that’s right! controversial!
i was thinking about the idea of art school. about the sputtering death of artistic impulse that can happen as students become graduates. in-real-lifers. artists. i was thinking that the problem inherent in going to school for art–any sort of art, i think–isn’t in the content or the subject (which is by and large extremely well thought and deeply interesting) but in the transition out of art school and being able to maintain quality, honest, worthwhile output.
there comes a point after the oxford cap is hung on the hat rack* where you have to take hold of the reigns, and say, “yes, this is my domain. there is value the work that i do. i commit to learning and developing and growing, and staying present in the work that i do. letting my intuition guide me. letting the work develop, me its glad oracle.”
yes yes, blah blah blah, abstract abstract.
but i think that’s where someone is likely to fall off the boat. perhaps, they struggle to find value in their vocation. perhaps they realize, suddenly, shockingly, that their work so far is rife with the thinness that comes with making art that aims mainly or wholly to please our professors. get the grade and all that. perhaps they do not know to root down into their work. perhaps, they are not prepared to accept criticism (both of the work, and perhaps the choice of vocation itself).
maybe that’s really easy for some people but actually i don’t see how that can be the case. it must be terribly hard for everyone. it must result in ego-driven work. or work that seeks validation.
the real dream is to have work that is self-propelling. self-reflexive. that has its own internal clock, internal direction. it’s probably worth it to step away and then to revisit it with fresh eyes. with life experience to bolster your return.
because actually, imagine how gratifying it will be when you can meet your art on its own terms and to spend the rest of your life slowly learning and building on an idea.
that’s the stuff.
*the author is aware that this is a real stretch in terms of an effective metaphor.