Monday, June 3, 2013

Lessons Learned in Art School a Repost from the Archives. First posted in Sept 2011

I am pulling from the archives, a favorite post of mine and it is so appropriate as I embark on a new creative adventure. 
I have just started a new online course called, Make Art That Sells, which is a collaboration between Lilla Rogers Studio and Beth Kempton of Do What You Love.  Lilla Rogers is the founder of Lilla Rogers Studio, which is a studio that represents a fabulous line up of over three dozen artist from around the world. She has also authored a book, I Just Like to Make Things, which gives you inspiration and information on moving your creative career forward.

So as I begin this course I am taken back to my old school days and I thought of teachers before and lessons learned. Even now when  I make work I often think about them and the lessons learned and  some I share here. I did want add one personal lesson that I should say is something I believe in, I like to share my art by giving it away as a gift to fellow artist. It gives me great joy to that and it is a great creative exchange.

During the next five weeks of study I look forward to see what lessons I may be adding to my list.

Here is my repost from September 26, 2011
Inspiration I keep on top of my flat file in the studio.
In Friday's post I mentioned art school and I started to think about all the information you get with your lessons, your projects, your critiques and from your teachers. It is stored somewhere. It happens whether you go to art school, take lessons, take workshops or are self taught. We learn tricks, get advice, gain wisdom and learn by doing. It is all passed on to your artistic self.  
They are there consciously and subconsciously. 

Some of my art supplies.
I want to share with you some lessons I learned in art school. 
I learned about:

I do consider it oxygen at times but I use it to give my paper an antique off white look. I do not ordinarily like to paint on pure bright white anything. It smells nice too.

Expensive supplies do not necessarily make better art.

If you come across trash on the side of the road give it a second look because someones trash maybe your art supplies. 
From a close friend, artist and mentor, while walking on the streets of New York. 
Sadly he is longer around and I miss him terribly to this day.

If the design does not work in black and white, color will not fix it or make it better. 
From my one of my design teachers.

In textile painting it is best to tone down bright whites with a "frass" amount of black. 
You and I might call it a smidgen, a dot, but one of my painting teachers called it 
a frass amount which translates to the amount of fly poop, yes frass means fly poop.

God is in the details. Some people say good is in the details. Also from one of my textile painting teachers.

Draw or sketch everyday it can be just a scribble or a doodle in your sketchbook, but make it a point to draw everyday. 
If you can make art everyday all the better.

Before jumping into a piece of work warm up with some gesture drawings, loops or circles to loosen up.

Good layout and design is more pleasing to the eye when elements of that composition 
are represented in odd numbers such as the number three. 
It gives the eye a place to rest and or stop.

At the end of the day the letters after your name do not matter. 
It is what is in your portfolio or body of work. 

Literally and figuratively. I think everyone should learn perspective.

Mies Van Der Rohe said less is more. When you are creating a piece of work and feel like you are done, stop. Walk away. 
Listen to your gut because if you keep fiddling with it you will end up disappointed with an overworked piece. 

Step back away from your piece and have a look. Look at it from different angle. Turn it upside down. You will see more this way. From a fine art painting professor.

If you are stuck use your less dominant hand to draw or paint. I happen to be right handed, I may have been forced by the nuns on this one. I say that because I have used this technique many times and I feel so comfortable drawing and sketching with my left. 
I think I was suppose to be a lefty. From one of my life drawing teachers.

 Never use more than three typeface styles on a given page. It creates font clutter. 
From a former boss.

You can create anywhere be it at the kitchen table, in a corner in the living room, or in the basement. Just create.  

From Colorado, to New York, to Massachusetts, to Connecticut,
I want to give a a million thanks to all the professors, teachers, instructors, 
mentors and former bosses, who took the time to pass on on their wisdom, 
take me under their wing, and share 
all things art and design.
 I know I carry a little piece of all of them in my artist self.

I just love being an artist!
Cover of Sketchbook sent out for Sketchbook Project 2011

I need to include my mom here with  because the best thing she ever said to me was to live life without regret and do everything! 
She bought me my first Vogue mag and a poetry book called Favorite Poems to Read Aloud. 
I carried  it everywhere I went as a child.
They were more of an influence than I ever realized. 

Tile I picked up in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico from
The Poet's Passage owned by Lady Lee Andrews
Would love to hear some of your learning experiences,
 lessons or tips you care to share.
Thanks for stopping by.

This is "Where Art and Beauty Meet Lifestyle"©

All images and content belong to Deborah Velásquez. Copyright 2005-2013.  All rights reserved.
Please do not use anything without permission or without making note of the origin on your blog or website.


  1. Lovely blog, doing the Lilla course too! x

    1. Thx Tracey, so nice of you stop by!! Love meeting new classmates ! See you in class!!

  2. Love this post Deb! Esp. the list.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...