Art Schools

I didn’t attend an art school but I certainly had a lot of instruction from several artists where I attended classes. Robert Wood is an early inspiration of mine because I met him in Yellowstone Park when I was very young. He gave me an American Silver Dollar that I still have today. Apparently my mother and father talked to him. Maybe he was complaining about me. I don’t remember him but I may have asked some important questions. I think he gave me the dollar just to get rid of me. I’m sure I was fairly annoying. I took classes in New Westminster or Coquitlam in a studio that was likely set up by Robert E. Wood and taught by his son (maybe). I had the impression that he was a relative of Robert Wood but I was young and might be completely wrong. For several years I took classes with Violet Mulhame in Vancouver.

Now that you have my CV we can talk about art schools. We have a well-known art school in Vancouver. Emily Carr University of Art and Design. I’ve never been particularly impressed with the graphic design faculty at this school. I’ve worked with, and interviewed, many students for graphic design positions that attended Emily Carr. In general I found them to be woefully lacking in basic knowledge of how printing presses operate. Arguably this is largely antiquated knowledge today but at the time it was important. Conversely I was hugely impressed by the industrial design faculty at Emily Carr. I believe there was also a separate creative art program and there were several classes at the school that I wanted to take but was never able to make the requirements work or fit the classes into my schedule.

For those of you considering art school, I think it is a good idea. An art school will introduce you to new ideas and give you an idea of whether or not you have a chance as an artist. Graphic Design (I’m a graphic designer or graphic artist) is a highly technical profession; having artistic skills is a nice add-on. As an artist it pays to be exposed to as many techniques and mediums as possible. Any skill you learn with one medium can be migrated to another. That’s certainly true with oils and acrylics and equally with ink and print. But if you can’t swing art school then don’t let that stop you. It’s more important that you enjoy the art that you do. I enjoy painting. I don’t necessarily like the result but I enjoy doing it. I get a lot from YouTube videos. Consider graphic design. It pays the bills.

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