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Student Perspective – Virtual Marathons: Rebecca Jones
October 12, 2020 · Marathons
My work always improves dramatically after participating in a New York Studio School Marathon. With that in mind I decided to make most of the virtual content offered this September and enrolled in the Fall 2020 Virtual Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson & Guests.
I have participated in many of the Studio School Marathons and this was my second Virtual Marathon. I like the Virtual Marathons because living in Melbourne, Australia means I do not need to travel to New York (and avoid LAX). I am able to work in my studio where the space is familiar, and I have access to all my favourite materials and tools. The only downside is the time zone: my drawing day during the Marathon started at 11pm and finished around 10am the following day. At times, I found it terribly difficult, particularly between 3am and 5am. I really did just want to sleep (full disclosure: sometimes I did).
Despite the lack of sleep, the Virtual Marathons excel because the transfer of information is clear and precise. Padlet for viewing the artworks is relatively easy to navigate and looking at the information on the screen makes it very easy to see and digest. I like the rigorous nature of the Marathons and drawing uninterrupted for long lengths of time. It pushes my work and skill set into new directions. If a drawing was at an impasse there was always an instructor on Zoom to assist.
One of my favourite parts of a Marathon are the crits. I enjoy seeing the drawings and hearing all the critiques. Listening to Graham is a true highlight – his depth of knowledge is captivating and none of this was lost on Zoom. If anything, I was able to get more out of it as I could immediately look up the works that Graham referenced. I also appreciated how well the TA’s, Fran and Charity, kept everything on track. The occasional break out rooms were a great facility to chat with other Marathon attendees.
Graham opened this drawing marathon by saying “Drawing is a dangerous thing.” While the virtual jet lag made the trip home after drawing all night slightly hazardous, it was definitely worth the risk!