Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wayback - An Art Teacher

This comes from October 6, 2004. There used to be links that now do't work. There is a blog called "Happiness Squared," but it's not the same one from 2004.

Found a blog the other day from links from others. I love to see what other people read, and almost always check it out to see if I enjoy it as well. I found this one, happiness is. . . when I looked on Metrotronic and I just had to comment on a post. The following was the result.

I'm an art teacher. That still surprises me sometimes. This was not my aspiration, as those of you who have read my "find your bliss" entry know.

What I didn't explain in that entry is my total lack of artistic talent. I didn't have any talent of which to speak. I still don't. I have learned skills that allow me to draw what I can see, that's all. Talent had nothing to do with that.

Now, Bear and any others who have ever seen my drawings are disagreeing with me right now. But. . .I'm right. Talent is the natural ability to do something, usually without formal training. That's not me. Without lots of hard work and learning a new way of thinking, I would not be an art teacher or even much of an artist now. Not that I am denigrating my ability to create realistic representations of things. If anything, I have great confidence in that skill, because it is a skill. I learned it, and am unlikely to unlearn it.

I try to teach this to my students. "Drawing is a skill." Sometimes your creativity can pair with your skill to reach amazing heights. If you want to be an artist, all you have to do is practice. I truly believe this. Hopefully it makes me a better teacher, but that I don't know for certain.

Yes, I believe talent exists. Talent, though, only takes you so far. Drive led me, a non-art person, to become an art teacher. If I had relied on talent, I would not be where I am now, with 650 loving, wonderful and open students willing to take a risk on my say-so. It feels pretty good sometimes to be me.

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