This semester the world famouse art director Roland Young is a National Taiwan Normal University teaching design on break from his day job at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design. According to an article writen by Colin Berry in the CMYK magazine Young has a reputation for being quite a harsh critic.
How did my crit go of the above photos go last week? Brutal! Brutal! Brutal! The photos were deemed superficial and meaningless. A technically proficient yet boring example of portraiture. “Artists have to have meaning they have to say something that other people can’t” emphasized Young. He asked the class what they thought about my photography. They thought it was crap. He asked me if one photo represented my childhood and told me that the trauma that I have experienced in life must come out through my art. Needless to say I almost cried. He spent a good twenty minutes laying into me. It was the worst art crit that I have ever experienced.
However, Young is right about the photos. They are superficial, meaningless, albeit technically proficient. However, it still stunk to have to stand there take in the lengthy crit.
Over the years, I have gotten emails from photographers sharing their images asking for positive feedback, asking for praise. It is easy to see why. Art is close to the heart and it hurts to have it rejected, especially in a lengthy public fashion.
Yet, I also know that as people and artists we can do the most growth through tough honest criticism. I understand that artists need to be pushed to actualize their vision and potential. Nonetheless, having a Roland Young crit is a tough experience to go through once a week. It is also a lot of pressure to come up with a masterpiece in a matter of days and have it sent to the printer and ready for Thursday morning. What is my next assignment?
Would anyone like to model?