Inspiration, Critiques, and my New Favorite Friends

Professor's Shading Demo

Professor’s Shading Demo

There are a million ways to describe FIT’s unique environment. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough space in this post to list them all, but my favorite term to describe the FIT atmosphere is inspirational. At FIT inspiration can be found around any corner, in any hallway or classroom, in FIT’s own museum, and even in the lobbies. Looking back on my first time walking down hallway of D building on the first day of classes, I remember stopping to think, what inspires me? How will I take advantage of all the opportunities presented to me this spring? Will I make any lasting friendships? Who will influence my art, and help me better my artwork?

My New Friend, Sofia

My New Friend, Sofia

Inspiration as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary is a person, place, or experience, that makes someone want to do or create something. Although classes were not in session this Saturday, looking through my work from my past weeks in HFA 024 Life Drawing has inspired me to continue drawing even without the early morning trip to FIT. So I spent my Saturday working on a drawing I had started about two weeks ago in class that I never had the chance to finish.

This spring, I have the pleasure of being taught by Professor Martino. I came to FIT with no knowledge on how to accurately proportion and draw the human figure. You can’t imagine how drastically important it is to know about the human anatomy to draw it. Believe it or not, when drawing the human figure each body part can first be sketched as a sphere, cube, cone, or cylinder. Simplifying the body is not as easy as it looks! Another factor that is considered when drawing the human figure is light source. The light source in a composition heavily influences the dimension and depth of the drawing. The three types of shading that Professor Martino demonstrated for us are shown above.
About two weeks ago at FIT, my class started working on drawings of a skeleton that is stored in the classroom. This was my favorite day of classes at FIT so far, because while working o n drawing the skeleton, my class managed to name him (Steve) and we all got very attached, unlike his shoulder. Steve the skeleton’s shoulder is permanently dislocated; this coincidence turned into a challenge to draw, and a joke to laugh about with my classmates. Throughout class, the girls in my class grew together by making parodies of popular songs, all revolving around Steve. “I knew you were Steve when you walked in” was sang out in the middle of a sketch, as the classroom erupted with laughter, even Professor Martino let out a giggle.

That class two weeks ago brought the class out of its shell. I believe that the opportunity to work hard to draw the skeleton together and joke around about Steve brought my class together more into a group of friends and not just a regular school class.The friends I have made have also inspired me, after our first critique on some homework to work to better my drawing even after the professor has checked it. My friends have inspired me to be persistent in my work because practice makes perfect. If you are anything like me, you LOVE critiques. Critiquing is the best place to find ways to improve not only your current artwork, but to keep in mind the advice and the mistakes you made on the piece of art and work towards becoming a better artist in the long run.

With that I would like to thank you for reading this week!
Until next week,
Yours Truly,
Kathleen

Steve the Skeleton

Steve the Skeleton

Critiques

It’s incredible to think we’re nearing the home stretch of this FIT experience. It feels like not even a few days ago I was walking into orientation, wide eyed and ready to learn. Being at FIT has definitely broadened my horizons and taught me far beyond what I expected. Many of our lessons I’ve already been familiar with (I have a bit of experience in most of the Adobe suite, so all the introductions to the programs and basic lessons I had already knew) but the one thing I’ve been exposed to that I could never been on my own has been the class critiques. And let me tell you, I’m in love.

A critique is just about exactly what it sounds like, you take you work, present it in front of the class, and they tell you what they like/dislike, what you should add/remove, and/or any bit of advice or insight to further improve your work. I know, sounds daunting, but getting the opinions from others is one of the best possible things you can do for your work. Or at least, it’s one of the best I can do for mine.

After looking at the design for so long, I definitely can begin to get a little numb to it. It’s like when you get used to a smell because it’s been there so long, or when a song just becomes background noise since you’ve heard it so many times. Having a fresh set eyes look at it helps me notice some faults I didn’t realize was there, or realize my direction. Think back to the old writing exercise, which is to read your piece backwards in order to make sure it makes sense, since you’ve read it forward so many times and might just skip over the mistakes.

Not only are critiques great for your own artwork, but they’re also a great place to be heard and really show your knowledge. There’s always the fear that if you just go up to someone and tell them all the things you think could be improved you’d come off as rude, pretentious, and/or other negative descriptions. Critiques provide an open environment to let people know what you really feel, and give you the opportunity to talk about what you love. It’s a win win! In the end, critiques break the ice. At the beginning of my class, no one would really say anything regarding other people’s work. However, after participating in our first critique, it’s rare someone doesn’t make a comment as they’re walking about the room. Do critiques sound as daunting as they did in the beginning?

Have you participated in a critique, and if so, what’s your favorite/less favorite part? If you haven’t, what’s one thing you’ve learnt in your class that you couldn’t have learnt anywhere else?

As always,

Izzy