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Is the difference between a skilled student and a professional "expert" 5%

"The difference between a skilled student and a competent professional expert is no more than 5 percent. This 5 percent is not about the master of the skills, but about the mentality: whether one tries hard to test his own desire for beautiful and natural forms, and whether one makes the best effort to satisfy his desire for what he believes to be beautiful.” - Chung-Wei Chien (artist, New Taipei City, Taiwan) International Artist Magazine

Comments

  • Key words are Skilled student and Professional expert.

    One will take his art and make it his profession and work to make it happen,
    the other will not. 

    And yes that is not about actual skills but a mental attitude.



  • Many professional artists do not strive for beauty, their intentions can be for other purposes. So I would say that artist’s statement is foundationally flawed, never mind the caught out of the air random 5% figure. If he’s just talking about himself, different matter. I am wary of these made up, generalised statements from on high.
  • edited November 2017
    "skilled student" is the operative quote there - there are a bunch of yahoos in this world who are just blowhards who think they are geniuses and have the hubris to believe they are better than everyone else.  Let others tell you that you are talented - what you believe about yourself is immaterial to the rest of the world.  Just ask Charles Manson - he thought he was an amazing artist.  Just because he thought so, does not make it so.
  • Julianna said:
    "skilled student" is the operative quote there - there are a bunch of yahoos in this world who are just blowhards who think they are geniuses and have the hubris to believe they are better than everyone else.  Let others tell you that you are talented - what you believe about yourself is immaterial to the rest of the world.  Just ask Charles Manson - he thought he was an amazing artist.  Just because he thought so, does not make it so.
     :) I can dig it.

  • "Art is Philosophy and Philosophhy is art"... Me. @Julianna and @Boudicca nailed it. Kingston and jswartzart are right too. Taking Chein's quote out of the art context proves the invalidity of it. When you need a surgeon or an engineer, you don't go looking for a skilled student. In the fire service, the professional instructor becomes an expert anytime he's more than 50 miles from home. In the art world, the bottom line is "..."Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

  • edited December 2017
    I just saw the quote when I was reading the article and decided to see what people here think.  I, personally, think the difference between a professional and a student is mental.  That's not to say that an experienced skilled professional is not more skilled at painting than a student.  

    This is a horrible example, but a real one.  After 1 semester of pottery I sold about 50 copies of a piece I created at an antique store and at a fair.  The PIECE was a professional piece, created with professional intent and a professional mentality. That didn't mean I was a professional potter.  I just used pottery to create a single piece that was fairly successful. I happened to make 50 of them. At the same time, my instructor had a Masters in Fine Art and was a professional potter with 50 years of experience, but she had no idea how to sell her pieces or how to make pieces that people would actually want to buy.  She didn't have a professional potter's mentality.  She had a professional teacher's mentality.  She had an entire storage building full of pottery that she didn't know how to sell.

    My pottery wasn't sophisticated, but it was designed to sell.  The card on the cups says:

    The empty cup is full of potential.
    One may think of what it might hold.
    It might hold water, it might hold food.
    What it currently holds is your attention.
    May this cup hold your attention on Christ.

    The card is the hook that sells the cup.

    So the line is very arbitrary.  One can create a very straight and a very short line to selling "works."  Whether they are master works or just stuff people will buy at a price they will pay will probably dictate how long the line is (in time from learning to selling).  I could probably spend 9-12 months in intense practice at doing dog portraits and get in the business of doing dog portrait commissions.  Would that make me a "professional?"  Yes and No.  I could also spend 10 years learning how to make very fine art that no one would ever want to buy.  Would that make me a professional? yes and no.  

    Even though every piece of pottery below was done "by a student" the intent was to make a professional piece, not a student piece. In the end to get the glazes and effects I wanted I had to develop the glazes and each cup went through a 4 step glazing technique. That could only happen with intense focus on creating exactly what was in my head.

    With pottery I wanted to do the 6 month route just to prove I could make something that would sell.  With painting I'm more interested in the 10 year route, and assuming that people want to buy fine art.  I pulled all my equipment out of my pottery studio and turned it into my painting studio.  My goal with painting is mastery more than a sellable result.

    As for "what makes art?"  That can be debated until the sun swallows Earth.



  • I’m thinking @tonybluegoat that by professional you may be meaning commercial.
  • edited December 2017
    Kingston said:
    Learn to draw first. Learn to draw, understanding things like perspective, shape, mass, space. The best way to do this is by drawing from the human figure. Find a life drawing evening near you and attend every week or more often. Drawing teaches you to see. The human body is the greatest learning tool you will find. Don’t try this from photo mor internet videos. You need to work from life. Where simple movements give you another look another understanding. Later on when you work from photos you understand how things look from different points of view.
    Absolutely agree and will do.  Found a group in Austin.  I'm there on the weekends.
  • verse sells the cup, not the professional qualities of either the teacher or the student. Then does that mean the pen is mightier than the pottery wheel?

  • Kingston said:
    Learn to draw first. Learn to draw, understanding things like perspective, shape, mass, space. The best way to do this is by drawing from the human figure. Find a life drawing evening near you and attend every week or more often. Drawing teaches you to see. The human body is the greatest learning tool you will find. Don’t try this from photo mor internet videos. You need to work from life. Where simple movements give you another look another understanding. Later on when you work from photos you understand how things look from different points of view.
    Words of wisdom. Drawing from life provides an understanding of space and form that you can't acquire in any other way. Plus it's really fun. Anybody can learn to do it well with practice. 
  • edited December 2017

    Kingston said:
    Learn to draw first. Learn to draw, understanding things like perspective, shape, mass, space. The best way to do this is by drawing from the human figure. Find a life drawing evening near you and attend every week or more often. Drawing teaches you to see. The human body is the greatest learning tool you will find. Don’t try this from photo mor internet videos. You need to work from life. Where simple movements give you another look another understanding. Later on when you work from photos you understand how things look from different points of view.
    Absolutely agree and will do.  Found a group in Austin.  I'm there on the weekends.
    Went to the first session today in Austin.  You wouldn't know it from my drawing of a pin headed lumberjack, but this model is actually a ballerina in the Austin Ballet.  I've never drawn a figure, drawn a figure from life or tried to do a drawing like this in 25 min - which was this pose time.  Great fun.  I'll try to make it at least once a week, twice if I can.  (It's a 3 hour drive each way, but it's the closest consistent life drawing event.  They have it 5 days a week.)  I'm going to try to hit the Wed. morning session next.

    When I look at this picture I think, "I am Helga!  I won the 1998 Belorussian Piano Throwing Contest!!"



    Still better than my first attempt of the session.


  • I applaud your dedication. Drivinig 3 hours to draw from life. What do you get there that you couldn't get here by drawing a friend or relative as your life model then having Denis and Kingston critique? Silly question in some regards I know but I'm still curious.
  • So, so, so many remarks I can't leave here. Consequence of asking a silly question.
  • edited December 2017
    Better attempts today. Just one pose.  This is a long pose multi-session for painters.  I just brought some pencils and ink.  Maybe I'll go back next week with some paint for this pose.  Otherwise it will be a new session and model on Sunday, then a different model with a long painting session on Monday (I'll bring paint if I can make the Monday session.)  We will call this pose Sleeping Beauty

    I try to start gestural (bottom), then do a close-up (right), then try to get something more finished in the last 25 minutes (left, graphite).  It's all very time constrained, which is the point of these live sessions.  The goal is to learn how to see and translate more intuitively. At least I think that's the point.







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