The Art of Communication [For Artists]

As a former lab aide, studio assistant, and camera rentals associate, I’ve spent plenty of time talking to artists with all sorts of backgrounds.

 

But regardless of where they’re at in their career or what kind of art education they’ve received, many artists have been mislead to believe that visual art requires no explanation or context. That, in fact, their art can speak for itself.
 
Seriously, when I hear someone say something like, “I’d rather let my audience find their own meaning in this piece,” it’s like nails on a chalkboard.
It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Discover the two things art schools are getting wrong

2 Things Art Schools are Getting Wrong

Even though I discovered my passion for photography early on, I didn’t start college pursuing a studio art degree. I liked the idea of going to school for art, but there were a few things holding me back.

 

First of all, I lacked the self-confidence in my work to think that I could be accepted into a competitive program. Secondly, I had reservations about pursuing photography because I couldn’t envision what a career would look like after I graduated.

 

So, thanks to my own insecurities and uncertainties about my future, I started at Arizona State University as a Digital Culture major.

2 Flaws in the Argument Against an Art Degree

If you’ve ever even considered getting an art degree, you’ve probably heard this before:

 

“Don’t go to art school.”

 

It’s either that, or a skeptical, “Oh… so… what do you plan on doing with that degree?”

 

We all know these folks mean well (most of the time). They don’t want us spending a butch of money on a degree that they don’t believe will lead to a lucrative future.

adrienne-noyes-artist

10 Ways Artists Can Take Action to Create Change

If there’s one good thing that’s come from the elections, it’s this:

 

We’re all awake now.

 

And we know that it’s time for things to change.

 

Complacency isn’t an option. We can’t get comfortable, no matter what our social status, gender, skin color, or income can provide.

 

But even though we’ve begun to recognize even more faults in our society that need to be reconciled, it’s difficult to figure out what should happen next.

 

For the last week I’ve been trying to think of ways individuals can create change, either with art or otherwise. So I’ve pulled together a list of 10 ways artists can take action.

 

If you’re like me and want to find ways to use your creativity to make a difference, I hope this helps inspire you to get started!

purchase-with-impact-amanda-mollindo

A Book & Print Sale with a Purpose

Late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, I wrote Artists: a Call to Arms.

 

This was my gut reaction to the 2016 US Elections.

 

The next couple days were a blur. I felt sick, exhausted, emotional, scared, confused, frustrated, lost. And a big part of me still does.

 

I can’t say that I’ve completely come to terms with all that’s happening in our country right now.

 

Who knows how these next four years will play out. My guess is that it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to have to fight hard to keep some of the rights we’ve won over the past eight years, and fight even harder to win the rights that are still technically on the table (or keep getting brought back to the table).

 

But like I said on Wednesday, artists can make a difference.

The Value of Art School

If you're thinking about going to art school, you're currently in art school, or you went to art school you've probably asked yourself this question at some point in time:   Is art school/was my art degree worth it?   I get it...

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art-politics-United-states

Artists: A Call to Arms

I wanted to keep politics out of this.

 

But I think we can all agree, with tonight’s results from the 2016 US elections, that’s just not possible.

 

I’m scared…I’m scared for the things I love and the people I love. I’m worried about what’s going to happen to all that we’ve accomplished. For my rights and yours. For republicans and democrats alike. For everyone outside and inside the system.

9-big-ideas-to-explore-with-aftrart

9 BIG Ideas to Explore

If you haven’t noticed yet, this first month of content is about building the foundation of aftrART. I am all about clarity, and I want to make sure you have a good understanding of what we’re getting into here.

 

However, I’ve failed to mention the most important part.

 

Sure I’ve hinted at it here and there, but I know you must be wondering…

 

What exactly do I plan on doing here?

 

What subject matter am I covering? What topics can you expect to learn about on aftrART?

 

aftrART: Why It’s Here & What to Expect

This is one of the very first videos I recorded for aftrART, long before it ever even occurred to me that my digital camera wasn’t equipped to handle video. Notice the weird coloring and occasional out-of-focus clips?

 

Yup, that’s exactly why I ended up applying for a grant.

 

But that’s besides the point.

 

In this video, I start to dig a little deeper into why I wanted to start this project. Check it out!

The Story of aftrART

There are lots of reasons why I started aftrART. In fact, most of this month’s content is going to involve me trying to explain the many motives for this project, as quickly as I can.

 

But prior to today, I had to summarize my project in 600 words, and then in under 6 minutes for Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s Good ‘n Plenty Artist Award. To fully express my thoughts, I decided to overcomplicate everything by creating a 6 minute stop-motion animation. Honestly, I probably spent over 15 hours making that thing.

 

Fortunately it payed off, because I won!

Amanda Mollindo and Family

Why Did I Start aftrART?

In 2015, I graduated from art school.

 

Right after that, I moved to Colorado to intern at an art center. I had a fantastic time there, and I was really lucky to develop a lot of valuable, lasting relationships with artists at every point in their career. I learned a ton about myself, about the art world, and about people.

 

There, I assisted with weekly classes; I helped students develop their skills and encouraged conceptual thinking. As taxing as a 50 hour work-week was, Anderson Ranch was a place that fostered true inspiration. The landscape of the Rockies became a place for me to explore and think. The Snowmass/Aspen community became my muse, and I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone to create new work.

 

But  in September of that same year, it was time to go home.