There are a lot of different ways to teach art. Many teachers prefer the “directed drawing” technique because it creates an excellent product and students are pleased when they create something that looks “real.” Although I do sometimes incorporate this method into my teaching, I feel that there is much more that can be learned from art making than just producing something pretty.
Allowing students to engage in free, uninterrupted creative projects helps foster confidence and build critical thinking skills. I praise students for the hard work put into something rather than the finished piece.
My vision for this studio was that children would be able to get the experience of working in a professional art studio. To me that means getting messy, moving back and forth between materials, taking breaks to look at books, listening to music, talking, moving AND failing. If you ever observe me teaching you will hear me say “turn your mistake into a masterpiece” at least once a class.
My purpose as an art educator is similar to that of a personal trainer. If you went to a personal trainer and they only taught you skills that you could use under their supervision, you probably wouldnt notice very many changes in your overall health or wellbeing. A trainer teaches you skills so that YOU can be proactive in making positive changes in your life. This is how I view art education. I want to teach my students how to act like creative people and apply what they learn in my class to other aspects of life and learning.
If you look at the images of my student’s work I hope that you will be impressed. My students create amzing things and I am so proud of them, but I am even more proud of the hard work, the beautiful and interesting things that they say, and their joy in the limitless possibilities of art making. I hope that I can instill in them such a love for art that their curiosity and excitement for creativity stays with them for a lifetime.