Monday, June 11, 2012

A Little Redirection.......

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but growing up I always knew I wanted to be an artist...or a dancer(HA).......but really, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I loved that when I put pencil to paper people really saw what was there, unlike my dancing which was met with averted eyes. I didn't really want dance lessons, or piano lessons, or baton lessons, although I did like being in parades, but what I did want was an easel and all the things that might go with it. Pencils, charcoal, I loved to paint and ultra fine pens and permanent markers!! A little slice of heaven.

I don't think I ever expected to grow up to be an art teacher. In fact, I know I didn't. I was only in FTA(Future Teachers of America) for the letter and honor points. But when I went to college, I had a long discussion on the financial aspect of being an artist, mainly that I wouldn't be receiving any help financially from my parents if I went for "ART". So I declared physical therapy my major and signed up for as many general ed and fine arts classes(as electives of course) that I could. Eventually, I started researching art careers and I stumbled across Art Education. I changed my major and yes, eventually told my parents. I actually liked education. I transferred to a school that had a better arts program, (GO FALCONS!!) and started on my way with methods courses and some heavy studio coursework.

I think everyone of us in that ART ED graduating class thought that being an artist and an educator would be easy because they go hand in hand. But there is a fundamental difference between being a professional artist and a professional educator and juggling both is something that I struggle with. I am not going to pretend I am in galleries, that I am represented, and that money is rolling in, although I wouldn't mind it, but I am producing and creating.  Mostly small commissioned pieces and work for friends and loved ones. It took a long time to get to the point that I could even want to do both again.

But I did find that there are a few things that I needed to help make me more successful...first ..a dedicated work space other than my classroom or kitchen table. Actual work time while at not gonna happen at least not with my high schoolers. They keep me busy enough.   Second, I needed a dedicated work time. It just so happened that I had to sacrifice my daily walk on the treadmill. Um yeah, that "sacrifice" isn't really working out though so I will be adjusting the schedule to include both this summer.  I also needed my own "holy grail". Something I could jot down ideas in whenever they hit or wherever I found inspiration. I have one for home and one for school. Actually I have about 15 total because I always misplace them. Sometimes they are old abandoned sketchbooks, or a moleskin journal-still missing, or a new sketchbook from a vendor, and sometimes they are just a yellow legal pad but I always have a sharpie or a uni ball to jot with. and last, but not least, I needed to have a sense of humor to deal with everything life tends to throw out at you at one time

Anyways, this blog is mainly about that struggle, the choices, we make to do both, the experiences, influences and everything else that shapes us into artists AND educators, with some of those classroom escapades thrown in for some comic relief. Just be thankful it isn't a video of me dancing.


  1. I started a blog once upon a time and its out there in cyber space somewhere LOL. Maybe you can give me a lesson.

    1. You should be blogging about the crazy experiences at Homerville!!!! Thank you for reading!