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During my time at the C. W. Post campus of Long Island University, I have been fortunate to be the mentor to a number of art majors who have also been honors students. During this time I have found that defining the fine line between input and output needs to be finessed. These students normally deal with the visual image and how it relates directly to their own personal work. In many cases, especially with freshman and sophomore students, their understanding of creativity is that an artist’s inspiration comes out of thin air. As they progress through their academic years and through the honors process, they start to understand that this is not the case. Their scope of comprehension broadens, and their ability to use this new found capability helps them in other areas of their discipline and throughout their core courses as well; however, keeping the balance between influence and derivation is a difficult task. The possibilities of derivation and influence were defrayed by requiring these students to focus their honors tutorial and thesis projects on topics not directly related to their specific discipline in the visual arts. In this paper I will discuss how I have used the honors method to impose a strong research framework, based on metaphorical thinking, which has subsequently improved the artistic process of four art students.