Reflection at Marwen: A Few Summer 2015 Student Voice Survey Responses

What was the most interesting thing you learned in this course?

  • How to develop pictures the hard way.
  • I learn how to use the light so i can try at home or anywhere else
  • I really liked working with plaster, especially since you could do a lot with it. It was very dynamic.
  • that statues and statuettes are 2 completely different things i thought that statues were men and statuettes were women
  • how to use negative space
  • That street art isn’t just spray paint, it can be rubbing dust off walls to create a picture, it can be 3D, it can be any form of art that is open to the public
  • The most interesting thing that i learned was tilting spray cans at a different angle can give you a galaxy theme.
  • I’ve learned about different structures when it comes to taking photos. Its more than just snapping the photo in that time or moment, Its about telling a story and showing others they same thing though your lens.
  • I learned how to properly use a camera and it’s features.
  • I liked going to the art institute and learning there
  • How the word “abstract” can mean a lot of things depending on the way it is interpreted.
  • How different artists’ impressions of landscape can be
  • I learned how to paint without painting exactly what was referenced.
  • Colors opposite to each other on the color wheel will one each other down when mixed together and when they are next to each other (unmixed) on the painting there is a high contrast and they make each other look brighter.
  • Drawing with different color for value
  • I learned how to create drawings using the space around an object and not the space inside
  • exaggeration. If i want to put more feeling into a person and make them seem lively, i must exaggerate their movements.
  • That you can 3D print literally anything
  • how to build anything with simple shapes
  • The most interesting thing i learned in this course was that animation is completely free-you can create anything you want without any boundaries.
  • I learned that sometimes using an eraser is a disadvantage
  • Atmospheric Perspective plays a role to what you are painting
  • about foreground, middle ground and background. and also using complimentary colors
  • How to use sketches to organize my paintings and how to identify value and color contrast in a painting.
  • i didn’t learn a lot of new things since i had accelerated knowledge
  • i learned how to make a music video!!! i learned camera angles and different tipes of art.
  • everything was pretty interesting but i liked and found very interesting that every photo you take is physically on the negative and that you can sandwich negatives and use different tricks to expose light to your photos.
  • How changing your perspective on a piece can change the entire piece and give it a different feel.
  • learning about what i see rather than what I create. I have learned to look more closely at what I and drawing rather than creating my own lines in my head and then drawing it out.
  • Glazing was a new technique was able to gain, i dont usually work with watercolor so these new techniques are good to know when I’m working on my pieces at home.


What was most challenging for you in this course?

  • It was sometimes hard for me to get further out of my comfort zone and try new things
  • Inspiration
  • Trying to focus on getting things done rather than making them perfect in my eyes. I focus a lot on details and that often let me fall behind.
  • Making sure that the light was just perfect.
  • the hard part is that taking photos of us doing superheros stuff
  • Working with the wire was hard; I stabbed myself many times. “Pain for Art”
  • I was challenged with time.
  • working with new materials
  • it was kind of distracting on account of cute cat videos on youtube……. you did not read anything….
  • the weather was kinda hot
  • Being surrounded by people who were very experienced and watching them create masterpieces very quickly while I worked very slowly and was not at their level.
  • deciding how to paint my thoughts
  • The most challenging thing to do in this course was to figure out what to paint and figure out a way how to make it different than my other painting I’ve done.
  • trying to stay awake.
  • Drawing small details patiently, and arranging subjects similarly enough to how they appeared in real life.
  • umm trying focus on getting the whole drawing in before the little details, sometimes when i didn’t do this i wasn’t able to finish my drawing
  • Probably getting here just because I’m not a morning person. But because these classes were in the morning, they helped me prepare for my 10:30 AM college classes in the fall.
  • Patience for making good animation
  • 30 second or 1 minute drawings… the pressure alone is just like telling us “time to scribble”, still good practice though.
  • ..verbal critiques/ explaining what i did
  • I think the thing that was most challenging to me was drawing the environment because I don’t really draw landscapes, I draw mostly characters when I draw.
  • Drawing on my off days. (as in the days I can’t draw well)
  • waiting and forgetting my ideas i had.
  • The most challenging was to make a smooth sleek but strong surface.It was difficult but it was eventually done.I learned that anywhere on my sculpture there can be a flaw.
  • waiting during the demos.


What could you suggest to make this course better?

  • MORE TIME (21% of responses mention more time)
  • we should have 3 weeks of class instead of 2
  • Maybe managing time better would be beneficial.
  • A few students were very negative and didn’t want to be there, changed the feel of the classroom. Some even spread their negativity.
  • As mentioned a bit earlier, it would be nice to have a 5-minute or so break at about the middle of the class. Saving our daily snack for this time would help us focus for the rest of the time, i think.
  • instructions where not always clear.
  • maybe a set theme for the class, but how you meet that theme is completely open
  • i think that we should be able to talk to more people around us and get to know some more people in the class
  • The water room smelled like rotten eggs. Also I felt as if I was the only person talking during group talks, the teachers should have started picking on people.
  • To have shorter critiques because seeing other people work is nice but most people get really really bored talking about it
  • I would like to have more discussion with the teaching artists (in groups) as to what we did right and wrong in our work.
  • ask the kids to raise our hands
  • try making it a little less stressful
  • to be better at focusing on my work instead of talking to a friend.
  • Draw people and make the class more upbeat so no ones like miserable.
  • Less talking, more working.
  • So to make sure that I’m focusing.
  • I think my problems mostly have to do with my personal tension span and interest


In this course, I looked at the artwork of: (check all that apply)

Fellow student artists, Professional artists, My teaching artists, I didn’t look at artwork

Tell us- what did you most enjoy or learn from looking at the artwork?

  • Because I have never taken art history before, it was really interesting to see pieces from professional artists from other decades that took bold steps to change the standards of art.
  • I definitely enjoyed seeing the shading and linework methods employed by the other students, and this was also very instructive.
  • giving my opinion about it without being scolded
  • I enjoyed looking at how other people can take what is in there mind and make it reality using sculptures.
  • I enjoyed critiquing the art and learning about new methods i could use in my artistic practice.
  • So much talent, each of us good at something
  • we didn’t really have time to, we just peeked in each others sketchbooks
  • I definitely enjoyed learning about good composition in art, and hope that my own final project won’t appear cluttered or empty.
  • how there is not only one or two ways that a person can make a video, its about what they are feeling or what they think the world is like.
  • I learned that people’s minds are so complex and so different and its enjoying and satisfying to know that we are all unique.
  • the different ways to tell a story and how to make it visually pleasing to the audience
  • What I enjoyed the most was seeing how they used different tips and techniques for a better outcome in their work.
  • The innovative ideas of the artists and students made me dig deeper into what I could do to improve my photography skills.
  • I gained inspiration as well as new ideas on how to improve my own art and how to face challenges I found when creating art
  • It provided different styles of art to study which allowed one to dissect part of that art and implement it into their own art style.
  • I took this class because I was really interested in Disney type things, such as how they made “The Lion King”. I knew about flip books and storyboards but I didn’t realize how much patience you actually needed for those things. I have a very, very short temper but I’m also a perfectionist, so it was frustrating sometimes.


In this course I had time to talk about my art and/or the art of my classmates: (y/n)
Please tell us what you learned from this experience:

  • I learned that my ideas related to other people, in ways that I never really expected.
  • I learned how to talk about my art with people my age and with artists and learn to take their advice.
  • it helps me to be confident to talk about my art work.
  • i learned how other people approach different prompts
  • i liked how i got many nice compliments on my photos and given advice and new tips about photograghy
  • I learned what people look for in pictures as in what catches their attention more and how improve my photo editing skills.
  • I don’t know, we just kind of exchanged compliments.
  • i learned how to explain my ideas more thoroughly
  • How to spot flaws in my work while editing
  • I learned how to be organized with my art work
  • Sometimes talking with the teachers helped me think of what to do next if I was stuck. Sometimes I was able to help my fellow students.
  • I learned how to use other’s critiques to my advantage and how to critique others work and give them helpful way to improve
  • I learned that speaking is important.
  • i learned a lot of different terms and how to improve my art (you didn’t say be specific )
  • Its hard to talk in groups when eveyones ready to leave.
  • I learned to step out of my comfort zone and be open about constructive criticism
  • I learned how to make my art pop out and learned how to create a mood.
  • how to interact with other people and to be able to use other peoples opinion on my work to make it better,
  • I learned what i shouldn’t do and what i should do from looking at my classmates’ work and their past experiences.
  • What I learned from this experience is that looking at others artwork helps you grow as an artist.
  • That there are ppl that are better artists than me that are the same age and experience. I used to think that i was the best drawer in the world but I’m not
  • Too much! So many things I now know! If you want more detail contact me on gmail


I feel like I belong at Marwen. (I feel like I can be myself here.)

  • Being part of the community feels right, filling out this survey over and over reminds me that I’m part of marwen
  • This question really deals with my race. Why? you might ask well because there are a lot of stereo-types and how I do things so I try to keep my composure,
  • Other places, I tend to constantly check wether I look and act like evrybody else. At Marwen, I feel like everybody has their own style of talking, dressing, and behaving. It’s AWESOME!
  • I am more myself at Marwen than I am any other place. I feel comfortable with both my peers and my teaching artists.
  • This school has really inspired me to take more art classes and do clay classes to because I love working with clay because its thick when very moist after fired than its hard
  • when i use vine references everybody knows what I’m talking about and also i have been practicing art myself for a long time but have never had a teacher helping me along the way
  • Since I love art in every way possible being in marwen is like visiting family. People and students are experienced. Everyone is different thats what makes this course/Marwen feel great .
  • When I am walking here or crossing the street, other Marwen staff would always say hello or greet me and one even told me in the elevator something nice. I told her my name and she replied “Oh me and my team read your responses and we love them!’ I was so happy and felt special.
  • most of my time here i was comfortable because how relaxed everybody else was. The first day not so much… i didn’t know anybody and my other classmates had friends in the class. After that it flowed well
  • Since this is my first time i am not completely comfortable with always sharing my opinions.
  • I’m not really myself in an art class. I just like to focus on the art.
  • I like Marwen a lot, but I feel more comfortable when making art in my own home.
  • i can be goofy with kids my age
  • I don’t talk a lot but the people around me do talk to me.
  • The people send me good vibes.
  • I’m very quiet when I meet new people and I’m quiet in general, but when I came here I felt like I would get along with everyone because these kids are all like me: an artist
  • I’ve made many friends with my peers and feel like I’m part of a family
  • Talking to people has always been hard for me but the people here were still very nice to me
  • well I think I’m pretty artistic so when I surround my self with really artistic peers and actual artists it motivates me to do more art and provides inspiration


Kate Adams About Kate Adams
Kate Adams is an artist, teaching artist, and mom. As a Marwen staff member she oversees Marwen’s teaching artist professional development, student assessment, and program evaluation. Through her artwork she explores concepts of home, generations and change. You can reach her at

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