Monday, November 8, 2010

an interview with professor colin ferguson. w00t.

Hey guys! Here's an interview we did last week with Professor Colin Ferguson! Hope you enjoy!

1.     How long have you been at John Tyler and what classes do you teach?
I started here in the fall of 2000 and I teach the drawing and painting classes, but I’ve taught other classes here as well.

2.     What is your favorite thing about teaching art?         
      I suppose one thing I really enjoy is what I kind of call the “aha!” moment where somebody had been kind of struggling, but then, they suddenly can see what we’ve been talking about in class. It’s the break through moments that you’ve helped facilitate.

3.     Where did you go to college?
      I did my undergraduate at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and I got my M.F.A. at Ohio University of Athens.

4.     Tell us how you received the opportunity to illustrate for a textbook.
      I’ve known Mike LoPresto since the second grade and we were actually roommates at Edinboro freshman year. So, I’ve known him all my life. He first did Cycle in the Sky and then kind of an extended version called Fundamentals of College Astronomy; he asked me to do illustrations for both.

5.     Was this work very tedious for you or was it mostly enjoyable?
It wasn’t tedious. It was kind of a fast pace because I had to get them done. I started them in the middle of May and I had to have them done by July 4, so I was busy. It was interesting and because I did the illustrations I learned about the people and subjects I was drawing.

6.     Do you think you would ever do it again?
Oh sure, especially for a friend.

7.     What’s your favorite drawing in the textbook and why?
Hmm. I liked doing the one that was the extinction theory because I got to be a little creative with it and I liked drawing Edmund Halley because he had one of those crazy, poofy wigs. Plus, I just thought that one turned out nice. Then, a couple of interesting ones, too, were ones where I had to show not just the person but the invention that was with them like Stanley Miller and Wilson and Penzias.

8.     Other than art, what are some of your hobbies you enjoy in your free time?
I am a cyclist and a downhill skier, and I enjoy other outdoor activities as well.

9.     What’s your favorite thing about Richmond?
I really like spring in Richmond because, where I lived, we didn’t really have spring. We had fall, winter, and, then, right to summer.
     What advice do you have for a student wanting to pursue a career in art?
     Work hard and try a little bit of everything to really find what direction in art helps you find your voice.

p.s. Keep Heather in your thoughts for these next couple of weeks. She flew out to India last night. How cool is that?!

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