David Quin, “We are not trying to set them on fire, but trying to light a fire inside them”
Sharing Irish teaching experience of animation art
Two-day lectures by David Quin, lecturer at Film, Art and Creative Technologies faculty of Dublin Institute of Art, Design and Technology conducted at SAFAA were a new experience for the Academy; It was the first time the Academy has been given such an opportunity to familiarise immediately with the Irish teaching experience in this field. It was also informative in terms of sharing applicable methods and approaches as well as a good opportunity for teachers and students to establish further bilateral collaboration.
Meanwhile David Quin met with the Rector of State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia, exchanged ideas and opinions. The Rector briefly introduced the Academy, gifted his newly issued catalogue of paintings and invited him to his solo exhibition at the exhibition hall of Artists’ Union of Armenia that day.
David Quin’s visit was actualised within the frames of International Credit Mobility programme of SAFAA. His meetings with the lecturers of Computer Graphics chair and a day later with students were truly interesting and effective. The Irish specialist introduced the main local teaching methods, principles and the philosophy. Through the first two years of education, the students get the teachers’ assistance, then starting from 3rd year they are mainly acting freely; “We don’t try to set them on fire but to light a fire inside them.” It’s highly important to be in a permanent drawing process. “We don’t teach how to draw, but the toolkit to apply in developing their individual creative style. And this must be done through constant viewing, painting. Those sketchbooks can look rather diverse, mixed up; anyway we encourage the students to take a risk and, why not, make mistakes and make their progress through them.” Two animation films were screened during the lecture and the slides showed the methods applicable in the courses.
He also touched upon the issues of employability as well as providing students with jobs. Sufficient number of animation studios currently operating in Ireland provides that opportunity to students but Mr. Quin’s ambitions are set higher in this regard; he strive to bring the students to the level that will enable them to provide workplaces themselves. Generally in Ireland students are already ready for the labour market starting from the 3rd year, many of them working in big studios, getting weekly a salary of 500-600 euros. Three of the graduates were nomination for an Oscar, famous prize.
Even more interesting was David Quin’s meeting with students, where he made a presentation of the methods and approaches of Fine Arts (they call it Arts in general). Then he passed to a friendlier and direct contact with students addressing the following written questions, “What is your vision of our profession in 2029 and what life would you like to live in 2029 in terms of our profession?” The students were divided into 4 groups and then the results of discussions were read aloud. It’s worth mentioning that the questioner obviously liked the answers.
The aim of this question by David Quin was to reveal the independent attitude of each student. In his final remark he stated that most frequently the decision makers were old bosses who ignored the student’s opinion. According to him, the students themselves must dictate what direction they would like to involve in the teaching process. In addition to Mr. Quin’s thoughts, SAFAA vice-rector Mkrtich Ayvazyan offered students to organize a meeting for exchanging opinions and suggestions.