self portrait in blue

What I’ve Learnt In Art School

From the age of thirteen I was convinced I would be studying languages. I have been very much interested in writing from a young age, so I thought it would be the perfect combination. During my last year of highschool, though, I changed my mind and decided to apply to an art academy. At the time I actually had no idea what graphics or graphic design really was, but was so convinced that I should try pursuing creative studies.
Over the course of five years, studying what was supposed to be applied arts (but which looked more like taking fine art classes), I had been challenged with new tasks and various ups and downs. Some professors were disappointing, some were amazing. In the end, it all comes down to personal ambition and how much you’ve strived to learn and grow as a student and as a person.

Art school won’t teach you how to draw, nor paint, nor photograph. That’s up to you.

But it could teach you to observe, pay more attention to certain elements and discussing art-related matter will surely leave a trace on the way you perceive things.

To me, the most important aspect I’ve learnt over the course of five years, was to consciously know why I like or dislike a work of art, be it a sculpture, photograph, or illustration. And the more I see works from other people, I realize just how important that is. It’s difficult to explain to yourself why you think something’s good and why you feel attracted to one work, instead of the other one. When choosing which photos to publish, I sometimes need to choose between a few and, although mostly I stick to my guts and know immediately which one will be the one, at other times that process is not so straightforward and I really need to actively think why I will choose one photo over the other.

self portrait blue through window
My reasoning behind choosing the first image was this:
1. The arms on the other two are out of the frame
2. The arm in the middle picture looks very odd
3. The first photo has a mysterious, even dark, quality to it and thus is able to tell a story, while the other two are too plain for my taste

It helps a lot trying to break these things down and I’m so grateful we have had to explain our work to professors (although I hated it at the time), but it all did serve a purpose.

So next time when you’re feeling unsure about your work, try expressing your views and thoughts to a friend or colleague, formulating in words why you’re doing it exactly the way you do it and what you (dis)like about it.

Having a dialogue with a colleague can open up new viewpoints and help clear things up.

photographer self portrait with cameraAbout the author
Hi! I’m Isabella and I’m a photographer, blogger and applied arts graduate. I love spending my time creatively, or watching movies, drinking tea, playing with my cats and hanging out with friends.
Find me here isabellabubola.com or on Facebook and say hello!

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