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Re: [BKARTS] Education?

I agree with much of what you said.

I recently noticed a posting announcing someone's completion of a
five year course of study in bookbinding, where it noted that twenty
bindings were finished by the student. 20 bindings- five years.  I
think the student should be given an additional award for keeping
the school alive.  If my shop didn't turn out at least 20 treatments
in two months I'd be out of business.  This may be an unfair
comparison, but do the math yourself.

I remember during my first months of exposure to bookbinding at a
local reputable bookbinding school- there were about twenty people
in the class.  While most were working on one or two books at a
time- or three or four over 6 months or so (and very basic they
were) I was producing three or four times the amount- because I
discovered I loved it.  What I remember most was one of the teachers
stating, in front of all the other students, that of all the people
there I was the least likely to ever become a bookbinder.  I'll
never forget that, nor can I ignore the implications.

When I was in the institutional venue, and worked with interns from
the Columbia program, I was also astounded by how unprepared they
were after three years.  However, there were a couple students who
quickly brought themselves up to speed because of their desire and
drive.  It's interesting that the longer a program is stretched out,
the more credibility is apparently bestowed on the program- yet many
of the people still enter the field with few practical skills, and
even less power of descrimination as to what represents a high level
of skill and finesse.

I think that for the most part, where a person arrives depends on
their own inner compass and aspirations more than ANYTHING ELSE.
Make all the excuses you want.

----- Original Message -----
From: Darrell Ross <DDsrtist@xxxxxxx>
Date:         Wed, 29 Oct 2003 15:01:59 EST
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject:      [BKARTS] Education?

> Who is better to educate?
> One who practices and works his craft/art?
> Or one who has a piece of paper saying "I spent $100,000 saying I'm educated."
> And why are Tech schools doing so well? Is it because the instructors are
> also doing what they teach? The Universities Ivory Walls will always be there and
> the practicing bookbinders are too busy to take on willing apprentices.
> And the future of the craft/art is in jeopardy because of it. Someone needs
> to realize that the positions they hold are futile and must give up ground.
> As an Art Director for 20 years I've seen how dumbfounded a new candidate for
> a graphic design job can be. And by looking at their portfolio know where
> they went to school.
> Give them a photograph, text and logo. Tell them to make an add 2 col. by 6
> inches and they look at you as you just spoke some foreign language. Making
> pretty pictures in Photoshop or Illustrator does not make one a graphic artist.
> Anymore then an individual who knows Coptic binding makes him/her a bookmaker.
> Artist or otherwise.
> Universities need to break out of their protectionism and have experience
> people help teach their students and if bookbinders and bookmakers want to keep
> their art alive need to be willing to take on more apprentices.
> The elitism of art schools, book schools and so-called professional
> organizations will be the source of their own downfall.
> I'm reminded of when computers were first affordable and graphic design
> programs came out. All of a sudden I had competition from every mom and pop that
> had space for a computer and they suddenly became graphic artist. My clients
> wanted me to reduce my prices for layout and design and I said no. They went the
> cheaper route and came back to me for help. It costs them twice as much the
> second time around then if they just had me do it in the first place.
> Form and content is inseparable. Always has been and always will be. No
> pretty cover, no flashy graphic and no fancy bookbinding will make the content any
> different. If the soul of the project (content) has no matching spirit
> (cover/design) then you might as well do as the pornographers do -- wrap it in a
> brown paper bag. At least we all know what's inside.
> But then this is just my opinion...
> Darrell Ross
> ddsrtist@xxxxxxx
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