Quick Q & A: Did you do any formal study in the arts? Did you find it helpful or a hindrance?

The Quick Q & A editorial in Beautiful Bizarre Magazine is a much loved regular feature, in which we ask 6 artists the same 4 questions. In the March 2018 Issue 20, these were the Quick Q & A questions:

  • Art is a visual language, what are you hoping to communicate to the viewer through your artwork?
  • You have a very distinctive style, what drew you to working with this medium?
  • Did you do any formal study in the arts? Did you find it helpful or a hindrance?
  • Who is your biggest Art Throb and why?

We feel that the artists’ responses provide such a valuable insight for our community of artists that we wanted to share one Quick Q & A response from each issue with you, going forward. The March 2018 Issue 20 print issue is sold out, but you can download the digital magazine via our webstore to read more. To ensure you never miss an issue again, you can also subscribe to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and have each issue sent straight to your door each quarter.

Excerpt from Issue 20 // March 2018 Quick Q & A editorial: Artists Jessica Dalva, Jessica So Ren Tang, Jessica Joslin, Jason Chen, Zoe Keller and Anna Tsvell respond to the below Quick Q & A:

Did you do any formal study in the arts? Did you find it helpful or a hindrance?


Jessica Dalva

“Yes, I went to Otis College of Art and Design, as well as taking sculpting, drawing and painting classes over the years. There certainly were aspects of it that were invaluable, but by no means do I think art school is vital to being an artist. One of the most important things that I got from art school was mostly by luck – I met a group of super talented people, and since then have had a constant source of drive and inspiration from those friends.”

Jessica So Ren Tang

“I received my BA in Studio Art at Mills College, in Oakland, California. While learning the fundamentals in drawing, painting, and sculpting are important, I think the one of the most valuable aspects of my education was critiquing work. I learned to question the methods and imagery I used and how they relate to each other, to myself, and to the audience. Being in a small classroom environment with practicing artists as professors helped me learn how to self-analyse my work.”


Jessica Joslin

“Going to art school was ridiculously expensive, but having time to focus completely on my work and to experiment with so many different mediums was invaluable. Ideally, it can be a place to develop a distinct aesthetic and a sense of commitment that is strong enough to survive the test of time. In retrospect, I particularly appreciate certain teachers who were dismissive about my work. It tempered my stubborn streak. For a young artist, it’s important to forge an iron spine, whether literally, figuratively…or both.”

Jason Chen

“Yes, I went to the University of the Arts for Animation and Photography. While my education did not dictate my personal work, the training I received from my education helps me carefully examine, criticise, and improve my process. It opened my mind to the endless possibilities when it comes to making art. Although I don’t believe one needs an art education to appreciate art, simply being surrounded by art daily definitely made appreciation of it a habit and a routine for me.”

Zoe-Keller-Guts-wildlife drawing

Zoe Keller

“I developed a strong high school portfolio through after school classes at the Art Institute of Mill Street Loft in Pough-keepsie, NY, and was then able to attend MICA, in Baltimore, Maryland thanks to a generous scholarship. These programs were challenging, forcing me to grapple not only with the technical aspects of visual problem solving, but also with big-picture questions about the role of the artist in society. My early arts education definitely continues to inform my studio practice in a big way.”

Anna Tsvell

“I am entirely self-taught, I have never studied Arts but I have been drawing since my early childhood. I sometimes regret that I didn’t have any formal Art education, because it might help me with some technique issues. But, on the other hand, I don’t have the constraints that formal Arts study might impose. I paint intuitively, with my imagination and my hands. It makes my works less professional, maybe, but more MINE – more personal and more expressive.”


About Author

Danijela Krha Purssey is an entrepreneur, and the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Australian based international contemporary art magazine, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine. She is deeply passionate and committed to her vision to help shift the paradigm in the global contemporary arts industry regarding what is defined and accepted as contemporary art.


This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Beautiful Bizarre will never supply your information to anyone else without your explicit permission - see our PRIVACY POLICY.

Join the Beautiful Bizarre email list


This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Beautiful Bizarre Magazine takes your privacy seriously, we will
never share your information without your express permission.