For this week’s theme I want to stem off from my last post which was about African American artists. This week I am going to focus on art as a whole. More specifically today I am going to talk briefly about studio arts and sketching. Like I have said before I am a Graphic Design student at Southwest Minnesota State University with a minor is Advertising Design Communications. I want you all to know that I am not a natural-born artist. I have to work very hard to do at least what natural-born artists would call mediocre work. However, I have a burning passion and respect for art that will never die out no matter how much I try get away from it (trust me I tried). So I ultimately just keep trying my best and keep trying to improve my skills to better my overall understanding of art instead of giving up.
Now that I got that out of the way I am going to tell you a little bit about studio arts and what helps me improve my skills through this art type. For the type of artist I am most of my work is done on a computer (although it used to be done entirely by hand) so when it comes to studio arts I seem to struggle more than I should. Studio arts can be considered many things but it usually consists of mediums such as: painting, sculpture, drawing, multi-media, prints, photography, etc. Which means the art is usually created by hand on some format that is not digital (besides photography) and is enjoyed visually (not for commercialization). I am not going to define studio arts more than that because you guys can just look it up online if you want more information.
I do however want to talk a little more about how the studio arts are important for any type of artist. Like I have said before I have always struggled with studio arts no matter how hard I try or listen to the teachers instructions. I do know that it is beneficial to try my best and give it all I have got. With studio arts it is about you finding your own voice through your work, not copying others and doing exactly what they do (I had to find this out the hard way). If you cannot express yourself through studio art (or at least one category of it) then how do you expect to be able to express yourself in any other art form or in general. Studio arts is the core structure to art as a whole. It is the basics that every artist should at least try so they can push themselves and their skills to the max.
One of the art practices that I have never caught on to is sketching my ideas out on a sketchpad before starting my work. I am constantly scolded for not sketching any of my designs for my pieces (digital and nondigital). I know why they want me to sketch (it helps overall thinking and design process while also improving drawing skills) but I never get the urge to do it willingly. I do not know why but It is just something I have never done. However, I have to start forcing myself to sketch more soon because my *junior review is coming up in about a month. Which means that I need a sketchbook full of work to show…with less than a month to do it.
Since I do not like to sketch willingly I have found that drawing/sketch challenges really help me out with this dilemma. They give you guidance but enough freedom to create whatever you want with the subject matter. You can find all sorts of lists online, especially on Tumblr and Pinterest. These lists can even help a person who is not artistic become artistic in a way, or at least improve their general drawing skills. Some lists can be really simple or really personal and some can truly be a challenge or it can be a nice, relaxing thing to do in about 5 minutes. It is ultimately up to what you want to do and how hard you want to push yourself as an artist.
Here are a few that I like to refer to every now and then (they can get a little repetitive):
http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/282016008 (this one is a collection of different types of drawing/sketching challenge lists)
Overall, studio arts and sketching can improve your overall knowledge and understanding of art. It can also help you find your own style and help you build off of it as you go. You do not have to be a professional artist (or even an amateur artist) to take a studio arts class or start a sketchbook. As long as you try your hardest and give it your best while staying positive you will be surprised by the results and feedback you may get in return. Do not be afraid to try something new and get out of your comfort zone. If you have an interest in something go for it or at least try it so you can say that you gave it a shot!
Sidenote: If any of you have sketches or artwork that you want to share with me, feel free! I love seeing other people’s work and their art style 🙂
*In case you guys were wondering a Junior Review is when all of the professors of the art department meet up with you during a select time and discuss/critique all your artwork you have created so far at college. There is a Sophomore Review that happens a year prior to this that does the same thing but with more set rules and guidelines. The critique is a pass/fail and I need to pass both reviews in order to graduate. It is a little nerve-racking but beneficial in the long run.