assignments from him to work on, you don't think they would become more creative just by being around da Vinci and working with him? I think they would.
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        Apr 25 2014: Here is mine view.

        If you spend your time with physicist, if you watch him , talk to him, help him....would you become good physicist? I have one in my house, but I'm not interested in his work. I believe that there can be some impact- in a way, I can learn something new of course, or learning some skills, improve my currently knowledge......

        But, creativity and uniqueness is something you are building of your own fantasy, it's only your puzzle. ... Universities can open your mind for art - sensitivity, and knowledge about art, improve your skills, but for master piece- you have to turn on your inside artist, and you have to do it all alone.

        That's the key of art. everything else is just craft.
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          Apr 25 2014: i don't see why you have to create all alone? To be creative it helps to interact with other people, also to have developed your thinking skills which come from learning and studying and conversing and debating?
        • Apr 25 2014: Why must creativity be a solitary act? That sounds like more propaganda of the "solitary artist" model. The "solitary artist didn't exist until the 19th century, when it was invented as part of the Romantic Movement. Before then, there were amazing geniuses, but even Leonardo had people he corresponded and shared ideas with. The "solitary artist" is yet another tired old lie that needs to be laid to rest.
          Let me put it to you this way: You claim that one must produce "master piece" alone--where is your "master piece", then, to prove this claim? I don't have to prove a negative, that never needs to be proved--at least not to anyone sane.
    • Apr 25 2014: "Talent" is one of the Big Lies that we are indoctrinated with. It's a great way to keep people divided, helpless, and powerless. After all, if you MUST have "talent" to be able to do anything at all, then there's no point at trying if you do not immediately show aptitude for something. That way, you can be specialized, pigeonholed, restricted, constricted, controlled, and kept in your little place while the masters tell you what to do.
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        Apr 25 2014: then people who succeed were able to "see through" the "Big Lies"?
        • Apr 25 2014: Not necessarily. They may fervently believe one or more of the big lies and even ride the path they outline. After all, any lie, to be believed, has to carry enough truth in it to avoid being rejected out of hand. Thus, while "You can't do anything if you don't have a special talent for it." is a lie, the bit of truth within it is that you have to have some basic aptitude to at least give it a shot. But we all have basic aptitude for nearly anything. We just have limited resources to apply the basic aptitudes. Wellington (the basic, methodical plodder) ultimately defeated Napoleon (the brilliant, "talented" genius). This is because the man who had to apply himself his entire life to get anywhere had learned how to learn, while the genius was still a one-trick pony.
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        Apr 26 2014: Bryan,

        I agree with your perception of 'being talented'. It's kind of discrimination, and everybody knows that if you're trying hard, than you can do anything with or without talent.

        But, mine perception about art is different. As I said so, I see art as kind of a feeling. Behind any master piece, there are some hard feeling of the author. And then I wonder- can you learn that feeling? No, you have to expirience it, and to express it. No one can learn you how to make master piece.
        You can read about mothers love, about tragedy love, watch paintings in the gallery, but that can't make your master piece.

        Are there some school that learned Vermeer how to make Girl with pearl earing, or did somebody learned Petrarch how to write poetry?

        You can learn about technically stuff - rules of poetry, artistic movements, also poetry movement etc. But thats craft, that's not art. You can learn and improve your skills, but without your unique mark on it...it's worthless.
  • Apr 15 2014: Hi Janet :) I don't study Art but I go to art uni. I hear so many students discuss this point all the time. My answer is Yes! You are putting into context other art and history which will give you a good understanding of politics and social movements you may think why do I need to know that but in my opinion art should be a reflection of what is happening in society or within as it adds to culture. Also you meet and get great opportunities going uni
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    Apr 15 2014: Creativity can not be taught, but it would be a huge mistake for an artist/artiste to scorn or belittle the works of other creatives past and presence.
    That is the essence of art schools.
    I went to film school where we study the works of filmmakers like Bergman, Polanski, Spielberg and Orson Welles.
    It doesnt mean they want us to 'photocopy' them in style, but we study because there is something, little or a lot, to learn from their works.
  • Apr 15 2014: Well having seen my sister take an art course i gotta say yes. Somehow i find it hard to believe youll find techniques on the street.
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      Apr 15 2014: Did she study at an art specific college, or a University? (I'm from the UK and I am not sure where you're from so I was wondering if it's different around the world)
      • Apr 16 2014: She studied at mercy college in Newyork. What im saying is your allready born with your unique style no one and nothing can copy or take that away from you. Yes the techniques are from ppl in our history or today, but would it be any different if you were inspired from a book at the library. Colleges and universities focus on the skills that was golrified by artist of the past gennerally intelligent people that figured things out before we discovered them. Your not suppose to copy noooo. Your suppose to look at what theyve done and figure how that applies to your artform. I wouldnt know anything about crosshatching shading or how to measure and draw a room if a teacher didnt teach me in high school.Your just expanding knowlage not making someone elses craft yours.
      • Apr 16 2014: Ohh annother thing i used to copy i mean draw not trace artist work all the time. The craziest thing is that no matter how much the drawing resembled the person or drawing a line was allways off. That line thats crookid was me its who i am it will never be like anyone or anything else no matter how hard i try. Thats art discovering yourself. Hey remember thats your job everytime you walk into the art class good luck chin up big smiles
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    Apr 29 2014: Art is a combination of creativity and skills.
    You can be super creative and come up with great pieces of art in your mind, but if you don't know what brush is used for what purpose and how to mix colors, or how to create certain effects, textures, etc, you won't be able to transfer your creativity to something tangible exression such as a painting.
    And that's what you do at an university. You learn the techniques, the tricks, etc. You get the skills to transfer your mental product into something real.
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    Apr 24 2014: if you think you could get a job and be a satisfactory employee producing art without going to university, I suppose you should?
  • Apr 15 2014: I think there are 3 levels of art taught in Universities

    1. art appreciation for those who can not draw a straight line (me)
    2. art history
    3. art - in this case, I believe they do evaluate the artist's work but they also ask them to copy old paintings in the style of the master.
  • Apr 15 2014: You can't teach artistic flair but you can study it and what works and what doesnt.
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      Apr 15 2014: But I feel like most of what we get taught is how other artists in history worked, not necessarily teaching us to improve our individual skills and techniques.
      • Apr 15 2014: Are you sure you should be doing Art? What about Fashion? Or Textiles?
      • Apr 15 2014: Art has a tradition of having new artists copy the works of old artist to learn the techniques the greats have used in the past to be the foundation of the artists own style.

        I saw 50 years ago a private collection that showed the work of 1 artist, starting in 1901 to 1960. The collector bought 1 painting a year from the artist. That artist was Picasso and you could see him copying the masters and creating his own style over the years.
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        Apr 19 2014: "But I feel like most of what we get taught is how other artists in history worked, not necessarily teaching us to improve our individual skills and techniques."
        This seems common to many teachings. Maybe individual instruction from expert artist would be way to improve individual skills and techniques.
        Still, the skills and techniques must be applied to a form, could be drawing a certain object. Learning from an expert may provide ways to improve skills and techniques, along with a form to apply them to.
        Uni is available to the masses, individual learning from an expert is not.
        Going to Uni may lead someone to find an expert to learn from.
      • Apr 25 2014: Are you studying art or art history? The art courses I took (very few) and a friend of mine took (very many) were all hands-on, learning and practicing various tools and media.
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    Apr 24 2014: well, what would be the alternative? To just get a job and start producing art?
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    Apr 15 2014: Janet,
    What part of the scenario do you struggle with? You don't want art taught in university?

    That is what is suggested with your introduction....
    " the whole idea of it being 'taught' at University."

    OR...... you want it to be taught differently? This is what you suggest in your recent comment....

    "But I feel like most of what we get taught is how other artists in history worked, not necessarily teaching us to improve our individual skills and techniques."