Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Put your kids to bed. Noodle Nose has arrived...

Well I've been a little bit absent as of late with the exception of a previous post where I ranted about the school system and their epic fail.  I decided to step off my soap box for a few moments and post a quick creature concept.  Behold, Noodle Nose.

This is about 1 hour or so.  Maybe 2.  I have not gotten into the new Zbrush yet.  I'm looking forward to trying out their new features as well as the new shaders.

I'll likely work on this more as it was a pretty quick concept.  Enjoy my minions...

Monday, January 23, 2012

In your face Jerry Maguire

Dear Schools,

I'm writing this because I'm growing tired of listening to frustrated students abandon their gifts and talents because of either failed parents or a failed system.

My name is Josh Robinson and I am an artist.  I'm not an artist because I make a living creating art.  I'm an artist because that is who I am.  It defines me as a person and I'd be an artist no matter what I did for a living.  Now before I begin, I should say that I do happen to make a living creating art but this is in spite of the educational system and not because of it.

Most people go to school in order to find a job that will allow them to succeed instead of identifying their greatest talents and then creating an environment in which that talent can flourish.  One of the biggest issues we face in education is not only the dismissal of the arts but creative thinking in general.  There is an educational  pyramid where things like math, language and science are at the top and things like art, dance, music tend to be at the bottom.  What are the odds that a school faculty will sit in a circle and have a discussion on how to save money and one of their solutions is to cut the Math program?  Why then do we feel it acceptable to do this with respect to the arts?  You strip the creative thinkers of the one area where they may have an opportunity to blossom.  The very environment in which we learn implies that being an artist is either not the correct path to take or at the very best, an unsuccessful one.

So how do we learn now?  Well, from the moment you step into a school you are blindly lead down a road that completely disregards your unique talents as well as your comprehension abilities.  Maybe you're like me and you absorb information brilliantly when it's oral but not when it's read?  Instead you tell us the answers to many questions and then you tell us to memorize it because there will be a test on Friday.  Is this creative thinking?  Probably not.  Are you maximizing the likelihood of a creative thinker?  Probably not.  If a child thinks outside of the box is he or she rewarded for his or her unique approach?  Not only are they corrected for their different approach but the class is rarely structured in a way for this spontaneous thought to developed in the first place.  You go out of your way to teach us about people like Newton and Einstein.  People who thought creatively in spite of their surroundings and yet you teach it in an environment that stifles the very creativity that you're teaching. 

When I was in High School I was told by my student counsellor that I could never be an artist.  Not because I didn't have any talent but because he could not imagine a world in which that was a way to make money.  What a deflating thing to say to a young person.  To tell a young artist that the very thing that defines them.  The thing that they need to do in order to feel fulfilled as a person they can never be.  How profoundly wrong was this person to say such a thing.  Simply because he could not see an immediate opportunity.  Simply because he was not a creative thinker.  You are preparing me for jobs that don't even exist yet.  You owe it to me to be better than this.  You owe it to me to push my talents and not hinder them with your short sidedness simply because I'm not operating within the guidelines that you deem appropriate.

Like many artists I was placed on Ritalin and diagnosed with ADHD.  At one point it was even suggested that I had a learning disability.  Why?  How can this be?  Why am I able to flourish outside of school and succeed profoundly and yet you think I have a learning disability?  It's because everything that I had a passion for the educational system didn't.  The system has a very linear track and if you are not on that track then you are told that you are broken.  Moreover you are told you will not succeed.  How is it possible for me to get a genuine education in the thing that is best for me when you decided what track I should be on before you had even met me?  This approach to education is profoundly incorrect.  Human talent is incredibly diverse and it should be a schools primary function to create the conditions in which a talent can flourish.  Not disregard talent or dissuade a young person's passions.

Josh Robinson