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Organic or Taught: Why Go to Art School?

Is it really all that important to go to art school? This is a question that has often plagued budding artists. Today, we shall be digging into this thought a bit further. Since the concept art school came about, it has always been a sort of divisive topic. There are those that believe that you can go without it. There are also those that believe that any serious artist should go and get formal artistic education.

For a budding artist, a common issue with the topic of art school is the cost and WHO is going to pay for it. Most of the time, these are artists that are still living with their parents. While parents generally want what’s best for their kids would normally not be able to see the point of going to a formal art institution.

You see, it is always been sort of a stigma attached to art that it is something that you are either born with or not at all. It is something that you need to have inside you and not taught. After all, they argue that the likes of Leonardo da Vinci did not have any form of formal training. He only knew basic things like reading or writing. Yet, to this day he is hailed as one of the artistic masters of the world.

In order to really get into the thick of the argument, we should establish what art school is.

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Let’s talk about Art School

Typically, this is an educational institution or a place where formal education regarding visual arts, fine arts, or performance arts are given. Courses vary in duration. However, it usually is as long as tertiary education which can reach up to two or four years. So in a sense, it is actually a college education that is tailored to fit those who are aiming to pursue arts as their profession.

A common discussion regarding art school is about whether or not it is truly necessary. However, that question is best answered by the person who IS actually going to undergo the formal education. The problem about this is that budding artists are often surrounded by people who do not understand the need for formal art training. They argument is always art is organic.

However, much like the discussion about food, there is now more options whether or not art is something that can be grown organically or something that can be taught. While we do believe that those who have an interest in art should pursue formal training only if they wish to do so. Art training isn’t easy. It’s something that you need to work up every day knowing that that is where you want to be. Here are some things to consider about art school:

Materials are expensive

If you’re an artist that makes use of visual arts, then you will know this in your bones. It is not cheap to come across suitable mediums for your art. Painters need easels, paints, brushes, and a space to do their work. Sculptors need to bring in their material, their tools, and also a space to work.

We emphasize space because there is often not that much freedom at where you can do your thing. Even young artists that have a rented apartment are often subject to the preferences of their landlord. No matter how carefully you try to create a space where you can work, it is often difficult to do so. This is why one of the first things that established artists do is to build their work studio.

Art school often provides their students with access to equipment that they would normally not be able to hold. This is particularly helpful for those who wish to sculpt or for those who wish to undertake applied arts.

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The knowledge you get here is worth its weight in gold

Just how some people wish they were taught how to do taxes in school, the information that you learn in art school is something that you do not pick in “real world”. What a lot of people may not realize is that art majors are taught how to conduct business as well. They are taught how to budget, how to price their art, and do accounting.

They are also taught how to effectively market their art. Connections are borne from knowing people. In art school, the same person you might be working next to can be the next big thing and can help you with your own.

Art school also provides their students with critical instruction from those that have been established in their own art fields. While learning from your own mistakes is good, learning from the mistakes that have gone on ahead of you is even better. You get to enjoy the lesson without having to go through the hardship.

Artists are made to grow past their comfort zone.

You can always trust media to put a negative connotation on artists. They’re “moody” or “too sensitive” or “stubborn”. However, if you take away the artist from the picture, the three descriptions above can be used on anyone.

Those that go to art school will tell you that if they ever held thought that they could just sit in a corner and create it would be gone in the first few weeks. Art school is a community. Budding artists are taught to talk about their work and take criticism. Art school isn’t for the faint of heart.

Unemployable…?

One constant concern that is held by family members and even the artists themselves is getting employed after going to art school. There are actually a lot of jobs in the art world—people just don’t realize it. Digital artists are one of the highly paid jobs in the world right now. A lot of businesses are starting to learn the value of graphic artists.

What’s great about technology today is that it’s not that hard to transition from being a painter to someone who’s working on a digital art. Like all things, it just needs a bit of instruction and practice

An Introduction of Basics: Just what is Art?

There has always been a bit of a disagreement over the concept of art. Today, we delve a little deeper into the topic of art and its many little facets.

What is Art?

A common definition of art is anything that depicts beauty. Over the years, this definition has shifted, expanded, and even been contested endlessly. The creation of art generally requires masterful skill that produces a particular aesthetic outcome. There has always been a somewhat unclear standardized definition of art.

Art isn’t just a single avenue. Anything that humans use to express their creativity is considered art: visual, liberal, design, crafts, or performance, and so many other things. As time goes on, newer and newer forms of art has emerged.

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Depending on the era, the art that is most common varies. For example, classical art or renaissance saw a lot of painters and sculptors. The likes of Da Vinci and Michelangelo were all very prolific during this era. The post-renaissance happened around middle of the 18th century. It was during that time wherein the sickness of “art snobbery” came to be. It was then that the concept of making art for art’s sake was established. However, critics have argued that even the likes of the great masters made art simply for the act of making art. It just so happened that they were commissioned to place their art in locations that were of great significant importance.

Art Classifications

Art is generally categorized into different groups. However, there still isn’t a clear or standardized composition to the groups. However, these are the ones that are generally acceptable ones:

Fine Arts

Fine Arts the topic that is often something that is heatedly debated. It is actually this that was under fire about “making art for art’s sake”. A common complaint was that fine art was often made without the concepts of functionality were not prioritized. Instead, it was more of a culmination of the artistic sense of the artist. These are the usual mediums of Fine Art:

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Paintings

The various forms of painting fall under this category. What’s funny is that a large number of traditional and universally hailed pieces of art are paintings. So while it’s odd that a lot of criticisms about Fine Art include a discussion about functionality, it is also something that is hailed as THE pinnacle of art.

Sculptures

Sculptures are one of the other more established forms of art. It is also one of the earliest forms of art.

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Visual Arts

Visual arts are one of the more modern forms of art. This is an art form that we get to enjoy because of technological advances. Some of the forms include photography, videography, and even environmental land art—which include topiaries and the like.

Decorative Arts

Ornamental art forms usually include glass, metal, and other textiles. If you’ve have a rug in your home, that counts as decorative arts. Other forms of decorative arts are tapestry, jewelry, and pottery. Since glass is considered to be decorative art, the massive stained glass designs you’ve seen in France fall under this category. Decorative arts are normally one of the more expensive forms of art.

Performance Arts

While most people consider performance art as a ‘modern’ type of art, it is actually got quite a history on it. Theater is actually considered a performance art. As you may know, theater has quite deep roots in the history of countries like France or England. Other forms of performance art would be dance. As you may know, Ballet is considered to be one of the greatest achievements of humanity. There have the establishments that are wholly dedicated to studying traditional or classical ballet. At the same vein, there are those that try to branch off and try their own take at dance.

Either way, it is something that people makes use of to convey emotions or stories.

Applied Arts

Applied arts take on a more utilitarian approach to art. They try to take function and form and unify it. You’ve probably seen couches or sofas that are considered works of art. Homes are now even considered art. Architecture is filed under applied arts.

Art definitely has a lot of different aspects to it and it will continue to evolve. This is one of the best things about art. Just as artists evolve and find their own mediums or avenues to express themselves, art itself will continue to change as well.

Processing Art

A lot of concern regarding the topic of art is that “who tells us what is art and what isn’t?”To help readers about this, we’ve narrowed down some pointers that can help you build your own definition of art:

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Emotion

Art, regardless of form, should evoke emotion in you. Art makes you feel something in the depths of your being. While it doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking or life-changing (sometimes it is), it just needs to be something that you feel. If you do not feel anything, then that isn’t the art for you.

What everyone should remember is that art is subjective. While it may not make you feel anything—thatdoes not invalidate the art piece itself. Instead, it would be best to try again with another piece. Don’t give up.

Introspection

Art makes you think. It doesn’t just make you feel. Even if it’s something as silly as “that color is interesting”, it should at least provoke thought. What’s even better is if it can make you parlay those observations into thoughts regarding other aspects of your life.

Aftereffect

What comes after is what is normally best. One you’ve looked at or experienced art, it would be important to determine if there have been any changes. You can either truly hate art or decide to take a break from it, or you could even feel like you want to experience more.

Art is a pretty good catalyst for massive introspection and decision making. Whether it is positive or negative, art has done its job.

An Appreciation of the Earliest Art Works Known to Man

Art has always been in the lives of man. While most people would outright dismiss the idea of it, our earliest known ancestors had a hand in building our appreciation for art. That said,we believe that is it important to look back upon these in order to see our journey as a culture and as a people. Today, we’ll be looking closer at the earliest art works known to man.

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Venus of Galgenberg

This statue is also called the “Stratzing Figurine”. This stone art piece was discovered in late 1988. It was located during an excavation of a shelter that was believed to be used by the earlier form of humans during the Paleolithic era. At the site, there was charcoal among the flint tools and no cave art. Cave art was something that most archeologists expected to find at shelters use during the Ice Age.

However, what they experts found were not drawings but carvings. The stone sculpture was carved as indicative of the significant number of fragmentation on the ground. It was the same type of rock used on the Venus and the source material was found near the vicinity of the camp site.

The Venus herself is about three inches in height. It is believed that the source material is called Serpentine—a type of stone that was later used for axes in the Stone Age. While there were those that argued that the Venus could have just been easily been a man, further study of the figurine silenced critics.

Much like other mobiliary art found later one, the figure was clearly female. Specifically, it was a nude female as depicted by special attention given to carving the breasts and genitalia. Historians then started to hypothesize that the Venus statuettes were some form of fertility symbol. The Venus of Galgenberg is dated to around 30,000 BCE.

Abri Castanet Engravings

These engravings are one of the more recent discoveries—only being found in 2007. This was found while an inspection of the Abri Castanet as its shelter had collapsed. Experts then discovered an otherwise unobserved cache of rock engravings on the ochre-stained limestone. While the shelter itself was first found in the early 1900s it wasn’t until much later that other parts of it were found.

There were several pictographs on the ceilings. While most believed that they were put there by the uses of charcoal, like other cave art, it was later determined that these wall and ceiling pieces were put in by engraving them into the stone. There was some confusion on whether or not the “art” was part of the original shelter or was something that had formed after the shelter had collapsed.

It is lucky then that further study went on to establish that the carvings and engravings WERE part of the original shelter. The other forms of Abri Castanet art were considered to be more primitive that the art that had a later dating.

The engravings found in Abri Castanet were dated to around 35,000 BCE.

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Bhimbeka Petroglyphs

This art is generally considered to be the oldest known art from the prehistoric world. It was discovered in the 1900s in India. It was here that the concept of Cupules was discovered in relation to prehistoric art. Cupules are hemispherical cup-shaped depressions that are thought to have been hammered out of the surface of the material that’s chosen (typically rock).

The excavations in India started around the early 1970s, there were several sites that were investigated and located. However, it is the Bhimbeka Petroglyphs that were dated to be at least 290,000 to around 700,000 BCE. What made this found so interesting is that the tools that were used for the petroglyphs were all found in the area as well. “Hammerstones” were used and the archeologists also found a whopping number of cupules in the area. This automatically established that the petroglyphs were not naturally occurring fixtures.

El Castillo Cave Paintings

In English, this is referred to as the “Cave of the Castle”. This discovery is located in Spain; specifically in the “Gallery of the Hands”. These paintings were found in 1903 within a 330M long cave which was used as a shelter for prehistoric humans. Most of the cave paintings seem to be figurative in nature. There are a significant number of depictions of horses, mammoths, and even dogs. This was quite special in nature as the existence of dogs wasn’t as established. They were believed to an evolution that occurred latter on.

The paintings were dated to be at around 39,000 BCE. This set up the expectation for future archeologists that most artistic projects of prehistoric individuals would be crude wall paintings.

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Xianrendong Cave Pottery

Prehistoric art was always believed to be cave paintings. Later on, the idea shifted to allow cave petroglyphs, engravings, and carvings. Most archeologists pretty much figured that was it until the excavations in China found ceramics!

The Xianrendong Cave which was also called the Immortal’s Cave in Southeast China—the cave measures at around 23ft in height and about 36ft in width. The depth registered at around 46ft. deep and into the caves were shelters which were believed to be used by prehistoric humans.  They found round-bottomed and bag-shaped jars. Experts believed that these jars were used for cooking.

This meant a grand leap in the utilization of tools for survival and the way that early humans handled their food. No longer was the focus on mere gathering of food—they also now tried to coax textures and flavors out of their meals.

An also important discovery about this is that there were jugs that did not seem to be used for cooking. Instead, there were some that seemed to have not been utilized at all after it was made. It was then the experts postulated that some of the pottery discovered for made for the sake of creation. This went on to support the further mounting evidence of art in correlation to humanity. Wherever the humans went, art was sure to follow next.