I was browsing my emails a few days ago, trying to catch up with my backlog, and stumbled upon this link to an interesting article regarding Chinese Art students applying for a school in China:
Just last month I was approached by a Chinese company looking to have me participate in a lecture and discussion on entry policies of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City, and American art schools in general. This would be broadcast to multiple locations in China through an online forum with live translation and questions and answers afterward. As I am not on the admissions board at SVA, I could not truthfully provide details regarding their policies, thus politely declined last month. Seeing this article this weekend struck home the potential wave of interest directed at our creative culture here in the States and Europe.
As a teacher, I have had students from Europe to South America to Asia, and have always opened my door to those eager to learn, and will always do so. What hit me was how this Chinese company assumed there was some kind of ‘process’ to creativity which could be explained, evaluated and then mimicked for their client/students to then use. Or maybe they truly did not know how creativity can be assessed (or how it almost can never be assessed!)
Take these pictures as you will, but remember they are just a single snap shot of a moment and do not reflect the entire entry process for this Chinese Arts University. But it is disappointing to see students evaluated on how they approach an identical subject/content/composition given from an art school without the freedom to come up with a still life on their own. What an abundance of imagery could come from those thousands of students if given the chance to think on their own!
It is for this reason I do not offer ‘rules’, nor rigid process orthodoxy, nor focus upon technique in my teaching, but rather push my students and mentorees to experiment, be prolific, and expose themselves to multiple forms of art and solutions to find their artistic voice. Orthodoxy leads to stagnation and uninspiring works.
Be creative today.