1444809620_the-boulevard-of-broken-dreams

CD-cover – review: Boulevard of Broken Dreams

CD Artwork Review

“The Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, Illustrated by Kim Hoorweg

review by Danai Fuengshunut,

1st of December 2015

 

In November 2015 I received a special present from one of our Illustration students. Kim Hoorweg had sent me a copy of her (latest) CD: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. I found it special to receive this product in which she had combined both her talent as a singer as well as an illustrator.

Illustrators who make music don’t seem to be a rare combination. As course director at the Willem de Kooning Academy I have met several Illustration students who had the talent to combine illustration and music in their careers. For example; Bruno Ferro Xavier da Silva, Coen Hamelink, Marvin Pieters, Nina Roothaan, Clemens den Exter, Frank Stok (Franky Sticks).

Last year we also had an Illustration student who graduated with his alter ego; “Ying Yang Murda” who was a gangster-rapper. Lizer van Hattem designed the visual identity for his alter-ego, which included the video-clip: “Only Big in Japan”. In his own words Lizer explained that his voice was not suitable to become a gangster-rapper, but this didn’t stop him from becoming his alter ego in his graduation project.

However unlike Lizer; Kim Hoorweg appears to be a most talented and professional singer. And not only according to my personal taste. She’s not a newcomer either, because this is already her 5th album. “Opusdesoul” considers her to be one of Netherlands “biggest jazztalents”, and he’s very positive about her latest album (Opusdesoul, 2015). Anneke describes her latest work with Benjamin Herman as a “beautiful ode to Django Reinhardt’s Paris” (ontopofMusic.com, 2015). Julien Serge writes a “Tinkerbell-singer with magic elves dust, and a clear voice with joy and warmth” He considers her latest CD: “a heart-warming embrace of love, sentiment and respect” (Maxime.nl, 2015).

I found it interesting to read her reviews and listen to her songs, because to be honest I know her primarily as an illustration major student. However I do see a relationship between how her music is described by others, and how I experience her as an illustration student. She’s very passionate in both dimensions. She loves to draw and tell stories. She loves printmaking, and for example published an enticing zine, “Katzen in der Hitze” together with another talented illustrator: Karida van Bochove. Furthermore I believe she has had a great experience as an exchange student to study Illustration at the School of Visual Arts  in New York, where she was inspired by teachers such as Sam Weber.

When I take all those things into account and look at her CD artwork; my conclusion is it simply makes sense. I could talk about target-audience, communicative value, typography, lay out or technical skill in execution, but there seems to be no relevance in asking those questions here. Her well-balanced color pallet, and clear shaped-illustrations all seem naturally connected to each other. Her sober selfportrait on the cover seems honest and sincere, and not misplaced or boastful. Furthermore I love how she combines traditional techniques such as ink and drawing with digital layers and collage. It leaves me wondering which layers she has left hidden.

When I compare her design to “35 Best Album Covers We’ve Seen in 2015” . I find Kim’s design very strong because of the integrity and outspoken personal Illustration style.  Covers such as “FKA Twigs” or Melanie Martinez’s “Cry Baby”, maybe visually outspoken, but I don’t feel the same integrity. With Kim’s design it feels as if she has found a balance between herself, her music and the artwork. Not a boring balance for that matter; but more a dark, warm, provocative, enticing and dreamlike balance.

 

Danai Fuengshunut

Course Director Illustration

Willem de Kooning Academie,

WdKA Feedback Geven voor Docenten

PDF: Feedback-HO-WdKA-Fueng-versie2-2015

 

WdKA Feedback Geven

Hand-Out over het geven van Feedback van docenten aan WdKA studenten.

 

Voor:   docenten WdKA

Door:    D.Fuengshunut

Datum: 29-03-2015

 

Samenvatting. Feedback is belangrijk in het projectmatig onderwijs van de Willem de Kooning Academie (WdKA) omdat het kan bijdragen aan het zelfsturend vermogen van de student. Het doel van feedback in het onderwijs is om de student inzicht te geven in waar de student staat en wat er nodig is om de leerdoelen of normen van de opleiding te bereiken. Er zijn drie verschillende soorten van Feedback; Feed-Up, Feedback en Feed Forward. In projecten in het kunstonderwijs is het benoemen van heldere en concrete doelen vaak lastig en ervaren de studenten het als zeer persoonlijk. Dit kan invloed hebben op de effectiviteit van de feedback. Er zijn 7 richtlijnen geformuleerd die een bijdrage kunnen leveren aan het vergroten van de effectiviteit van het feedback geven in het projectmatig onderwijs van de WdKA.

 

Introductie. Naar aanleiding van gesprekken met docenten en studenten zijn er vragen ontstaan over het geven van feedback van docenten aan studenten in het projectmatig onderwijs van de WdKA. Geven docenten goede feedback? Begrijpen de studenten de feedback die gegeven wordt? Vanuit de helpdesk projectmatig onderwijs is een beknopte literatuurstudie gedaan om ondersteuning te bieden met betrekking tot dit onderwerp. De doelstelling van deze hand-out is om docenten te informeren over feedback en richtlijnen te bieden voor het geven van feedback aan studenten in het projectmatig onderwijs van de WdKA.

Waarom. Feedback wordt gezien als een van de krachtigste middelen die ingezet kunnen worden in onderwijs om studenten te helpen. Het stimuleert hen om te reflecteren op wat ze doen en kan het zelfsturend vermogen van de student vergroten (Cantillon & Sargeant, 2008; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Nicol & MacFarlane-Dick, 2006). Het aspect van het zelfsturend vermogen sluit aan op de slogan ‘Creating Pioneers’ van de WdKA. De WdKA wil studenten in staat stellen om hun kennis en vaardigheden toe te passen in nieuwe contexten. De WdKA wil haar studenten voorbereiden op de vraagstukken van de toekomst (Chabot, 2013).

In het projectmatig onderwijs leren studenten niet alleen cognitieve kennis, maar leren ze ook het eigen leer- en denkproces zelfstandig te sturen (Maarse, 2011). Het is daarom van belang dat studenten niet alleen erkenning krijgen voor hun prestaties (beoordelingen), maar vooral dat zij inzicht krijgen in hoe ze zelf hun prestaties kunnen verbeteren. Dit is bijvoorbeeld de reden waarom WdKA studenten bij iedere vorm van formele toetsing ook schriftelijke feedback dienen te ontvangen.

 Definitie. In het onderwijs wordt feedback gezien als: “informatie over hoe de huidige situatie van de student op het gebied van leren en presteren zich verhoudt tot de doelen en normen van de opleiding” (Nicol & MacFarlane, 2006. p.2).

Feedback kan grofweg onderverdeeld worden in 3 verschillende vormen:

1) Waardering: Heeft als doel te motiveren en erkenning te bieden.

2) Coaching: Heeft als doel te helpen kennis te vergroten.

3) Evaluatie: Heeft als doel te beoordelen of af te zetten tegen een norm.

(Stone & Heen, 2014)

 

Effectiviteit. Effectieve feedback in het onderwijs is iedere vorm van feedback die bijdraagt aan het vermogen van zelfsturing van de student. Voor effectieve feedback dienen 3 belangrijke vragen gesteld te worden door de docent of student:

1) Waar ga ik heen?

Wat zijn de doelen?

2) Hoe gaat het met mij?

Welke vooruitgang wordt er gemaakt naar die doelen?

3) Waar kan ik hierna heen?

Wat moet er gedaan worden om nog meer vooruitgang te maken?

 

Deze vragen zijn verbonden aan 3 verschillende soorten van feedback.

1) Feed-Up: hierbij wordt concreet benoemd wat er gedaan moet worden om het doel te bereiken.

2) Feedback: hierbij wordt er gereflecteerd op wat er gebeurd is.

3) Feed Forward: hierbij wordt er richting gegeven voor de toekomst.

 

De effectiviteit van de feedback is afhankelijk van 3 voorname factoren:

1) De mate waarin het doel helder is.

2) De mate waarin er sprake is van toewijding/motivatie/passie om het doel te bereiken

3) De mate waarin er vertrouwen is dat het doel haalbaar is

(Hattie, & Timperley, 2007)

 

Complexiteit. Er zijn 2 voorname oorzaken waardoor het overbrengen van feedback als lastig ervaren kan worden:

1) Het principe van feedback impliceert dat we niet voldoen zoals we zijn en dat wordt vaak als onaangenaam ervaren.

2) De mens is vaak geneigd om naar aangename dingen toe te gaan en zich terug te trekken van onaangename dingen. Wanneer feedback als verontrustend wordt ervaren ontstaat daarom vaak de neiging om de feedback te weerleggen of niet te accepteren.

(Stone & Heen, 2014).

Een lastig aspect van feedback geven in projecten in het kunstonderwijs is dat het beschrijven van concrete doelen in de projecten vaak moeilijk is. Dit komt omdat bij kunst en vormgeving projecten vaak nieuwe oplossingen gevraagd worden (Kolsteeg & Mulder, 2011). De onzekerheid over een mogelijke oplossing kan ook invloed hebben op de mate waarin een student vertrouwen heeft dat het doel haalbaar is. Hiernaast kan het ontvangen van feedback bij kunstacademie studenten extra gevoelig liggen, omdat zij zich vaak sterk persoonlijk verbonden voelen met het onderwerp (Henley, 2004).

Richtlijnen. Ondanks dat het geven van feedback complex is zijn er verschillende richtlijnen die de effectiviteit van de feedback kunnen vergroten.

  1. Zorg vooraf dat het doel van de feedback helder is (evaluatie/coaching/erkenning).

 

  1. Geef altijd complimenten en erkenning voor positieve aspecten.

 

  1. Wees persoonlijk (schrijf bijvoorbeeld met je/jij) en geef beschrijvingen in handelingen (bijv: je tekent, je schrijft, je doet ). Vermijd uitspraken die iets zeggen over de persoon (bijv: je bent..)

 

  1. Zoek naar patronen en vermijd de nadruk op incidenten.

 

  1. Geef alleen commentaar op aspecten waarvan je denkt dat de student ze kan verbeteren.

 

  1. Benoem zo concreet mogelijk de wijze waarop het advies gerealiseerd kan worden

(vermijd algemeen advies over kwantiteit).

 

  1. Stel vragen om te controleren of de feedback begrepen is. Laat studenten het voor zichzelf formuleren en opschrijven.

 

(Hattie, & Timperley, 2007; Koopmans, 2007; Stone & Heen, 2014)

Voor aanvullende informatie raden we aan het hoofdstuk: ‘Thorny Feedback Issues’ te bestuderen in het artikel van Hattie & Timperley (2007, p.98 e.v.).

 

Conclusie. Het geven van effectieve feedback is een complexe opgave en zeker in het kunstonderwijs niet eenvoudig. Het is wel een proces waarbij zowel de docent als de student samen van kunnen leren. Bij het geven van feedback is er altijd sprake van een relatie. We hopen dat deze richtlijnen zullen bijdragen aan het versterken van de relatie tussen docenten en studenten van de WdKA. Als afsluiting van deze hand-out een link naar een filmpje waarin verschillende aspecten van het geven van feedback op komische wijze belicht worden. (Feedback:Humor in bedrijf).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI7qafpxVTE

 

Bronnen.

Cantillon, P. & Sargeant, J. (2008). Giving Feedback in Clinical Settings, Teaching Rounds,

Brittish Medical Journal, vol. 337, No 7681 (nov 29, 2008).

Chabot, J, Cramer, F, Rutten, P, Troxler, P. (2013). Re-inventing the Artschool 21st Century, WdKA, Rotterdam

Hattie, J. & Timperley, H (2007). The Power of Feedback, American Educational Research Association, JSTOR.

Henly, D. (2004). The Meaningful Critique: Responding to Art from Preschool to Postmodernism, Journal of the                  American Art Therapy Association, 21 pp. 79-87, 2004.

Kolsteeg, J. & Mulder, N. ( 2010). De kunst van Projectmatig werken, Utrecht Arts, Management Press,             Utrecht

Koopmans, M. (2007). Feedback: Commentaar geven en ontvangen, Thema, Zaltbommel

Maarse, D. (2011). Meer dan een leuk project, Het versterken van projectonderwijs, Hogeschool voor Kunsten                 Utrecht.

Nicol, J. D. & MacFarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessments and self-regulated learning: a model and     seven principles of good feedback practice, University of Glasgow.

Stone, D; Heen, S. (2014). Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, Viking   Publisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shop-Around Worries About Illustration Students

SHOPAROUNDWORRIES-DFjan2015

Shop-Around Worries About Illustration Students

How should De Kooning illustration students be prepared for the market?

 

Keywords: illustration styles, market research, 3D-computer skills, Google Sketchup, WdKA Stations

Estimated reading time: 15-20 minutes, Article used for educational purpose only.

 

Introduction. The objective of this article is to evaluate 3 aspects in the education of illustrators and to introduce a new form of research lab (Station) at the Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) in Rotterdam. The article is a response to concerns about the education of illustrators by Bert Dijkstra during the portfolio evening in at the WdKA. Dijkstra is owner of Shop-Around; a Rotterdam based creative production agency that specializes in: “contemporary illustration, graphic design, animation, motion graphics and interactive design” (shop-around.nl). Dijkstra is afraid that there’s gap between what is taught at Dutch art academies and the global context in which illustration it is practiced. In the publication: “The Fundamentals of Illustration”, Zeegen also claims that art education is often criticized for: “being unaware of commercial realities and constraints” (2005). In this article aspects of three of Dijkstra’s concerns are evaluated and the new WdKA Stations are introduced. The assumption is that the WdkA Stations might offer solutions to Dijkstra’s concerns.

Illustration styles. Dijkstra’s first concern is that illustration students place too much emphasize on one signature illustration style. Having a visual style or identity as an illustrator is important. However, students should also be aware that no matter how appealing and refined their style may be, some styles are unlikely to result in enough commissions to make a living (Dijkstra, 2014). Another problem with too much focus on one style is that like fashion: it can simply go out of style (Brazell&Davis, 2013; Dijkstra, 2014; Zeegen, 2012).

In the article: “The Anarchy of Style”, Davis makes a distinction between fashion and style. He claims anyone can copy fashion well or bad, but it will only be fashion. Illustration can be made fashionably good, and become fashionably popular, but in the end style is considered very personal and complex (2014). Having a wide range of illustration styles is not recommended either. In the publication “How to be an Illustrator”, Rees wonders why one would hire an illustrator who can do a little bit of everything when you can ask a solo-style specialist as well? Rees recommends illustrators to focus at the most on two different styles. He claims it’s difficult to obtain more than two distinct styles that are both original and consistent (2012).

It’s hard to find conclusive answers about styles for Illustration students. Every choice seems to have it’s own type of risk (Brazell&Davis, 2013; Dijkstra, 2014;Rees, 2012 Zeegen, 2012). Furthermore Dijkstra’s perception of Illustration students focusing on one style might be true. However it remains to be seen if this implies that these students won’t be flexible enough in the professional world. For professional illustrators the topic of styles seems less complex. If you can’t sell enough work in your style of illustrations, you will have to change.

Market research. Dijkstra’s second concern is that illustration students spend too little time researching what’s going on in the market. He finds it surprising because there’s so much opportunity to get informed nowadays. For example Shop-Around organizes design-theme events at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. He also recommends the Dutch Playground festival in Amsterdam/Tilburg, and Pictoplasma in Berlin. He wonders why he seldom meets students at these occasions. If they don’t want to leave the house there are also portfolio websites such as behance.net where the latest trends in illustration can be found (Dijkstra, 2014). Given the openness of communication and the accessibility of illustrators via their websites; it has even become easier to contact them directly (Brazell&Davis, 2013).

However the ‘modern-day’ accessibility of information also raises questions; “How much information is enough?” and “when does the search become a form of procrastination?”. WdKA illustration alumni Wouter Tulp thinks it’s a great time for art students because “they have access to online instructions, resources and knowledge one mouse click away”. However Tulp also sees many artists struggling because the continuous exposure to amazing artwork can also lead to insecurity and become demotivating. Art students should prevent becoming what he calls: ‘slaves to the internet’ (Tulp, 2014). It’s important not to let trends take over your own originality. Be aware of what other Illustrators are doing, but don’t let it get to you (Snoad, 2013; Tulp, 2014).

In the end it seems obvious that market research is important for illustration students. However there seems to be a more important question that needs to be addressed first: “What is good market research for illustrators?”. If illustrators don’t know what’s good for them; they could end up in a wild goose chase. This shows the importance of teaching illustration students on how to conduct good and effective research.

3D skills. Dijkstra’s third concern is about the lack of 3D-computer skills by Dutch illustrators. He claims you don’t have to be a scientific researcher to realize that the illustration market has an increasing demand for illustrators with 3D-computer skills. Perhaps we don’t always like how these products look, but maybe that’s just because illustrators haven’t shown us all of its possibilities yet (Dijkstra, 2014). For example the game-market has increased enormously which has resulted in an increased demand for digital orientated illustrators (Fleishman,2004).

WdKA illustration alumni and Art Director at Guerilla games Misja Baas says a lot of the 3D-design for their production of the game Killzone is being outsourced. Some of it to large Chinese outsource studios with dedicated design- and production departments. Baas was one of the few students who got excited about the MAYA-3D computers at the WdKA some 20 years ago. At that time very few students knew how to work with MAYA 3D or wanted to work with it. One of the difficulties with the earlier 3D programs was the complexity of the tools. You can’t make illustration students love 3D-computer programs, but the tools nowadays are getting easier to play with, and equally important, easier to come by. Baas recommends students who have an interest to experiment with Google Sketchup. It’s relatively easy and it’s free. Many designers at Guerilla Games are using it (Baas, 2014).

Former Pixar illustrator John Nevarez says it became essential for him to learn 3D-(computer) skills some years ago. Nevarez doesn’t consider himself to be a 3D-designer, but he sees the 3D-programs as a valuable time saving tool when constructing complex illustrations. For example while working for Pixar studios it was useful to use a 3D- programs to design German-look-a-like cities for the animation of Cars. The ability to play with lights and viewpoints, by creating rough shapes in a 3D-mock up, makes it much easier and faster to create complex naturalistic looking background illustrations. His basic 3D-mock ups would not be seen in the final illustrations (Nevarez, 2014).

The advice to illustration students by both Baas and Nevarez is not to worry about ethics when using 3D-computer tools to make the process easier. They describe that some students don’t find it ethical to work with design tools that make the process easier. However they both declare that nobody in the market cares if you design purely by imagination or if you use reference materials or 3D-computer tools. Students should always feel free to use any means necessary to get the desired results, especially if it can save valuable time” (Baas, 2014; Nevarez, 2014).

WdKA Stations. The WdkA has started with a redesigned curriculum for Art & Design education in September 2014. Part of this new curriculum is the implementation of Stations. A Station can be seen as a multidisciplinary design research ‘lab’. It’s a place where students, teachers, and instructors work and research together. The Stations provide knowledge and expertise in: software, hardware, skills and machines. Currently the WdKA has seven different Stations: Interaction, Image & sound, Publication, Material, Fabric, Drawing, and Business. A difference between the Stations and the former traditional workplaces is that stations are not only about technique and machines, but Stations are also engaged in research and offer open educational programs for all art and design students.

For example the Business Station has an open and online platform. It offers both students, professional Illustrators, designers and fine artists tools like the ‘creative business map’ to learn about market opportunities (Beards&Suits.nl, 2014). The Image & Sound Station offers open instructional courses in 3D-computer Design and Rendering. The interaction station offers an opportunity to experiment with relatively new 3D related Design technologies such as: Oculus Rift, Google glass, and Kinect.

The Stations are open 5 days a week, and there are always teachers and instructor available to assist. Students get in tough with the stations through their major/minor studies, but Station instructors and teachers offer help with individual student projects as well (Study brochure WdKA, 2014-2015). It remains to be tested if the Stations will have the desired effect on students, but in relation to the concerns expressed by Dijkstra the Stations at least offer specific programs to assist the illustration students.

Conclusion. It remains difficult to provide any conclusive answers on the concerns raised by Dijkstra. In most cases it appears that students will have to be able to find and maintain a delicate balance. They should focus on their style, but not let it become fashion. They should research the market, but not be overwhelmed by it and end up snow blind. They should follow their heart when it comes to 3D-computer technology, but not be afraid to try new tools. It’s hard to say if the implementation of the Stations at the WdKA will play a significant role in solving any of these concerns. However the intention of the Stations is to present students in a new way with knowledge and expertise. At least there is information accessible for all multidisciplinary students. If they know what they want; the WdKA has a new place where students can get it.

 

D.Fuengshunut

Course Director Illustration WdKA

© 2015 All rights reserved.

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, without prior written consent from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

 

References

Baas, M (2014). Q&A with 3rd year Illustration students, WdKA, Rotterdam, 05/11/2014

Block, E. (2011). Becoming a professional illustrator; an insiders guide

Article acquired via: http://careers.theguardian.com/working-professional-illustrator-insiders-guide

Brazell, D, Davis, J. (2013). Becoming a Successful Illustrator, creative careers, Bloomsbury Publishing                 PLC

Davis, Paul. (2014. The Anarchy of Style, Varoom, Association of Illustrators, summer 2014, issue 26

Dijkstra, B. (2014). Student presentation portfolio evening, 3rd year students WdKA, Rotterdam           15/10/2014

Fleishman, M. (2004). Exploring Illustration, An in-dept Guide to the Art and Techniques of   Contemporary Illustration, Design Exploration Series, Thomson Delmar Learning, Canada

Hall, A. (2011). Illustration, portfolio, Central Saint Martins College, Laurence King Publishing Ltd,       London, UK

Nevarez, J ( 2014) Inspirational talks during: TheMasterLecture.com, Rotterdam, 11/10/2014

Rees, D. (2012). How to be an Illustrator, Laurence King Publishing Ltd, United Kingdom

Sinofzek, A. (2013). A life in Illustration, The Most Famous Illustrators and their Work, Gestalten, Riga

Snoad, L. (2013). Lions, tigers & bears, oh-my! What’s hot in animal Illustration, Digital Arts                   26/06/2013

Article acquired on the 6th of December 2014 via: http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/illustration/lions-               tigers-bears-oh-my-whats-hot-in-animal-illustration/

Studybrochure, Willem de Kooning Academie, Hogeschool Rotterda, (2014).

Tulp, W. (2014). Take your time, facebook post, 09/02/2014

Zeegen, L. (2005). Complete Digital Illustration. A Masterclass in Image-making, Rotovison SA,           Switzerland

Zeegen, L. (2008). Illustration Renaissance, Design taxi.com, 07/04/2008

Article acquired on the 6th of December 2014 via: http://designtaxi.com/article/100243/Illustration-Renaissance/

Zeegen, L. (2012). The Fundamentals of Illustration, AVA publishing, Switzerland