Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Is Art Magic?
I met with Laura and Frieda for lunch yesterday, only the second time we have seen each other in the entire month of April. We chatted about birthdays and our recent gigs and discovered that we all had come across a similar 'expectation' from a few of our students.
The expectation of the participant was that we could somehow teach them how to be an artist. In a week, or three days or even one day.
Of course we never hear these exact words from the persons, but the inference is strong and no matter what we show them it doesn't seem to satisfy.
We think that they want THE MAGIC KEY. As if there is one.
I can relate. Before I went to art school I thought I would learn how to be an artist for real, not just in my imagination. But my undergraduate courses didn't teach me that. So I went to graduate school, and still I felt that something was missing. Later I took a few workshops on specific techniques and while I did grasp them, I still didn't see how one got to be an artist.
So I gave up and just went back to the room I sewed in and continued to make stuff. Years later I am still making stuff. And I am teaching how to make stuff.
When did it all change into ART?
I do consider myself an artist, and what I make is the art, but the way I got here...can it be taught?
Did the diploma make it happen? Or did the work do the trick? I say it is the work. Teachers can give encouragement and applause and sometimes steer the student in direction that will be beneficial, but in the end it is only going to happen for the person in the studio.
As much as I would like to have that Magic Key, I really don't think it exists.