September 26, 2013

Selective Focus

Yes I haven't posted anything since the beginning of the school year and I have totally been neglecting reading about your art room adventures as well. Hope you are all well and I will be stopping by to say hi!

I have to share something personal with you, or with the whole Internet. This year I have been fighting the funk, the funk that I see many teachers walk around with, and it has been insidiously creeping up on me. I think I know why. Before I entered public school teaching, I always thought, everyone was an artist. I was seriously convinced of it! I didn't realize that I mostly frequented places with wildly creative people. So yes, my world was full of artistic people. Then I became a teacher.  No matter how you look at it, school has become the antithesis of an artistic and creative environment. Every so often I feel I need to come up for fresh air, recharge, seek out people who enjoy life, creative expression, and beauty.

Teaching art in a school can be a very lonely place for an artist if you let it. Until, I thought of something comforting today. Although I might feel alone some days, the truth is I am surrounded by hundreds of other artists, positive thinkers, people who want to believe in the good in the world, people who need to express themselves with paint, clay, singing, drawing, or they might go crazy in this place, just like me. As long as I remember that "every child is an artist" -Picasso- I just might work in the most creative place on earth. Great art -to me- is all about great editing and sometimes a little selective focus helps (I'm a photographer sorry for the references!:) So now it's time to refocus on what matters.


Anonymous said...

I am right there with you on all of it! :)

Mary said...

I can appreciate what you are saying Erica. It is so important to keep that creative battery charged and come up with new ways of inspiring ourselves. You made me think of a a day when I was pregnant with my daughter and volunteering in my son's kindergarten classroom. She had me work with the students on a fall leaf printing project using sponge stamps. The ideas was simply to dip and print. But one boy swirled his stamp on the paper creating these beautiful shapes and blends of color. As I'm admiring his work and creativity, the Assistant Teacher came over and told him he didn't follow directions and to start over. I obviously understand that is an important year for teaching kids to be active listeners and to follow directions. But I always remind myself that when kids come to my art classes, to try to let their "creative rebel" come out when it needs to. And I have found so much inspiration in just doing that with my young students. :D