Art Education, Specifically
In my experience all people want to be better at art. I’ve never met someone that didn’t wish that they could practice more art. I’ve met many who have believe in a story called “I can’t do art, I’m not good at it”. This is an effective and powerful story. A story that is taught to us. Being “good at art” is not something you are born with. Somewhere along the way, somebody tells you that you are no good at what you draw and create. Some of us survive that criticism, in fact we welcome it, and we grow up to become self-designated artists. Most people, however, are robbed of the ability to recognize their inner artist by a single comment, usually given by a teacher, that they aren’t good.
Being robbed of the ability to express oneself through wonder of artistic representation is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy that must be combatted against. There is no reason for this story to perpetuated. I believe that the first steps in combating this tragedy is to develop a rhetoric with every person I meet that firmly believes that everyone is an artist, even you. Not only to I believe that everyone is an artist, but furthermore I believe it’s the mission of all educators to start their student discourse firmly in this belief.
If we don’t, we’ll lose this war to the inner critic inside the minds of our students. I see the critic win everyday, and the critic is winning more minds than we are. It starts with us not only saying “you are an artist” to all of our students, but also believing it – especially when they don’t believe it themselves.
Art education is not just something that is just confined to the the teaching of the line or painted picture, it is a life approach of finding joy in being original. We can find our art in anything that we do whether it be painting, carpentry, driving a bus or doing chemistry. When we approach our work with the intention of reflecting our lives within every movement with care, mindfulness, and joy we become artists.