Artists of the Future

I’ve been telling people that my next career will be as a high school art teacher. I don’t know if that is where I’ll end up, but it does give me something to work toward that requires a broad range of skills and a solid understanding of the creative/artistic world. And I like to teach. I was a teacher’s aid in College and taught community ed photo classes for a bunch of years, among other things.  I really enjoyed that. I learn better when I have to review and organize the data well enough to teach others. I enjoy the give and take. And, though I’ll never admit it, I like the feeling of respect/admiration/look-up-to-it-ness that is available if you are a good teacher. And I’m pretty good.

And at the moment, I have 3 built in students I can teach, indoctrinate and expose to what I think is neat and fun – my kids.

R is 12 and we share altogether to many shared hang-ups. One of our basic challenges is the need to do everything, try everything. While she does well at everything she tries, she isn’t becoming amazing at any one thing. She doesn’t give any one thing a chance to really develop. She’s always been a pretty good with a pen, maybe just a little better than average, but she hasn’t spent a lot of time with it. This year she is taking art and doing well and really liking it. I’ve been impressed at moments of real creative thought. Maybe this one will catch her interest more than the half a dozen other things she’s got going on.

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This is from a quick sketch that she did years ago that I liked and stuck in a book and found a while ago.

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A few weeks ago her class had a contest where they had to design an environmental Google logo. I was impressed with what she came up with.

A is 9 and is naturally good at everything he does.  Art isn’t really his thing – he doesn’t sit down to do it for its sake. But when he is forced to sit quietly he’s pretty good with a pencil and paper and with a hunk of clay. He likes creating his ‘creatures’. Some day he plans on creating a comic book full of them. When ever he gets some clay he’s taking to sculpting them. He created an entire army of them:

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K is my dedicated artist. She spends hours drawing and coloring, cutting and pasting. When she was learning to write she came up with her own method of holding a pencil/pen with the tips of her fingers – looks stange but it gives her very tight control. From the beginning I was always amazed at her control and detail. Plus I just love to watch her do her thing.

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R started a pottery class where they learned how to make little pinch pot creatures. We’ve had two previous pinch pot lessons at home so all three of them know the concept. I had R teach us how to build the creatures. She is a natural teacher (she feels the need to be in charge and teaching provides that) and she did a good job. They all made their own creature and R made tounges for the other two and they all came out very fun. I like mine, but I’m a little jealous because I didn’t do a tounge – but my nose it cool. Did the Karl Malden thing. I’ll drop pictures in when we’ve painted and fired them.

They may never be artists, but at least they’ll have the opportunity that I never had to explore and see if they like it.

Plus I just like the natural sense of beauty that comes out of their young minds and fingers. It isn’t based on years of education and critical reviews. It just a natural effort that is fun and natural and pure. The gift of childhood.

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