Art instructor, don’t tell me what to do, just give me what I need

19 May

Don’t you hate it when you read an article on-line and the author of the piece tells you what to read or what to do? It smells like marketing and advertising. Of course, there is a need for such things, because how else would people know about new products? I guess what I want is a clear distinction between facts and opinion (and spin).

I’ve met a few art teachers in my life who wanted to impose their ideas and techniques about creating art on their students. I guess the students were either star-struck by the artist’s work, or had no other place to go to. Often after a while, people get so used to being together as would-be artists, they don’t mind the rambling of the teacher so much, I guess. Some websites that proclaim to teach you how to draw and paint use this same “authoritative” tone of The Teacher, who knows all and will tell you how it’s done.

I don’t think it works like that in the realm of creativity. The one art teacher I had that was good in my opinion (but became too expensive for my budget), took another approach, the one of fostering creativity. He gave little hints, suggesting you to explore other ways of looking at your subject, and ways to improve your artwork. If you know how to approach your subject, instead of mindlessly doing what you are told to do, creating art becomes an adventure on its own.

Baby steps. Don’t give away too much at once, but only what I need to know to continue when I seem to be stuck. I really dislike those all-encompassing instructional texts that tell you everything, but teach you nothing, because you’re not yet ready to receive most of the information contained in the massive text.

That is all I wanted to write about this subject. Feel free to comment and add your ideas about art instruction.

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