Tag: nscad

My Perspective on The NSCAD Problem as Alumni

So I feel like I really need to say something, as an alumni of NSCAD who was on the inside when things started to really fall apart with my school. It is my school: I invested a good part of money and my life to be there, it is where I met some amazing friends and my partner who I’ve been with for 4 years, and it is where I graduated and really decided to commit to my creative career. To see NSCAD suffer and to hear constant bashing and criticism is like listening to a close friend get trashed and manipulated.

If you’re unaware of what is happening at this small but important Canadian university, a TL;DR: NSCAD is $19+ million in debt, the school in near a state of permanent collapse, and the heritage of being one of the best art schools in Canada is undergoing self-destruction.
There are many articles about this situation, but I feel like this one, by the local Halifax culture rag, The Coast, is a great summary. Many universities are threatened by low profit and outstanding debt’s in today’s economy, but NSCAD is in absolute peril. NSCAD is one of 4 art universities, not a college, in Canada. Its programs are different because they are far more open and focused more on concept than technical skill; you can take different types of courses simultaneously (such as I took ceramics, film, and drawing all within the same degree), you study art history, and you work on coming up with big ideas. What I mean is your classes go beyond just your technical skill and teachers will put in the extra work to really examine your work and offer a thoughtful critique of your ideas. The school is open 24/7 and people work their ass off on their projects. Your profs. will stay after class or go for beers with you quite frequently to talk about your work, the school, art in general. This is what made me come to NSCAD, on top of it being a very small, cozy university that lets you be a focus for instructors instead of just a student number. I wasn’t attracted to school’s like OCAD because I was already fairly well off in the technical realm and OCAD seemed to let anything pass as a thesis project – lots of decorative art and sometimes with very weak fundamentals at the end of a degree? What I found with NSCAD is that completely inexperienced students would enter the painting program, for example, and come out with very strong rendering skills but also with skills in using colour theory, composition, perspective, and generally with a bigger idea to their images.

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Old WIPs Pottery – Vases Con’t

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Check it out, I even found a picture of this vase once it’s finished. I gave it away to my partner’s mother. Sometimes, I just give works away because I know it will be hard to sell them and someone will treat them better than them being shoved into my storage area. I love my art, but I really want to sell most of it just so that it has a good home and it’s actually serving its purpose. It makes me sad seeing my drawings and paintings collecting dust.

It’s also that art is a physical object, and like everything, it gets old. Paper turns yellow, acrylic leaks colour, oil cracks… I don’t exactly have optimal storing conditions. Art museums are acclimatized for art. They don’t have constantly fluctuating moisture and light levels, or the same kind of air pollution we have in our homes.

Tip: Never put original art or prints you care about in a window or in your bathroom.

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Old WIPs of Pottery

And now, for something completely different:

Recently, I’ve been doing a massive clean up of my hard drives… I have a lot of work files for art and films and of course personal stuff. Amongst many other things, I found these pottery photos maybe a few of you might be interested in seeing. Note that I am also adding pottery to my website now that I found the files and actually dealt with them. Yup, I took photos 2 whole years ago, and just now did I finally get to making them look pretty. I’ll try post these sporadically so you won’t get bored if you hate pottery. I love pottery and I wish I had the chance to do more of it outside of school.

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These are some vases drying before going into a bisque firing. These have a thrown lip and handle that were shaped and attached separately. The body is made of 2 thrown cylinders attached together while on the wheel.

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NSCAD Short Film: Smoulder(2011)

I’d like to take a chance to show everyone my first film, which I’ve recently released to the Internet, as I was unable to get distribution for it and it’s about a year old now. That’s alright, because this film has screened in 3 film festivals: The 31st Atlantic Film Festival, the 35th Montreal Film Festival, and the 1st OUTeast Film Festival.

Update(several years later): This film has broadcast on Sky MyChannel during a short film program in Europe, and on 16mm.tv.

This film was made as a part of my second year film class with Solomon Nagler. It was one of three films selected by the exterior jury from the class pitches. This film was made on a $1000 budget, with plenty of help from the local talent in Halifax, NS. It was shot on-location in Head of Jeddore, NS, thanks to the generous Spalding family, who let us use their home as a location and base camp.

I wrote the script based on my own personal experience as a teenager, which made it extremely hard to work from. I went on a journey making this film, because at first, I was ashamed and afraid. My pitch to the journey was a self-conscious mess of nerves, but I am glad they were able to see through it.

If you like this film, please share – it depends on you to make it’s way around the World Wide Web!

Notable names of people who have worked on this film: Emily Jewer, Leslie Appleton, Stephane Sinclair-Fortin, Justin Tomchuk, Christian MacDonald.

This film is also available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/28485468

Official page

Midterm

This here is a test I made to show my studio teacher and to have something to refer to on my studio wall. He didn’t have much to say overall for my mid-term. Since the semester started in June, he has not made any effort to learn about comics so that he can actually provide insight into my work and even though he’s formerly a painter, he seems to have nothing to say about the aesthetics either. I’m not mad. This is NSCAD. I don’t expect anything more because the standard for this school is at a low.

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I have layouts drawn out for pretty much each page and panel for episode 1 of this yet-to-be-titled comic, so I basically take a ratio of the size of the panel and scale it up to draw a bigger image. I’m also really terrible at actually applying my mathematical intelligence, so of course I completely screw up. The top panel has the dimensions applied backwards. It should be wider than taller… yup. Fortunately, this is only buildings and you don’t notice I had to stretch out the image. I’m also forced to squish the panel below. That was a close one…

This is just to see how these look together, as I’ve yet to put any of my panels into a page-by-page solid layout on the computer. This is page 2, so it would be on the left side of the book; the second panel is meant to bleed. Oh yeah, neither of these are done.

My NSCAD Studio

I’m gonna rip you guys off. Here is the finished panel. On the wall.

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After inking with a quill and brush and adding some shadows WITH the lineart, I revived some highlights and added some clouding effects with white designer gauche + some water.

This is also my shabby studio space…my dingy dark corner that I spend 1 day a week in toiling away for 10 hours. Those are some hair style sketches on the wall. I made them because I frequently become very unimaginative when getting technical while drawing.