Sunday, May 11, 2008

At Sharon's

(Center figure is Sharon, I am at the back with Vivian.)

Yesterday I went to Sharon's Studio. (where I will be working for in the future)

Sharon is a well composed, confident, quick and sharp lady, she has a loud, honest and assertive voice, I immediately think of her as a 女俠 type. XD (you know... those Chinese martial arts movie always have a strong woman type of thing.)

Most of the young teachers there were her students, me and Vivian were the only "outsider" sort of speak. Her students all seem very nice, our age, I felt at home with them. lol~
But thinking they were all at least our level of drawing skill or better.... I felt like I am in a professional circle, and I am just one of the standard. I felt small.

Sharon gave both me and Vivian nice critiques on our work, my confidence has come down a little... but those critiques probably helped cleared out what I had known in my mind what was not satisfying about my work.

"Your work is good, really clear minded, but look at all the areas, this is not bad, that's not bad, all of it were just about the same, same strokes here and same strokes there. You need to pull it up, more contrast, and really give it a punch. Some of your areas seem unfinished, where it needs detailing you didn't push further. If you only had worked on a specific area more, even unfinished work will look finished."

A punch line in my work, that's what I lacked. I need to work on my focal point, I knew my strokes were all the same, but I had trouble breaking the old habit. I am going to experiment more with painting digitally this summer.

That critique helped me more than 2-3 art class added together.... the problem with a big school and a big class is.... if you are one of the best in the class, you tend to get neglected and can't push forward much more because there's always students that needs more help of the teacher.

I tend to just look at other students as inspiration and for healthy competition, I seriously needed those good skilled students to push myself forward. I am glad there's always a few of them around in my class no matter where I am.

I did get help, and did improve in my classes... but I wish I could have gotten more.

First year Matt helped me to get solid with measurement.
Second year in Gerndt's class I get to work on my finest level interns of detailing.

I personally don't like to go to ask for critique, due to bad past experience. Perhaps I need to break that problem of mine if I want to seriously move forward.

Being with Vivian helps, she grew up in a different environment from me, where I tend to get crit by amatures which caused most of the damage and made me not want to get crit....

She constantly ask for a teacher (master) to critique her and she's serious about improving her skills. Since she's very comfortable about being critiqued, I feel more comfortable about that as well when I am with her.
Other wise I tend to mix skill achievement against my personal value emotionally.

Vivian said something that I deem valuable:
"It is the hardest when you want to push deeper."

How I perceive the word:
When your skill get to a level beyond your school mate, or beyond what the teacher can teach you, I think that's the most confusing time. Because you just don't know where to push.

The sharing on the student's problems and the parents' problem, my god I could relate to it more than I thought. I asked a lot of questions about various problems. I had more questions than I thought too!

I also asked if Sharon still have any time to do her own work.... she replied "No. but I don't mind that, sometimes if I don't draw for a while, I draw again a few years later, I draw better."

"Huh? I thought it was the other way around? That if you don't draw for a while you get rusted."

Vivian added: "That's what I thought too."

Sharon: "That's because I am constantly observing and thinking about what I draw, constantly."

Now I wait for Sharon to get their photos out for us. :D

The boss who owns this studio is a quiet elder, he's an art appreciator, I don't know what he does, but he sure is a graceful, but sharp critic. (reminds me on how those ancient old masters just nod their heads and say "good" but if you ask him what you can work on... he probably can give you a list...)

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