What just happened? I'm nearing the end of my first year already!?
In a quick round-up, what a year. I've enjoyed every second, met awesome new people, learned so many things and changed, as a person. It is safe to say that out of all the university courses in the country, I have chosen the right one. The one that inspires me, answers my questions, and most importantly, I enjoy. The course, unlike others, hasn't handed me reams of shitty essays and exams to be getting on with, just pure art. The course has opened my eyes to artwork, I've noticed things in drawings that I've never seen before, I've learned to draw and paint better than I'd ever been able to before. When I was home for Christmas, even my mother recognized a dramatic improvement in my sketching skills.
I've learned about the brain, why we think certain things, why some people are better artists than other, how born 'talent' doesn't exist. How to beat the creative block, how to develop my skills. The list is endless.
A friend of mine is on the Teeside course, I'm not shafting them, but when we met up at Christmas and talked about how we've been doing, our stories were drastically different. He'd been writing essays, not much of the 'real stuff'. I'd been modeling, drawing, and learning so many things.
The course structure has been great for the first year. The socializing with the other years has helped surprisingly, talking to Cameron for example has taught me a lot about digital paintings. I know, it didn't work as well as it could have, not all computer nerds are social to people they don't know. Del, as another example, helped me with little tips for texturing my character.
I wouldn't change a thing - apart from, Chris, please could you be a little mores specific with your assignments. I understand you want us to be creative, but sometimes the briefs are so vague we aren't sure what you want - however, I suppose this is all about creativity, not fearing being wrong.
I would like to suggest one thing. From my experience in the 1st year, it really helps to speak face to face with a 2nd, or 3rd year student about my work, and their crits. I understand the Facebook accounts are supposed to replicate this, but how about, in addition, we have a session, say, on a Thursday, where we rotor in students to present a project they are working on to the other years, a real forum so to speak. To ensure attendance we could make it a 'registered' event.
Thursday, students to present are; Guy, Mitch, Matt, Abi, Tash, Andy, Cameron, Del, etc.
We each in turn, load our work up onto the projector and show what we are doing to it, what we have done, and how we are going to improve it. And those watching can present crits, offer advice, even take over and show them how to fix something, in front of everyone.
Receiving face to face crits is awesome.
Andy is showing a model of a figure that he is doing for an online mod, its not finished but its looking pretty good. Del notices that some edge flow is slightly off, he also notices that part of the texture could have some noise added to increase the believability.
Andy tries it there and then, and notices it looks better, everyone watching learns from the tuition and remembers it for their next/current project. Awesome, Andy says thanks and Mitch steps up... etc....
End of suggestion.
In conclusion, I've loved my first year, even thought we didn't have the labs at the beginning I feel it still went well. The Facebook group was an original, quality idea. Watching movies on a Wednesday has been inspiring, and has definitely broadened my experience of different genres and artistic styles. Life drawing has been useful, I've learned a lot, and trying different mediums has been exiting. I'd never used charcoal before, now I love it, I've definitely found my preferred technique for drawing life (the initial smudge technique).
Blind drawing has 'opened my eyes' so to speak, about engaging the right side of the brain and not 'thinking logically' about my drawings.
Heathers modeling classes have still taught me a lot of things I had overlooked, use of 'snaps' for example, efficient use of normal maps (the NVidia Filter!) specular maps, working in triangles rather than polies.
My first year has been awesome, and I can't wait to improve, roll on year 2!
P.S, My mod work has improved so much since I've been here. Just the other night a friend said this over MSN:
lol, no offence but I never really remembered you as being this good