Sketch of the week #19. Doodles and art school
This is an old doodle from my Emily Carr days. During particularly boring periods of three hour long lectures in a semi-dark auditorium with a hundred and fifty other students scribbling notes around me, I would get distracted and start drawing random things. I’m sure many of my other fellow students did the very same thing.
At the time this sketch was made, I have not made a single porcelain doll, but my mind was heavily preoccupied with planning of how to go about making them: what I had to do, what I had to learn, what equipment I had to buy,Â what my dolls should look like- stuff like that. For several months I just thought and thought and thought about it and sketched my thoughts out. These sketches appear to be dealing with doll’s accessories.
Oh, what a titillatingly uncertain and intimidating time of my life it was! I think most of young, fresh-out-of-high-school art students are terrified all throughout art school, because as they progress with their degree, they begin to realize that they are not being trained for any specific trade. While an accountant student became an accountant after school and a medical student became a doctor, an art student is a very confused creature in a very confusing situation because they don’t get a straightforward, this-is-what-you-will-be-doing-until-you-retire career training. Which in retrospect, is not such a bad thing. The feelings of incompetence and uselessness haunts most of art students at one point or another through their schooling. In 2nd and 3rd years most of us began to wonder why we’re paying so much money for a useless degree and how the hell are we going to survive.
This acute uncertainty and fear of the future isÂ the most vivid memory I have from my art school years. It was a very powerful, if hellish experience which I’m grateful for and which I probably wouldn’t choose to go through again. Well, maybe. If I had decided to go back and do a 2-3 year master’s degree at this point in my life, I probably would have a very different and a much more enjoyable and productive time in school than I did the first time around, because I wouldn’t have the element of fear of the future and lack of security. My career path is fairly determined and I think I would concentrate more on refining my creative thought, than trying to desperately devise a way to survive after I graduate. I’ve already been through all that.
Ultimately, an art degree is not useless. Its usefulness is like art itself- subjective and dependent on how much effort you put in it. Today, thinking back to those desperate, fear-filled days brings a smile to my face and a light pang of nostalgia to my heart.Â I learned more than I ever thought I did. I am still only beginning to realize the full scope of what my seemingly-useless-at-the- time-art-education had given me.
Please feel free to write me and share your post secondary education experience. I would love to hear it.
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at 1:40 pm
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