On Arts Schools

Just wanted to post a quick thought here.

I’ve been in an arts high school; notice I say ‘arts’ and not ‘art’ because we mean all the art forms, like dance, music, theater and the visual arts.  And I’m taking a Fine Arts course now for college.

I’ve had, and still have, classmates who complain about how we’re not being taught how to draw or paint or what have you.  And here I am going, “well, if all you wanted to learn is how to draw, then you didn’t need to come to an arts school for that…”  There are so many ways people can learn to draw and paint and do whatever it is we artists do – online videos, workshops, going to exhibitions and observing and experimenting on your own.  If you go to an arts school, it should be noted that you already know how to draw, that you already know what to do.  Because in arts school, they won’t teach you how to do shit, they teach you what to do with the skills you have.

Here’s another example.  I took violin lessons – had good and great teachers.  I’ve recently observed that they never taught me how to play the music.  They just taught me how to play the instrument, and how to read notes.  I figured out how to feel and play the music myself.  No one can teach you that.  Same probably goes for those who are in the theater, and in dance.  They didn’t ask their teachers or mentors how to emote and move expressively.  Sad face to them may be angry face to others, ya know?

I think what those classmates of mine didn’t get is that arts is something that comes from you, your experiences, and your observations.  The essence of art can’t be taught because it’s different for everyone.  And an artist’s job is to help the world see what they see.

Cheers,

Agnes

Exam week

Heyyo, people of the Internet!

Finally back with another post!  It’s actually the start of our finals this week, and it ends some time next week (and then summer break, here I come).  But, as usual, I don’t really study for any of my exams…especially now that I’m taking Fine Arts and most of my exams can’t exactly be studied.  So if I’m not already being honest enough right now, exam time is actually when I am the most free.

Growing up in a country (or maybe I should say continent) that puts SO MUCH importance on school and grades, I often observed most of my classmates/schoolmates being so stressed and lethargic during exam time, due to burning the midnight oil, being too nit-picky with their assignments, mental and emotional breakdowns, and even suicidal thoughts.  And I just felt really bad for them because they’re growing up thinking that school and grades are just that – super stressful and the only thing that will make their parents proud.

Personally, studying everyday even until the day of the exam has never worked.  I get so stressed and so engrossed in all the info I’m trying to absorb that my mind just becomes so….artificial?  Like I’m a computer storing all this info that I’ll probably only use for that one day.  It felt like my humanity was just draining out of me like a running tap. Continue reading