The Fuzzy Chef on sun 14 sep 08
> Every so often, I toy with the idea of an MFA. The problem is, I get
> my classes at the local university for free because Jim works there
> and I'd have to pay to go somewhere else. I'm not wild about the MFA
> program at the local university.
As far as I can tell, there are two main reasons to get an MFA:
1) to give you 2-3 years full time work on your art without yet needing
to earn a living selling it, and
2) to make you eligible for teaching art.
If you haven't had a chance to work in an intensive ceramics studio
where your collegues are full-time artists, then an MFA can be
invaluable; if you already have that, you might need to do some pro/con
Deborah Thuman on sun 14 sep 08
The most important class I took in law school was a real estate class.
Why? Because I learned I detested working with real estate and never
had to waste my time doing full time real estate worth. The second
most important class I took was Criminal Procedure Law. Why? I took
that sucker so I could pass the NY bar exam. I discovered I dearly
loved criminal law (something I thought I hated) and ended up working
as a criminal defense attorney.
I took a drawing class a few years back so I could get the ideas out
of my head and onto fabric. I take clay classes because I love playing
in the mud and mud jump starts a creative process for me. Do I make a
living as an artist? No. Am I trying to make a name for myself and
build up the art business? Yes. Why? So that when I retire from law, I
will have a business set up and going to supplement my pension and to
keep me from just sitting in a chair and staring at the wall. Art - in
whatever medium I'm working - is a way for me to stay sane, to
recharge my soul, to move into a zone where the rest of the world
disappears. This is something that's very good for my mental health.
Every so often, I toy with the idea of an MFA. The problem is, I get
my classes at the local university for free because Jim works there
and I'd have to pay to go somewhere else. I'm not wild about the MFA
program at the local university.
As for what to tell students..... Why tell them anything about earning
a living? Let them learn art, English, whatever. I do think
universities should have independent business classes to teach
students how to market themselves, what records to keep for tax
purposes, how to figure out what the need to sell to make it worth
setting up at a particular venue and the reality of commission work.
There are some folks out there who will want you to make them what you
consider to be butt ugly pieces - but they will pay your overhead and
maybe give you a profit. I also think these classes should be required
for all majors not just art.
Katie Ellis on mon 15 sep 08
I know all this great teaching advice is for Tony, but I have to admit that
I've secretly been internalizing it. I was asked to assist a grad student
in teaching his beginning ceramics class how to throw/work on the wheel.
Today will be day one. I am responsible for teaching half his class. I
have been beaming about it for the past week! There is nothing I would
rather spend a Monday afternoon doing! But nowI can't seem to pin point why
I feel sick to my stomach. I spent an hour on the phone last night with my
numero uno mentor talking teaching, college, pre-BFA show jitters, and that
constant battle that surfaces inside myself all too frequently about
doubting myself and what I do.
Along with taking all this teaching advice with me to class today, I will be
taking the apron Mary O'Connell sent to me 6 years ago. I wear it every
day. The tools I use will be a mix of things that other kind Clayart souls
sent to me a few years ago that I have kept and treasured and continued to
use. My heart will be filled of images of good work and words of
encouragement from Lili and others. I keep wondering if one day I'll wake
up and have faith in my work. I pray that will come before my show so I
don't cry at the opening! Actually, I think I better find a little
confidence before I sit down before 26 students in 6 hours and tell them I
know enough to teach them how to throw a pot.
Anyway, thank you all for the teaching advice.
entering fourth year of college clay
Arnold Howard on mon 15 sep 08
From: "Katie Ellis"
But nowI can't seem to pin point why
> I feel sick to my stomach.
Katie, that feeling is normal and should go away after the
first few minutes. You probably know far more than you
realize, and that information will surface as you give the
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