What I learned at art school

An artist never stops learning. Some artists are self taught, others actually have degrees and batchellors in it. There are even doctorates (more about that later). There is some controversy to which one of these options makes the best artist. My opinion is: Make art!

I did three years at NMIT, which would get you a degree in Visual Arts and Media. I didn’t get the degree though, I earned a Certificate instead. But even though I was studying for the degree, I didn’t expect to get it. I had just failed Year 13 and all I wanted to do was go to polytech and learn about art.

So here is some things that I learned.

1. Don’t eat oil paints

Oil Paints

Right from day one of learning about oil paints we all wore gloves. Seriously, some oil paints are pretty toxic. Wear gloves. Wash your hands. I once ate something after using oil paints. Then I painted this:



2. The word ‘phallocentrisim’ and how to use it in a sentence

You don't get much more phallus than this.

You don’t get much more phallus than this.

I also learned that if you can’t even remember to spell it the phallocentric spell check will do piss all to help you 😀 There were a few ‘women in art’ options for assignments. I chose one for one of my last assignments because why the hell not? It was like, where has this group called ‘feminists’ been all my life?? These are exactly the same issues I’ve been screaming about since I was bloody born! You mean people can actually agree with me? Holy crap! Give me some of whatever this thing is.

Phallocentrism is a feminist invented word for the male dominated language. For example. Male. FeMALE. MANkind. HuMAN. Man. WoMAN. ect. There’s probably heaps more like this in the English language. Something interesting I learned about French: Most of its words tend to have male and female versions. I’m talking about words for things like duck or wall. Sometimes even words like ‘the’ has two versions depending on gender.

Some of my tutors worried that I might be offended by this topic. Nigel the Christian Feminist Dragon? I’ll give it a go.

3. People like my powerpoints. The essay that’s supposed to go with it never gets completed XD

In one Powerpoint I opened a Gallery Exhibition. On the Moon. Because I can.

In one Powerpoint I opened a Gallery Exhibition. On the Moon. Because I can.

Well it is and ART course and powerpoints are a great place to be creative. But I can’t do essays. I can’t write ten pages to answer one question. Some of them were a bit close ended anyway O.o I can write a novel, but my essays and assignments always fail requirements 😦 Which brings me back to my opinion: Make art!

4. The difference between water, acrylic and oil, let alone how to use them

Batman tried to help

Batman tried to help

Nigel honestly didn’t even know there WAS and ‘oil paint’ until the last year of art school. (But then again, this is Nelson.)

During my first year I learned how to use waters, which was fun 🙂 Can’t tell you which is my fave though since they all have different qualities. I want to use all teh paints!!! But don’t eat them. Read #1

5. I’m really good at abstracts. Drawing from life nearly makes me vomit!

Best life drawing I ever did. Drew this at least 5 years ago.

Best life drawing I ever did. Drew this at least 5 years ago.

Especially after I ate all my oil paints! But seriously though, I’ve never been able to draw from life, all my drawings came from my head. Thankfully most of our life drawings were to practice things like contour and space and line so most of mine looked pretty abstract anyway.

Drawing perspective from life gave me a headache. So does trying to draw stuff on a table or the room or outside. I think my nose may have started bleeding at one point.

But I love my abstracts. I used to draw circles and stuff when I was little with crayons and pencils. At polytech I used paints and it was called art and people said I could sell them. I call them my autism paintings, which is exactly what they are.

6. You can be a doctor of arts

No seriously. One of my tutors was a Dr. of ARTS! Pretty epic title. If you want one, definitely give it a go.

8. What about the Degree?

My first ever trophy

My first ever trophy


I failed Year 13. I failed the Degree.

I was also the first on both sides of my family to actually complete Yr 13. Some didn’t even start. At the end I was given an award for perseverance. I earned Excellence for my paintings (Hmm, I wonder what I should do when I grow up?). The highest mark, and apparently the hardest to get. Many of my fellow classmates had some cool paintings but still didn’t get Excellence 😦 An NCEA Certificate would have been nice, but I went to school to learn stuff. The entire NCEA system is rigged in my opinion anyway. Even geniuses have failed it. 😛

I also completed polytech with a Certificate. I got it because I went to polytech and learned how to paint and draw, which is all I wanted to do anyway. I fracking love making stuff.

My first Higher Education ever

My first Higher Education ever

Isn’t that the whole reason for the existence of school? To learn stuff? When did the point of school become a script where you have to do everything exactly one way, do the same thing everyone else does, learn the same thing in the same way all just to get a piece of paper with your name on it? I already know how to spell my name, thanks, learned that before I started school 😛 But I learned stuff, so I’m happy with that. Better than being dumb 🙂

So in conclusion: Everybody now one two three MAKE ART!



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One thought on “What I learned at art school

  1. sueleov March 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm Reply

    Keep up the good work!

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