[too-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-, tyoo-]
Case in point, last year a visiting tutor came to St Martins (where I was doing my post graduate diploma). I talked her through my practice and then awaited her suggestions and advise. I got a stoney wall of silence. She told me she was confused by my work and didn’t really have any advise for me. She gave me a few names of artists that had absolutely no relation to my practise and that was it. What made it worse was that I had overheard her giving a great tutorial to my neighbouring artist, giving him lots of helpful suggestions and encouraging words. The cow. At least she was honest though. The other type of tutorial that’s even worse is when a tutor doesn’t really tell you the truth for fear of offending you. They tend to talk around the subject in riddles and interesting sounding art words, without giving you any sort definitive advice. You maybe be left feeling pretty good after this tutorial but then, boom, you get your grade and its completely at odds to how your tutorial went. This has happened to me before and trust me, its a lot worse than brute honesty.
Coming to Camberwell I was a little apprehensive about my tutorials. After the first few however, you learn how to take the rough with the smooth. It also helps having tutors that are genuinely interested in your practice. Most tutors are artists themselves with subjective opinions on art so its never really clear cut. As an art student the difficulty is in deciding what to take on board and what to ignore. I have seen plenty of students who flat out refuse to listen to their tutor, believing they are ultimately the best judges of their work. Often they are not and the outcome can be bad. Being open to new suggestions is pretty crucial, and sort of the whole point of doing a Masters!
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