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What to Expect

Printmaking students learn the complex process of etching a picture on a metal or wooden "plate," then using that plate to make prints of the work.

"Printmaking just spoke to me. I enjoyed the balance of the technical and creative aspects of the media," says Chris Johnson. He has an undergraduate degree in printmaking from Bradley University.

He enjoys the idea of "creating a piece of fine art, but having the technical discipline to print an edition of 25 prints."

He also enjoys the diversity. "There's just so many different and diverse styles of printmaking available, from intaglio, lithography, silk screening and monotyping, just to name a few. There's just no limit to printmaking."

In the final semester of his bachelor's degree, Johnson took 16 hours a week of classes. He took courses in printmaking, drawing and painting. He also took a seminar class, where he learned about applying for grants, applying for shows and other professional skills.

"I usually spent as much time in the studio as I could outside of class," Johnson says. "But it never felt like homework, just because I am so passionate about creating my artwork that it's all I want to do."

Mary Robinson took the master's of fine arts program at Indiana University at Bloomington. She decided to pursue printmaking to learn about new media and to learn about new ways of combining art, such as painting and photography.

Throughout graduate school, Robinson took three to four classes per semester. "My 'homework' [was] to make art, and I spend as many hours a day that I can," Robinson says. Her other school-related activities included visiting art galleries and museums and reading books and articles of interest to her.

How to Prepare

Take as many art courses as you can, says Johnson. He also suggests doing artwork for clubs, the school newspaper or events such as the school play.

"I created comic books and just drew pictures on my own time while in high school," Johnson says. "In other words, just keep practicing and working on your skills, because it can only work to your advantage down the road."

Students can also visit museums and take classes in literature, math, music and science to prepare themselves for university art studies, says Robinson.

"I would also suggest studying a foreign language and spending a year in another country," she says.


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