Art for the sake of art.

Last summer when I studied at an art program in L.A., my printmaking teacher was very strict about what we were allowed to create in his class. Everything had to have a meaning or convey a message or social problem. I had wanted to make a block print of a design I had created. After I had started the process, he wouldn't let me finish it because "decorative things are not art" and we were not to waste our time on such things. 
A student then challenged this thinking with the response, "What about art for the sake of art?"
This was not an acceptable reasoning. Everything had to have meaning. I disagreed and quickly realized that this teacher was not one that I would share my innermost inspirations with.
Our 2012 Art Department Chalk Festival piece
Getting to my point, today I had my first class session of intermediate black and white film photography! I took the beginning class at the same community college when I was a junior in high school, so it is really nice that I can kind of dive into more advanced classes as a freshman, especially since my class has all types of advanced levels in one room. 
I believe I mentioned in the 11 things about me for the Liebster award that I took AP studio art my last year of high school. And that I didn't like it. There were several reasons, but the most important one is that it made me have a kind of jaded perspective of my work. It made me feel as though I was doing my work for "them" and not for me; for a grade on a national test and not for the love of it.
Since then, I really haven't picked up my camera or any art supplies for the sake of creating art. I take photos for this blog (believe me I do have tons of ideas that I haven't executed for this, but it's just not the same as for art!) and I make "crafts", but I have not made art
The closest I have come is experimenting with some block printing last week. But you know what, even just messing around with some true fine art materials kind of put a spark in me. It felt nice. And not forced. 
That's what today's class felt like. It was a community of photographers, of people (from 18-60) who want to be there to create, learn from others, and just share this love. It was like a breath of fresh air. I have been creatively falling and hopefully this class will be just what I need to find my footing again. Hopefully I will again be able to make art for the sake of making art.

P.S. I have loved all the encouragement and advice I have been getting on starting college! Thanks for the love, friends.
Hopefully later this week (when I get my bearings a little more) we can move on to more interesting stuff. I know you guys love the iPhone pics, but come on, you know I can do better than that!

Katherine said...

ah! yes - i graduated from a school of design and my husband's progrma always had to create things that addressed an issue. they always hated that he wants to go into entertainment or game. they never liked the kids who went into the entertainment industry because it was a waste. to each their own! art is art. decoration is decoration. do what makes ya happy!
<3 katherine
of corgis and cocktails // current giveaway

Greta said...

Art is anything you want it to be! Don't listen to haters :)

Emily said...

I love your perspective as an art student! I majored in graphic design, and in our history classes teachers always told us the difference between design and art is that design has a message and a purpose, whereas art is self expression where a meaning can interpreted in many ways. Now, this is just their opinions. But I basically thought then that artists can do whatever they want, so it's interesting to hear that your teacher had specific guidelines for your art. Even art for the sake of art still has meaning. Meaning can be applied to everything and anything, so your teacher's reasoning doesn't make sense! I hope you can keep going and get back into the art that you love, not that you're doing for someone else.