Hey! Let's talk about Studio Arts!
So far, I’ve gotten to take Painting & Drawing with Jacob Fossum, Intro to Ceramics with Ben Krupka, and Into to Graphic Design with Monk Schane-Lydon and I’m here to give you an overview the ins and outs of these courses.
Disclaimer: The names of these courses generally change over the years, but the teaching style and material covered tends to stay the same. If you have anything taught by these guys on these topics, this advice will likely apply to you.
Painting and Drawing with Jacob Fossum:
Painting and Drawing generally covers the fundamentals of juxtaposition and composition along with basic techniques for several different mediums (usually charcoal drawing, figure sketching, oil/acrylic painting, and watercolor– depending on the direction of the class that particular semester.
Students typically have a lot of artistic freedom within this class, especially toward the latter half of the semester. Often, Jacob will provide a basic prompt centering around a theme that has been discussed in class (eg: juxtaposition) and then students are free to interpret that how they choose to.
In general, you’ll do just fine in this class as long as you put in a reasonable amount of effort and avoid goofing around or getting distracted too often in class. Jacob often allows students to make up some missed points with extra credit assignments too so getting a good grade isn’t too difficult.
You DO NOT need to be a good artist to take this class and do well in it. You just need to put in effort. Simple as that. Jacob isn’t looking for museum worthy pieces, he just wants to see effort and improvement.
The course fee covers all of the materials you’ll need for this course, however if you use up all of the paint you’re given at the beginning of the course. It’s up to you to buy yourself more so be conservative with your supplies.
Last note: don’t be on your phone during this class unless you’re working off of a reference image.
Overall, I’d rate this course 8/10.
Intro to Ceramics with Ben Krupka:
Ceramics is an extremely fun and interesting medium of art. Being able to take home and physically interact with your creations is downright cool. Something especially cool about this class is that you can create and take home as many pieces as you want in the ceramics studio as long as you still get your work done. I personally took advantage of this, creating a total of 23 pieces by the end of the semester. Keep in mind though, this does take a lot of time, in order to accomplish this and still get high marks in the class I was in the ceramics studio for about two hours a day outside of class.
Similarly to Painting and Drawing, the key to this course is effort. There is hardly any homework and if you work efficiently, you can finish all of the work in class. That being said, if you’re a perfectionist, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time outside of class finishing up pieces and making them meet your standards. If you really want an A, you’ll likely have to spend an additional two hours per week in the ceramics studio working on projects.
In the class itself, you get to learn a lot of interesting techniques, but not all of them are easy to get the hang of. If you have a lot of patience, you will walk out of this course with a lot of nice pieces, regardless of your skill level walking in.
Ben is pretty helpful, but he’s often stretched thin between helping students in the class so don’t expect to have 24/7 help throughout the course.
One last thing to keep in mind is that the ceramics studio closes at 11pm, so you can work reasonably late, but not too late or you’ll be kicked out by security.
Overall, I’d rate this course 9/10.
Intro to Graphic Design with Monk Schane-Lydon:
This course familiarizes students with a couple graphic design products in the Adobe Creative Suite (mainly photoshop, illustrator and muse). This is done by having students create mock products such as movie posters, logos, and websites.
One immediate con of this course is that a lot of it requires self-teaching both inside and outside of class. Youtube tutorials make this generally easy, however it can be time consuming. If you are unwilling to spend a little time teaching yourself and have little to no experience with these Adobe products: DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE. You will just end up frustrating yourself.
I happened to know quite a bit of photoshop before entering the class so it wasn’t a barrier for me personally. This class does however have quite a bit of creative freedom too so it can be fun to create fun products, your only limit being your skill level and your imagination.
One final con of this class is that if you don’t have the Adobe suite on your laptop/computer, you’re definitely handicapped. All of the computers in the Daniel Arts Center have the Adobe suite, however the DAC has limited hours so it can be inconvenient, especially considering its distance from the majority of the dorms.
Overall, I rate this course a 6/10.
That’s it for my studio arts reviews, I hope to have more class reviews coming out soon, thanks for stopping by.
Lexi Loyot is the co-founder of the Weekly Cad.