Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2013-2014 Scholarship Student Interview


Rachel Harrison

Tell us a little about yourself!

I am a young artist from Nashville, TN and the scholarship winner from 2013/2014. I am a very serious student; I care a lot about my education and am typically at school 7 days a week during the semester. I'm passionate about all forms of arts and sciences. My favorite painters are Rembrandt, Repin, and Caravaggio. And Ribera. And Zorn.

Where you familiar with Atelier Style Schools previous to competition?

Absolutely! I had been wanting to study at an atelier for years prior to coming to Boston; health issues and location being my main hinderance. I had studied with classically trained instructors but I was missing a consistent and challenging school environment.  

How was your experience different from what you initially expected?

I thought the school was all full time students! Thankfully, it is not a typical frustrating art school experience which completely dumbs down academic art and pushes arbitrary ideologies. The academy's focus is entirely dedicated to improving technical skill, which is exactly what I was looking for in order to express my personal interests through painting.

What do you like best about your first year at the school?

The environment is fantastic, maintaining a light atmosphere but remaining very serious. Seeing my progress and being around likeminded people. The Bougereau master copy drawing I did. The open studio option! Being able to work whenever I wanted was necessary to fostering independence. 

What was your biggest hurdle?

Simplification!! Also for me, just physically standing all day.

Do you plan to continue to study at ARA Boston?

Yes, as long as I keep seeing progress. Good work takes perseverance and repetition. The instructors here are wonderful and inspire me to push myself further. I would highly recommend the atelier program to any artist who wishes to improve their painting skills.

Your advice to future students or applicants?

Just do it! Even if you think your work isn't that great, that's the purpose of training. Draw from life as much as you can. Listen to your instructors and think before you draw. Be extremely self critical of your work. It's very important to be independent, make mistakes, find your likes and dislikes, and be receptive to critique. Always be reading about techniques and researching your favorite artists.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you to all of the ARA Boston staff and students for being so welcoming. :)