Are Bad Students Better Artists? – Paul Joseph Gulino

Are Bad Students Better Artists? – Paul Joseph Gulino

Film Courage: Are bad students better artists? Chapman University
Professor and Author Paul Joseph Gulino: Well…


  • Film Courage says:

    Do you think that good artists tend to be bad students?

  • Chasing Experience says:

    Well, I’m a terrible student so let’s hope I’m a good artist one day😂

  • Milica says:

    thank you for this content 💕

  • Dan B. says:

    Officer Zed, Police Academy 4: "Gene, Gene made a machine. Art, Art blew a fart and blew the whole, damn thing apart." Zed's line finally makes sense to me after all these years; i.e. it's the artistic types that dictate what's important.

  • Thumper says:

    You have to have a story to tell. Maybe a good student could also be a good listener.

  • Broke Frog says:

    Bad students aren’t good artists. Good artists are bad students because artists are usually distracted by their own vision and ideas in there head and have a hard time of paying attention to something in front that doesn’t stimulate them.

  • gnarth d'arkanen says:

    It's going to depend on the art… or craft.

    Right now, what's marketable, can be dissected into structure, hits most (if not all) the beats, and has the high concepts at least present enough to present the hook… Otherwise you're not going to pitch it and find anyone there to finance "catching".

    Bad students, in general, tend to fall out of the "structured" style of school. They're not bad at learning for themselves… but the regimental methods of students sit and listen, take notes, do homework, turn assignments in on time, take tests well to regurgitate information… blah-blah-blah… That's the structured environment that a "bad student" doesn't fit… for whatever reason.

    The artist that pointed this out, was probably talking "visual arts" like illustration, painting, sculpting…etc… Those are fields where the "fluid thinker" is celebrated. It's experimental, and taking chances with stuff and then fiddling with it until it "works" is the name of the game. Fluid thinkers don't do regular study halls, take good notes, or keep them organized… Fluid thinkers just reach out and start exploring something "because…".

    "Bad Students" for their lack of structure, can be turned toward "better learners" with courses more geared toward experimentation, demonstrations, and hands-on getting excited and involved… IF a teacher can manage that trick, a lot of the "bad students" start to show their interests… They may never suddenly adapt to picking up calculus, BUT… picking up some basic math skills because they have a Game (for instance) to play that helps them create a story out of thin air… THAT's not entirely out of the question (trust me… I've done that).

    In Grade school, I was terrible at math. I managed decent grades into second or third grade… BUT as multiplication and division became important… those grades were getting threatened… AND THEN I discovered D&D… and with a couple friends we started fashioning our own "Dungeon Crawls" (the old school origins of D&D at use)… AND dice became a fascination, When rolling handfuls of dice, and not wanting to slow down the combat scene before we found out who got killed… we picked up skills that rivaled most accountants on the job…
    By grade 5, I was beating "the smart kids" on every flashcard game that came calling. By high school, I was doing pre-calc' without a calculator. I had a fifty-cent Casio graphic calculator on my desk just to get into class, but it never got used. I couldn't even put a function into it and get it to graph… The same button battery that I bought to "test it" was still in it ten years later when I demonstrated it for a guy at the flea market who needed one for his kid… so I sold it "at cost" and he was ecstatic. Apparently he had internet, so he could get a manual for it.

    You'd be surprised at what actually gets constituted as a "bad student" in a class. Some of us just can't bring ourselves to focus on class when it's the worst torment in our young lives… AND the bad experiences of failing in class just add to the frustrations until we're horrible students… quite literally in every sense.

    BUT writing… No. You're not going to be a very successful or good writer without the passionate fascination of the written (or spoken) word. You have to have the drive to grind out thousands of words only to go back to the beginning and start fixing where it's F***ed… and then go BACK to the beginning to start editing where "little issues" get in the way of the right product…

    …and repeat this to an infuriating, mindnumbing, stomach churning number of repetitions…

    …AND when you finally think you've got it "right", so you turn up for a pitch… toss it to a pro' reader… take it to some other resource for getting it "to the next step", you learn to start collecting rejections. You get to learn NOT to take it personally. AND you get to go back to the beginning, and start fixing whatever was or seemed to be "problematic" for the latest efforts to sell…

    IF and when you ever survive all that, to a point of landing the sale, to get a movie made of this thing. Even while you might get on-set as a "writing consultant" (whatever)… You'll get to watch as your vision, your ideal, gets gutted and it's soul sucked right out for the marketability… product placement… a sexy twist to attract more and bigger demographics…

    You learn to let go. Slay the writer… Hollywood is the perfect place to learn to Slay the Writer. Nobody likes that lesson. But once you've made "the embarrassing thing" for others to point and laugh at, it's a static thing you've made… and the next person gets to buy every right to do whatever they like to it… It's a hard truth to swallow.

    Sorry, especially if this seems like a rant. It's not. I've learned from more than one "consultation" kind of contributing gig, that I'm just contributing… It's okay. As a GM, I guess it kind of prepared me. "No plan survives first contact with the PC's either."

    …I just don't see "bad students" in most senses of that phrase, being so capable of handling what it takes to be a screenwriter… or any writer for the matter. ;o)

  • Powers Benzo Coaching says:

    It’s a balance. You can be the most creative person in the planet but if you can master the basics and essentials…

  • Issac Nunez says:

    Whether you're a good or bad student doesnt matter in terms of ones artistry. What's important is the drive. Without it, the 'Artist' will accomplish nothing or at best, nothing worth talking about.

    Back in High School, I hated every class I took and barely scrapped by(had to go to summer school to 'fix' some bad grades). However, film class was different. I was able to be weird and experimental. The best received films were often the ones the teacher referred to as "ambitious". Even if the films didnt turn out like I originally intended(its a high school film class after all, not a major studio production), most if not all of them received As or Bs for the risks that we took(most of which paid off).

    What I'm trying to say is: if you're a bad student, it doesnt mean you're a great artist. If you care about making art, and getting a little weird with it, then you're a good artist.

    No Drive to Make Art = No Art Made

  • Rivu Sourav Banerjee says:

    Very True..genuis can come up from the most unexpected people and situations.Artist r just different people who sees the world from a different perspective…not bound by rules created by men.

  • Yall's Dude Ray says:

    I wonder if being a bad editor is anti artist.. let me know what you think about my OG Diablo Weed Review.. not sure if my editing stifles the comedy

  • Mikey Clarke says:

    Cue every poorly-performing student (past-me included) saying "Well aha, no wonder I'm doing so crap, I'm just a fantastic artist!" Well. Possibly. But we all know that artistic expertise is just one reason among many. Far more likely you're a crap student because you're a crap artist. So get studying.

  • Errol Michael Phillips says:

    No relationship between the two.

  • michael Soza says:

    Good ones are not students at all, nowadays.

  • mysterywhiteboy72 says:

    Bad student here, just checking in for a bit of reassurance.

  • Deborah Pappas says:

    I was a bad student until I wanted to learn the craft of storytelling. I even surprised myself on the amount of studying I did. Lets hope the two come together in something fantastic! Happy New Year everyone. 🤪

  • Chris Pettit says:

    I'm seeing a story arc req'd to write this story.

  • Harold Tan says:

    I hope I become a great artist someday

  • yoyoyouuuu1 says:

    😆 .. All the grade grubbing suck ups in the comments..

    Students that do things for a grade only are trash.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *