Updated: Mar 23, 2020
“You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great talents, academy will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, academy will supply their deficiency.”
To make any creation, it’s necessary for an artist to have a technique, a set of skills. In a long-term, an academy provides a didactic program, a system of education, that will build you as a professional. Such a system includes different subjects and various ways of learning. The method is based on using the visuals right in front of you such as a model or a still life. All academic systems, first of all, are logic-based and follow a certain process, moving from simple to more complex. You see, you analyze and then only, you draw or paint equipped with full-rounded comprehension. One of the biggest privileges of academic study is that you have a wide range of subjects which are interconnected and one aspect, very often serves as a stepping stone for the other or a key puzzle piece for grasping the third. For example, when you learn art history it is not just a theory of the different time periods. It is a worldview, understanding of timing and tendencies which in a long run enhances and shapes your artistic taste and aesthetics.
The artists in the academy have a wide spectrum of a subject such as color science, technique or technology of painting, studies of tone, perspective, light and shadow, studies on how to use different materials and manipulate a visual image in many ways. All of this knowledge pieces cooperatively help you create a world that appears to be three-dimensional on a two-dimensional surface of the paper. One of the greatest cornerstones of academic study is constructive drawing and deep comprehension of human anatomy. When we look at someone’s artwork it is immediately clear if the artist possesses such knowledge or not.
When you study individually or with a private teacher or by watching a video on YouTube, normally you focus only on a few subjects and most importantly you don’t have any feedback on your work. In an academy, you are part of a community where the interaction and the feedback from teachers and classmates play a big contribution to your growth.
If you are studying with just one person you are receiving only one view and perspective. With many professors, you get a wide range of views and advice which gives you a richer expertise. The concept of an academy is very old and its roots go all the way back to the Renaissance period. Today we are privileged to have all the discoveries of such key time era at hand, along with modern-day professionally equipped studios. So, in other words, we have all the conditions to learn, build on, and create with excellence.