For the past two years I've been working on my Bachelors degree at Humboldt State University. I am now a few weeks from graduating and I want to say a few words about my experience.
When I started at HSU I had an extremely narrow focus on my career in art. I had been pursuing comic book illustration almost exclusively. But because I was entering a school with a general art curriculum it wasn't an option to focus exclusively on illustration. I struggled with the lack of specialization and felt restricted. Now, I cannot reconcile that perspective with my experience.
I am deeply grateful that my undergraduate degree was generally focused on Art. Because I learned more than just what my immature taste would dictate. I was opened up to a world of possibilities. Don't take that the wrong way, I love comics, and still have every intention to make comics! All I'm saying is backgrounds for example, might still sound like a chore rather than the delight I have found by painting landscapes.
My biggest fear, I suppose, had been that I wouldn't have the opportunity to really excel in the CSU; as opposed to entering the competitive atmosphere of an art school. But my hard work and drive met a level of freedom and support that I wasn't expecting, at all. I was accepted into the Honors Painting program and awarded a studio space to freely act as a professional artist. The Honors program at HSU really offers something special to it's participants. We are certainly expected to work extremely hard, but we are also given freedom to pursue whatever art we want. Additionally, it provides intensive critique throughout the semester and a community of driven artists.
This studio has been incredible. Beyond the space and community the studio offers proximity to figure drawing classes several times a week and a wild-life building brimming with scientific specimens.
Ultimately, I can only say that I am extremely grateful for my time at Humboldt State University. Perhaps when I move onward into a graduate program I will get the focus I thought I wanted out of my undergraduate. However, I see my art education developing in the perfect order. Just like a painting worth it's salt I will move from general to specific. I am building my art career in the exact order I never knew I wanted. Because I now have taste, skill, and theory I never would have equipped myself with otherwise.
I would like to extend a special thank you to some of the staff that made my undergraduate degree so valuable. These professors invested a lot of energy to make this art program exceptional: Teresa Stanley, Erin Whitman, James Moor, Denton Crawford, Rick Febré, Lien Truong, and Sondra Schweman.
Again, Thank You.
Sean K Sutter ( important contemporary artist™ )