arts educators

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La Sorbonne, Paris by Ludwig Favre

The Paris-Sorbonne University is a French university specialized in letters, arts and human sciences in Paris, France. Ludwig Favre wished to bring to light the amphitheaters of the Sorbonne for a quiet absolute moment, when no students were present in these places.

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There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the world’s beaches.
More stars in the universe than seconds of time that have passed since Earth formed.
More stars than words and sounds ever uttered by all humans who have ever lived.
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More augmented reality sandbox work!

Here is 10 things I tell my students on the first day of class about building yourself up into being a artist. This is starting point, not a all encompassing list. Hope you find it helpful!

1. Never stop experimenting. When you stop trying new things your style will get stagnant. Developing your style never has an stopping point, you’re going to continue learning and changing–that is a good thing.

2. Don’t draw to please a particular person or audience. It is tempting to draw something you think the person viewing it will like. It starts with drawing to please a friend/family member, then a teacher, and then a wider audience online or in person. However, consider drawing to please yourself first, an audience will follow in time and you will face a lot less burn out down the line. You’ll be hired for this, work you made out of something you liked crafting–not something you forced yourself to craft. Don’t make art that makes you miserable.

3. Learn the basics. Get good at anatomy (human and animal), perspective, creating depth, lighting, etc–then break the rules you’ve learned. Work, no matter how abstract, pushed, and pulled is always stronger when informed by a mastery of the basics.

4. Practice working in ways that do not hurt your hand. Learn to draw with a relaxed hand and draw in long strokes. Both of these methods help prevent issues with your hand, wrist, and arm. I’ve never gotten carpal tunnel, and I draw on a daily basis, because I have learned how to treat my hand well. Your hand is your tool, if you wear it out there isn’t a new one you can just pick up. The best treatment for any possible physical issues is prevention.

5. Learn how to draw without erasing. It is scary and it is tough no doubt! However the best way to become more confident is through not erasing. There is a medium for everyone to try this out, whether it is pen or non-erasing colored pencils. If you want to ease yourself into this method try out Pentel red lead, it erases a bit–but overall will always leave a mark with every stroke you make. The importance of this is learning to not be afraid of mistakes.

6. Draw from life, from reference photos, and from imagination. This trio is important, combining all three is usually how you build great drawing skills. Drawing from life gives you the ability to capture small details that you’ll remember to put in when drawing from a reference photo, drawing from refs will give you the practice you’ll need to handle whatever subject so that one day you can draw it from your own imagination–see how that works?

7. You’re art isn’t completely unique and that is okay. I can’t emphasis how many people I know who have gotten so hung up on being something totally unique that they burn out fast and never make work again. Now, considering how much art is in the world there is no way that what you create will be 100% unique to you. That is fine, your personality in your work is more of what makes something yours than a “style”.

8. Figure out your work’s personality. On that note finding the personality of your art is important as you go into trying to build your own place in the art world. The personality of a piece is a combination of style, subject, color, shapes, lines, and maybe most important themes (yes subject and themes are different). This combo is what makes your art special. At a loss for where to start figuring out your own personality? Compile a list of 10 artists you love. Why do you love them? Is it the shapes of one artist that speak to you, the line work of another is beautiful, the themes of a third make you feel inspired? Now take the 10 things you love about those 10 artists and start applying them to your own work. This isn’t about copying these artists, it is about the inspiration. That line work you love in another artist’s piece is gunna look different in yours for example. Those themes from another artist, well when you take them on your life might inform them in a opposite way. In time your inspired work will evolve into something that is your own.

9. Talent is nice, persistence is more important. Someone may be naturally talented in some areas of art, however someone who is persistent in their craft is so much more likely to succeed. Effort, continued growth, and practice will add up to so much more in the long run than just skating by on “talent”.

10. Be a good person. Treat others with respect, learn about social issues, don’t be a creep, and use your art to help people. And this might mean you craft a piece about an important issue that changes thousands of lives, or you might just be creating to help yourself get through the day. Both are important, after all you are a person too and you should always be trying to help and be kind to yourself.

so there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the worlds beaches, more stars than seconds of time that have passed since earth formed, and more stars in our universe than all sounds ever uttered by all humans who have ever lived. and yet, every time we breathe, we inhale more molecules than the amount of stars in our visible universe. yet the amount of stars or even molecules in which we breathe in our lifetime cannot amount to how much i love you.

In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

Ever wondered how Agnes Martin balanced perfection and imperfection in her gridded compositions, why Jackson Pollock was dubbed “Jack the Dripper,” how Mark Rothko sought to make viewers cry, or what a Willem de Kooning painting sounds like? Sign up for “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting,” MoMA’s newest free online course—now open for enrollment at mo.ma/coursera.

This course welcomes anyone to tap into the processes, materials, and minds of seven New York School artists including Martin, Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning and Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, and Yayoi Kusama. Combining studio techniques, visual analysis, and art historical insight, it offers an opportunity to experience postwar abstract painting from an artist’s point of view. 

Thanks to @vw​ for helping to bring MoMA Courses to learners all over world!

The Value of Museums

Museums are more than a collection of objects. Museums are more than a resource for a community. Museums are more than a place for solitude, for study, for socialising, for gathering, a place to learn, a place to find inspiration, a place to find joy. Museums are more than one thing to everyone who visits them.

In light of the proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities I would like to request submissions to feature on this blog of all the things that your museum, art gallery or archive has done to bring value to your communities. Have you worked on a project for your visitors? Have you conducted research to explore something new in your field? 

Please email me at arts.museum.education at gmail dot com to start the conversation. I can’t wait to begin featuring your stories.

You’re too amazing to be treated as just a fucking option
—  things i wish i knew before i let you come back into my life (via @anotordinaryteen)