The Revealing Art Course

Mark Kleimann
9 min readNov 21, 2022

There was no shortage of red faces…

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

Back in the day, when I was impressionable and fresh out of Year 11 at College, I made a momentous decision.

Based on the very encouraging school report comments from my art teacher (“Mark has refined and developed his drawing skills” and following this up with a “well done, Mark”), I made the vocational decision to, rather than continue on to Year 12 and the Higher School Certificate (HSC) the next year, to study art instead, with a glowing career as a graphic designer at the end of this.

None of the other subjects I studied that year had a “well done, Mark” in their comments. They ranged from “had difficulties grasping biological concepts” to “never came to grips with the subject (mathematics)” to “has shown a high degree of confusion (chemistry)”. However, English did have “a satisfying exam result” and “a continual good effort!”. That explains why, even to this day, I love writing.

Stepping into the Unknown

Thus, after an in-depth report-related conversation with my parents, the plan went into action.

I stepped from the safe community of my Christian college into the wild, tribal world of a TAFE (Tertiary and Further Education) Art Vocational Orientation Program (VOP).

I left behind all my friends, familiar school environment and the school groups (school orchestra, drama group) that I had joined in Year 11. I also left behind the crazy people I met during my daily school bus commute, and “Killer”, the bus driver (I shared this in my article “The School Bus Experience” .)

I was wide-eyed and clueless, following my dream.

The VOP course started harmlessly enough, with a camp at Victoria’s (Australia) Phillip Island.

Photo from Outdoor Gear Lab

Phillip Island is a pleasant one and three quarter hour drive from Melbourne, where I lived at the time. The camp was meant as a “get to know you” experience for the talented art students who were about to embark on an artistic experience like no other.



Mark Kleimann

I am a writer from Australia, and share my life experiences to help others with whatever challenges they might be facing. Some of these can be quite hairy...