Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 by Marion Anthonisen
And we're back with Q&A session number two! A native San Franciscan and another stellar student in CCA's First Year Program, Shou Yuan, plans to major in Illustration. In our interview, he reflects on critique, community, and the importance of listening.
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Shou, what’s it been like to adjust to art school?
The First Year Program does a very good job of getting students used to the rhythms of art school, in terms of expectations as well as choosing an area of focus. It is a challenge, but it has really helped me figure out what tools I like using and what works as effective communication. In terms of adjusting to the environment, a lot of this has involved realizing how much time is needed to work, and understanding the importance of effort and honesty while making art.
What do you like best about the CCA community?
I like the way people seem to understand each other. I like the way people feel safe expressing their ideas honestly, because it gives the art depth. I just like being able to get to know people through the art they make, because it's usually sincere, so you see who people are, in the work.
My peers are always able to give relevant critique. They are overcoming the same challenges, they are answering the same questions, and they are in the same place I am. So, I've found they are the best people to ask for help.
Music you've been listening to lately?
Um . . . lately? The Gaga. She's fascinating. Really. But it might just be the artistic expression she employs and the concepts she addresses, rather than her music itself.
Pull all-nighters or work steadily? Some of each?
One of my teachers said something like, "In art, we've all felt how, at a certain point, time falls away, and it's not what can be called working anymore, it's just our energy flowing, guiding the emotionless material into becoming something of our own. A degree of self-awareness is lost, and the piece becomes not just another work of art, but another part of who we are." That's an all-nighter, and sometimes, it can't be helped.
Any advice for incoming first-years?
Don't hold anything back. Your art may suffer if you do. Be honest with other students about their work. Otherwise, their art may suffer. Teachers here know what they're talking about. So listen. Overall, just trust yourself, and be willing to trust and befriend others.
And another thing: Expect to get distracted by a piece, and/or get your mind blown by it, on a daily/hourly basis.
Thanks, Shou! See you all next week.
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