Western/UK Art School Lecturers VS Eastern/Singaporean Art School Lecturers

Having been to two different art schools in two different countries and having the cultural differences between the two groups of lecturers not only told directly to me by one group but also having experienced it first-hand in the UK. I felt like putting down some stereotypes/observations about both groups of art school lecturers for reflection or humorous observation sake.

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Western/UK Art School Lecturers:

  • Will always say “hmmm, try it out” or “sure” to any idea you have, no matter how bad it actually is, they want to see you try out and learn from the process and the experience, even if the end-product is bad or you yourself realize its bad along the way, you learn that yourself and by yourself and thus grow from it.
  • Replies to emails very slowly to the dismay of the people emailing them.
  • Generally more relaxed and chill about things.

Eastern/Singaporean Art School Lecturers:

  • Will shoot down any idea that they think is bad to either, save you the time and the pain of realizing its bad, cause its fun to watch you get discouraged (hopefully not), making sure that you get a idea where the end-product is good to be shown.
  • Replies faster to emails but…still considered slow to be honest.
  • Generally more disciplinarian, strict, etc.

Of course these are all generalizations, there was a lecturer in the UK school that tore up artwork like your usual old-fashioned scary art teacher that everyone is scared of/hates. There’s also fun lecturers in Singaporean art schools who are not incredibly strict and disciplinarian.

I said reflection at the beginning because as funny as it all seem to be, every artist has their own temperament and react better to certain nurturing methods. A very relaxed artist, too relaxed, who don’t put in enough work could do with some kicking in the rear by a strict lecturer to push them further to improve and create better work. On the other hand, if you are really pessimistic about your own art and shoot down your own art and ideas before the lecturer can and then the lecturer shoots your work/idea down even more, it can be very crushing.

What kind of lecturers did you have while in art school? Did you have very scary strict ones, very relaxed chill ones? Which do you think works best for helping you improve and grow in your art?

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