Sunday, September 23, 2007

Art for Art's Sake

I have been asked to run an advanced lighting course at work to try and take junior and mid-level artists up a notch in their lighting skills. To that end I spent most of yesterday photographing photographs (like the Josef Koudelka above) and paintings to use as slides and as lecture notes.

It's something I very passionately believe in as I was fortunate enough to go through a full art education before I ended up doing computer graphics. When I was at art college there really weren't any computer graphics courses and so most people of my generation in the industry come from fine art, photography or graphic design backgrounds if they're creative types or computer science or engineering if they're more technical. These days there's an abundance of fully computer graphics orientated degree courses and most graduates we now employ come off one or another of them. I personally do not think that this is a good thing, primarily because they leave school at 18 and go straight onto these degrees. Back in the day (12-15 years ago) if you wanted to do a creative degree course you had to do a one year "art foundation" diploma where you did life-drawing three times a week, studied art history and practiced every type of art production from print, to paint to film so that by the time you went onto your degree you were a well rounded creative person with a developed eye. This does not happen any more and I see it in the work we produce as an industry - it's all very clever and innovative but not much of it is particularly beautiful. And that's where I come in apparently.

I have to distill a year's course into 3, 1 hour sessions. I'm actually really looking forward to it even though I'm having to do it during my free time at home because work has suddenly got so busy. Once I have some sort of syllabus I'll probably post it here for review since I know that there are arty types who read this and hopefully have an opinion.

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