Who say's you are good at art?
So I was thinking about this today, really how can you mark a person who works as an artist or who is at art school training, studying art?
Yes you could say well they would be marked on skills, technical ability, but sadly to say this e days are long gone, where you trained under a Master for several years and built up amazing skills. ( I am sure there are still many who are very skilled technically)
But the reality is from my experience art school stopped teaching skills a long time ago. When I first went to art school about 25 years ago, it was an amazing place, people had great studio spaces, there were different departments with very skilled tutors in each, who taught the finer technical skills of drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and all the even finer details in each. I studied fine art so I can't comment on the design side. But it was amazing, there was a real buzz about the place, tutors were around and seen daily, and skills were taught. Sadly when I returned about 11 years later, the art school had been enveloped bu the University system, it was all about getting as many bums on seats and more money. Studio spaces were tiny, departments cut, hardly any tutors about and no skills taught like there used to be, suffice to say I found solace in the guys running the work shop who taught me lots and spent most of my time there.
But this blog isn't about how skills aren't being taught anymore, that's for another day, what I was thinking about more was how can you grade a student on their art, who say's their work is worth a 1st class honours, a 2:1 or even a fail. I don't think you can mark art, it should simply be a pass to a fail ( it's different at school level as there is specific criteria but not at college / Uni). I recall there were students who worked their butts off, totally committed, dedicated, passionate about what they did and made, in there at 6am some days and working till late, and there were other, no judgement who had totally given up, never in, you'd be lucky if you saw them once a month.
Yet degree show time comes around and the student that's never in, pulls a few full days with help from someone else, and they walk out with say a 2:1 the same as a person who's been committed, passionate and dedicated for four years - as let's be clear here they're work is very good, now to me that doesn't seem fair, well the art system isn't, unfortunately it's all about if your face fits, it you play the game, especially if you want to make it big. That's how the world is, we have to learn to hate the systems that allow things like this, the judgement, bullying, corruption, glamour, the striving and using force for fame,
People who work in the arts have to go through a lot of rejection, judgement, critic, not just at art school, from art galleries etc too, does your work fit in with what they like, what they sell, the other artists the represent, it's all a bit of charade if you ask me, but unfortunately it is what it is.
If you stay true to your heart and paint, make art, you might not be as successful as others you see, but you know where your art comes from and that you're not selling out or selling your Soul, not that you can do that, you can ignore it for a very long time, but hey as much as you try it's not going away, and that's a good thing if you ask me, but at least if you are successful you know it's true success.
But yeah, let's get rid of grades at art school and make it a simple pass or fail.