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Thread: Art School...

  1. #1
    BlueJellyBean's Avatar

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    what are you really taught about design?..and if subjectivity rules and there are no rules of design then how does anyone fail?

  2. #2
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    the short answer:
    art history
    design history
    drawing
    color theory
    composition
    typography and type history
    concept / content
    production techniques

    and rules were meant to be broken. but, the better you understand the basics, the more insight you'll have in the process of breaking them.

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    Exactly Lure........I remember one of my teachers telling us that you have to know the rules before you can break them. I think most art is subjective, one good example is that Painter of Light Guy. I hate his stuff because I can see it for what it is, technique masked as drawing ability, but old religious people eat that shit up. But I challenge that guy to even attempt to draw a human figure. Still tho, that guy makes more money then I ever will.

    I think there are definately some aspects of design that you can't help but say is wrong when you see it, such as poor color choices, odd tangencies, type that looks alien compared to the rest of a piece, and a totally unbalanced composition.

  4. #4
    BlueJellyBean's Avatar

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    Thanks..you have fed the agenda..so it is confirmed that there are definitive recognised parameters by which design can be adjudged..all that is required then is to recognise whether something can be perceived to be bound by the restraints of regulation or something that breaks the rules..Feed this through minds grinder ..The latter can be viewed subjectively by anyone whilst the former can only be judged by those trained to recognise the convention...

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    it's not quite that black and white, blue. there are general theories, and guidlines that apply to design. they are not set-in-stone, well defined parameters. it is not a science. even in understanding all the basic principles and history, there are still many, many subjective issues. it's what makes any art form interesting.

    so i don't think you can define who can judge what. we can all judge art. we just use different points of view. and some critics, who have some schooling, might know why certain things work better than others; design-wise.

  6. #6
    JohnnyThief's Avatar

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    Rough subject JellyBean, old bean,... Jason is right, you do have to master technique; absolutely vital when you're talking about something like what I do, tattooing, where in addition to design, you also have a stretchy, curvy, bumpy, hairy, jumpy, pimply, greasy topography for a medium to deal with, plus the conflict of slapping design work that usually conforms to standard print sizes on to the lanky supple human form. I wont even mention the technique of applying a tattoo, the sucker punch for most fine artists who come out of Parsons & think they can relvolutionize tattooing, only to have their asses handed to them when all that pretty color falls out two weeks later,.... (uhhhmmmmmm,.... don't ask me how I know this! eeek!) But yeah, especially in cases like layout, typography, color theory, multiple art histories, masters' techniques, methods & materials, & the ever essential anatomy, education is simply not a variable.
    However, returning to my never ending punk rock rant, can you learn all of that in school, or will you be too busy pandering to the broken egos & endless political games of your teachers, who, more often than not, will fall into that category of 'those who can't do, teach',...? Me, I went for a year at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic arts, in Dover, NJ, 10 classes a week, a real working class environment. The school drills you & preps you for real world situations, in addition to getting to have people like Bill Sinkevitch as your professors. The most important class I took there was the first year anatomy; instructor Benito Ruiz was such a ballbuster, that although we had models in class, we werent allowed to draw muscles for 3 months,... we started with geometric shapes to master proportion first, then skeletal anatomy. Muscles came after that, but then we were'nt allowed to draw skin for 5 months! Forget about hair or tits, Ben would have a brain hemhorrage,... (Use your best Bronx cab driver voice) 'A tit?! You want to draw a tit? You dont know what a tit is! Its a big bag of fat! How can you draw something when you don't know what youre looking at?!!' He would'nt even speak to you unless you could address various body parts by their correct scientific names. He was the best! On the other hand, my grrlfriend going to school in Florida had an anatomy teacher that told everyone to draw what they saw & what they felt, & my grrlfriend had such a hard time trying to make her own way that I ended up tutoring her way through the entire course. Meanwhile the teacher gave all this bullshit praise to all the formless scribbling illiterate no talent assholes were scraping out, still coming down off of X highs from last nights rave, & most came out of the class with great grades, but didn't know any more about anatomy or how to draw it than they did when they started. Reminds of those graet scenes in 'Ghost World'.
    Just one of hundreds of examples of how schools can fuck you up. Of course, you think pleasing incompetant, moody art teachers is tough, go work for Tommy Hilfiguer for a while,...!

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    "..all that is required then is to recognise whether something can be perceived to be bound by the restraints of regulation or something that breaks the rules.."

    This could be said of any artform, really. And it wouldn't be right either. How do we judge a good tatoo? A great hot rod? A good logo? A nice page layout?

    It's about communication. How we communicate, how things resonate/react. A good art school will give you tools and paths and let you develop them. A bad art school (like the one I went to) will tell you there are things you can do and can't do. It's not that easy.

    Lure said it right. You can't distill it down to such a simple interpretation.

    And really, does anybody actually fail art school??

  8. #8
    JohnnyThief's Avatar

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    "How do we judge a good tatoo? A great hot rod? A good logo? A nice page layout?"
    Well, a good tattoo is a different animal. For starters, there are tons of shitty tattoos, & I'm making a name for myself being proficient at cover work. Nothings worse than a poor tattoo, lousy flaky linework, spotty weak color, too small to see, bad illegible type. Judging a good, clean solid tattoo is a lot different than judging your average art. & then again, you are right, there is the exception to the rule, like I tattooed a drawing that my friend's 5 year old son drew up; artistically, it looks like a big scribble, 'cause thats what it is. However, a judge at a tattoo show will still be able to tell how well I can or can't tattoo, regardless of the design.
    Hot rods? haha, thats funny, 'cause I like beaters & rat bikes, the dirtier, the rustier, the more evil the better. I hate anything that you have to polish with a diaper, or trailer to a show. I have a 57 Chevy pick up thats in primer black & thats how she'll stay. But then again, when I judge a killer vehicle, I view any vehicle in not just aestetic terms, but utilitarian,... its cooler to me to cross the country in a Pinto than to garage a Duesenberg. That would be like if Asia Carrera died a virgin,...
    The rough spot about this thread, or with this board making such rough judgements about ART, is in this country, not enough people value art the way Eurpoe or the Asian countries do. Its good to be utilitarian about a mid 60s Triumph chopper, or judge a tribal tattoo by its crisp points or solid black fills, but getting too utilitarian about all art breeds apathy, censorship, & a lack of appreciation, or ability to see outside of the box. As designers & artists, these forums are designed to push us to excellence, so we're very critical & sharp, hopefully in a professional way. But yes, we have to be open minded enough to remember that all art is vaild, all art is art.
    But theres lot of crap out there too!

    Lure said it right. You can't distill it down to such a simple interpretation.
    Of course not, the trick is to never fall into that crappy art phase of using 'all art is worthy' excuse for being lazy!

    And really, does anybody actually fail art school??
    Sure! haha! At the Joe Kubert School, the first day of classes, our first instructor told us to look to the right & to the left of us, & get a good look at the people sitting next to us, because when we came back from Christmas break, they wouldnt be there anymore. & y'know, the fucker was right! Sheesh! All the kids at the New School in NYC think that they'll graduate & go straight to the galleries & paint. Man, are they in for the rudest awakening,.....

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JohnnyThief on 2002-02-05 09:48 ]</font>

  9. #9
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    "Of course not, the trick is to never fall into that crappy art phase of using 'all art is worthy' excuse for being lazy! "

    i agree with this thought. we can all judge art using our own criteria. but, the good work will always rise to the top. whether it's by a trained hand or not, the elements come togther in good work and it will get a reaction. the quality of any work does not depend on just one aspect of it's creation. a beautifully crafted piece can completely suck if there's no idea behind it. and conversely, a great idea can die without a proper execution.

  10. #10

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    Thanks Johnny (he of the amazingly detailed messages...heh!). Right on!

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