This weekend I went to a 2 day portrait master class, I wanted to go to this to improve my technical skills in sculpting and push myself to see what I could achieve in a short space of time. This was only my second portrait and my first one took me several months so I was interested to see how the results would differ, as well as seeing if there were many different challenges creating a male portrait as opposed to a female portrait. Furthermore I wanted to see how much I had learnt from my first portrait that I could apply to this one.
This class was being taught by Livia who previously taught us for a short time in our first portrait, I really enjoyed her teaching and felt like I had learnt a lot from her previously so it felt important to me that I get more teaching from her. Livia's studio is in Brixton which is a really creative environment, I really enjoyed walking through Brixton on the way there as there is such a variety of people and cultures which made me feel very excited and inspired. It also put me in an ideal headspace for making, this showed me how important surrounding are and how the can influence my mood and motivation before working.
The class had around six students in it which meant we each got a lot of one on one time with Livia, by the end of the two days I noticed how valuable this time was and the difference it made having more time with your tutor. I felt a lot more motivated when I can regularly speak to a tutor as I got told when I was going off track straight away, this meant it was soon easier for me to spot when I started going off track and also that I wasted less time going off on the wrong tangent.
I really enjoyed this class as I had previously found that sculpting for more than a few hours made me exhausted however because there was such a small number of us we couldn't slack off so I was solidly working from 10 to 5 with a couple of brakes. This really showed me that if I persisted, even when I felt a bit tired or felt my mind wondering, I could soon get over the slump and my motivation would pick back up again.
Another thing I really enjoyed was being in such a small focused class with people who really wanted to be there, having this positive excited attitude and group of people made me feel enthusiast about what we were producing. We also had classical music playing for some of the time which I found helped to focus my mind and made my mind wander less as well as making a clam working environment.
From this class I have learnt how I can improve my own studio practice, first by being more prepared as there were a lot of different sculpting tools we could use so I really found that having the right tool for what stage I was at really effected my efficiency and accuracy. Secondly, I learnt to be less precious with my sculpt, the short time frame meant there wasn't time to focus on details or be too sensitive about mistakes. I learnt to focus on the head as whole so that a mistake could be quickly rectified and I wouldn't lose time wasted or sculpting details in the wrong place.