I am so hyper this week that I can hardly sleep. This morning I thought to myself, are my watercolor paintings so awful? I woke up at 6:40 to try the watercolor version of ARTWORDSBOOKSHOP. This morning I left home in a gleeful mood again. Derek explained the assignments we should hand in this term, including the notes for every week's lecture, the paper due at the end, and then the sketchbook(s) we have to draw in during the following four weeks. Every Thursday two tutors Jake and Louise will come in, but they are both professional illustrators and designers. Jake started by asking, "Is there anyone who hates drawing?" Teresa was very honest to admit that she is afraid of not drawing well. Jake said that drawing is mankind's instinct to express their emotion. Children all love drawing, but at a certain point they stop doing it.
Last year when I was interviewed, I couldn't quite figure out what the professor was looking for. The agent told me that the school hoped to see a sketchbook full of research and development of ideas instead of final pieces. Today the tutors explained very carefully that drawing is a means of self-exploration. We shouldn't limit our style. It'll be so much better to try all.
Louise introduced three kinds of drawing--observed, remembered and imagined. During the following weeks, the courses will cover all three of them. For example, next Monday we have a field trip to the British Museum for life drawing.
Jake said that we have to use them two because they both work in the industry. Besides, since we've paid high tuition fee, we have to get the money's worth. Joe kidded, "Can we abuse you?" Kind of cold, but Joe is a pretty sincere kid.
During lunch time, most British students went on their own ways. Only some international students stayed in the studio. Today I had the feeling that I could join both groups, but I do not belong to either one. Many people didn't do the summer project, which is to use a sketchbook for research on the topic "My Space" and present 5 final images. I didn't hear about it until this past Monday, but in fact, I had so many ideas when I heard about it. The tutors assigned a task for those who didn't do the homework while those who did had to be in the critique session. I wanted to join the latter, so I didn't talk to anyone during lunch. As soon as I finished the task, I was going to appreciate the lovely works of my fellow classmates.
Again the Russian classmate Tatiana's works captured the tutors' eye. I define her as one of the top students in class. Jake said that as he looks through a person's sketchbook, he can understand what he or she is like. Tatiana's composition, lines and colors are really professional. I think I will learn a lot from her. I have gained a very clear comprehension of the work module here. After we get a topic, if we can't think of anything to do right away, we have to go to museums or libraries to do research, from which we search for a point that interests us and we go further from that point on. Some students get sidetracked and are led to a dead end without being able to know what they really want to say or do. However, everyone has their own strengths. For those who might not have solid drawing skills, they are good, say, in story-telling skills or creating a certain ambience in their images. These were two enriched hours for me, and basically, everyone is quite hardworking.
After the break, it was the weekly lecture. We have to walk to the other campus for it because this lecture is open to students that study in all levels of programs. I was alone again, so I took photos along the way, which was rather nice.
Over the past few days, the temperature has dropped. Autumn has officially settled in. Luckily, the sun has not deserted me.
The clouds in the London sky are so fascinating that I haven't got tired of taking photos of it after almost a month.
The Wilson campus is very small, but the classical style gives the feel of what an art school should be like.
When I walked in the hall, a boy from my class told me that there was no one in the lecture hall, but we decided to wait inside together. This was a very friendly boy. He said, "I recognize you," and then we began to chat. His name is Adam, but he also belongs to the graphic art group. I took the chance to ask about their assignment for the British Museum visit. He said that everyone has to do research on a culture. For example, his is Greece. He also mentioned that they are asked to form an image with only four lines. Sigh, I feel like doing their assignment too.
Then another group of people such as Jamie, Aiden and Laura came in. They walked all the way to the second floor. It feels quite adventurous being with these kids. It was rather dark upstairs, so I told Aiden, "How do you make notes here?" We thus walked down again. Aiden asked, "Can you teach me Chinese?" I replied, "It's a huge task. You gotta have class on a regular basis." Then he went on to ask me questions about Chinese words and writing. Since he is very generous in sharing with me tips of drawing, I am going to give him a kind of paper when we go to the British Museum next Monday because we are required to bring all kinds of paper there. Everyone guess!
I can't follow these boys all the time, so in the end I was seated in the Asian area. The young girl next to me is from Guanzhou. Before the lecture started, she took out a doll and placed it before her chest. I was jotting down the notes like crazy, but she was scribbling on the pad. I told her with worries, "The notes are part of the assessment. You have to make notes." She looked rather helpless, but still managed to copy the key points listed on the Powerpoint pages. Sometimes I don't get what the Brits joke about, but when it comes to academic lectures, I found it easier than having some daily conversations. Though Derek's lecture didn't last longer than an hour, it will take days for me to do research on the art schools of modernism.
Tomorrow is a self-study day, but I am going to bury myself in books and sketchbooks!