bridge 5

Julia Tarantino

Bridge 5


Learning Portfolio Reflection


Perhaps the most noticeable thing about me is my last name, it’s every other day that I am asked whether or not I am related to Quentin Tarantino. I am in fact not related to him, however sometimes for a good laugh I’ll successfully convince people that I’m his niece. Honestly, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Quentin and I were related-in fact it might explain where my artistic genes come from. I am currently studying to get my BFA in Photography at Parsons School of Design, and today was my official last day of classes. I get rather annoyed when people ask me what genre of photography I shoot because I’ve had experience with all and thoroughly love and appreciate each different style of photography. If I had to choose a precise description of my work, I’d have to say I’m more into documentary/streetstyle photography as well as a focus in portraiture. Alongside photography I also paint, collage, make videos, sculpt, and draw.

Prior to my arrival at Parsons the only background in art I had was self taught photography and three years of sculpting classes. I was nervous for classes such as drawing/imaging because I had not a clue as to whether or not I had any talent for the craft. If I’m being honest I can’t say I’ve learned anything from my first year at Parsons, and if I had it was all self taught through my own artistic exploration. With that being said, there were no skills that I learned that I ended up applying to multiple courses. All of the projects I made throughout the year were based on my own skillset that I sculpted myself without the help of Parsons. To add onto that, absolutely none of the projects I did were exciting. It’s obvious that all of the assignments given have been recycled through the years and that most of the teachers were not carefully chosen. Anything that I was supposed to “learn” from this first year are skills that students accepted into this institution should already have prior to coming to this school. In terms of the relationship between academics and the studio, everything in Seminar was directly influenced by what I was doing in Studio but was never the intended other way. I used the opportunities in Seminar to research some topics I wanted to educate myself on, such as certain artists and art genres, though never researched something in order to further the progress on an art project. The only theme that I can say was common throughout my work for the year is that numerous projects I did were personally driven and aimed to generate an emotional response from the viewer; they were tangible pieces of myself and my feelings.

Despite the fact that I am essentially against the way Parsons outlines their first year program, there were some projects that I had an enjoyable time creating. One project that I did for my last studio class was a mock ad campaign for a scooter that I designed with a group. The photo shoot ended up being an extremely fun time and I got so many amazing photographs out of it. I also got to do some research for the project since I had to find inspiration for the shoot, so I ended up doing some research on 70s-80s campaigns since the theme was groovy and bright. Another project that I had fun doing was another project for studio where I had to design masks based on the past, present, and future. All of my masks were anime inspired so I enjoyed creating art that’s inspired by something that I love, plus the end result turned out to be art I was proud of. It was a risk for me to create something based off of something from my personal interests, so I learned how to get over the fear of critiques in order to create art that is genuine to who I am as an artist.

I suppose that thanks to the first year I’ve gotten used to using different mediums, which means that this summer I’m going to pursue a lot of art projects that branch away from photography. It’s important for me to become a full fledged artist in that I can’t only be proficient at photography. To be honest I express my true self more through illustration and collage than I do through photographs-photographs emulate my life while other mediums portray my inner feelings. After all of my finals are submitted and graded I’m most likely going to delete almost everything from my learning portfolio, mainly because most of the things I created were insignificant but also because I have no use for the learning portfolio.


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