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heliocopters
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05 Nov 2009, 4:37 pm

I was just diagnosed this past Monday, and I'm a senior painting student in college. I have always felt like my professors have try to make me think in a way that I am incapable of doing. You might think that art school is really chill and they'll let you do whatever you want. This is really not the case (I compare it to agreeing to an arranged marriage under false pretenses...and other things). One of my professors tells me I need to start seeing the whole picture instead of focusing on details. This is really unenjoyable and I don't end up getting anything done because I become so frustrated and annoyed that I'm not allowed to use my own brain to think. My other professor tells me that my paintings are all very "logical" (mind you, I am not a realist painter. Surrealist at best) and that I should consider going a bit more...illogical, I suppose? How am I suppose do enjoy something when I'm not turing it into something that makes sense? I love things that make sense. I hate things that don't. Should I tell my professors that my brain is wired to work differently than how they want it to? Should I even specifically use the term Aspergers? Or should I just suck it up for the last semester I'm here?

I appreciate any answers.


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lotuspuppy
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05 Nov 2009, 4:43 pm

I don't know how art schools differ from other institutions, but I can "tell" my professors about my AS in a formalized manner. I go to a national university in the DC area, and we have a Dissability Support Services for all students with extra needs. They don't hover over me like high school special ed, but they will talk with professors if necessary. Once, they hosted a brown-bag lunch on autistic spectrum disorders, and half the faculty showed up.

If your school has such an office, I'd take that route. If not, talk to a professor you trust, and see what s/he has to say.



heliocopters
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05 Nov 2009, 5:01 pm

Art school, especially the one I go to, is a very close-knit community. Both of the professors in question I have known for over two years, so I would be comfortable talking to them rather than someone I hardly known in some office I'm not even sure exists...I guess I just don't know where the line is drawn at "useful information" and "too personal" :shrug:


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Lene
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05 Nov 2009, 7:00 pm

If they are already treating you as a freak and giving out about you being logical, then no, do not tell them about your AS.

Don't lose heart; you don't have to do well in art school to be a good artist. Whilst it does no harm to practice what we find difficult, don't lose your style in the process.

In my old school, my art teacher used to comment on how detailed and 'fussy' my drawings were. Thing is, when the external examiners came round at the end of the year, my work was the only one that was commented on; everything else was just a mass reproduction of what the art teacher saw as 'art'.



visagrunt
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05 Nov 2009, 9:34 pm

Well, there's two sides to fine arts education (whether visual or performing). One side is the technical side--perfecting your skills, mastering your craft, learning how your instrument works.

The second is the expressive component. I left theatre school because although I was learning very valuable lessons in my craft, I was not relating to the instruction on the expressive side. I don't think I experience "sense memory" in the same fashion on NT actors, for example.

In this context, particularly being as far along as you are, I think it is important to talk to your professors and your faculty advisor. If their expectation is to expose you to a way of thinking, or a way of understanding your art that you are not hard wired to engage with, it is only going to frustrate all of you. On the other hand, if they can help you direct your work towards your strengths, there may be a revelation.


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