Thoughts on Art Class

Before I was diagnosed, I wanted to be an art teacher.  Yeah, they aren’t well paid, but so what?  It’s bogus that art is seen as a “soft” subject and a waste of time if you don’t have the skill.  People are talented or they’re not, right?  Wrong. So wrong.  Do you know what art is?  It is the complex marriage of math, science, and emotion.  The positioning of facial features can be entirely measured in eye lengths.  Ratios abound in the position of elements on a page.  Knowing how muscles connect and bodies bend is a must.  I study a lot to improve.  A lot. Gesture drawing, reference study, anatomy lessons…  And it’s simultaneously discounted and revered by society- untouchable from all sides unless you are specially selected by whatever art deity deemed you worthy.  Which isn’t right.

I wanted to be an art teacher because art isn’t just about technique.  It’s not objective. Being good is just being passionate and doing your best.  So what if your technique isn’t as good as Suzy’s?  You’re working hard!

My ideal rubric:

Daily effort- 50 pts
Demonstration of Assigned Techniques- 20 pts
Creativity- 25 pts
Did you make me feel a thing? – 5 pts
Bonus Points for Passion

I feel like this is a good representation of what art is.  Effort, creativity, emotion, and improvement.   All grades would be open for discussion.  Students would only be compared to themselves.  Each student would have 2 sketchbooks; one for class and one personal one that they would be required to fill over the course of the class. And I wouldn’t do that stupid grid project where you have to draw Marilyn Monroe photo realistically because really, what does that accomplish?  No copying.  Just creating.

And at the end, they would be able to see the improvement.  Not compared to others, but compared to themselves.  And that is a great feeling.



An Open Letter to My Groove


Dear Groove

You obstinate wench.  Every day, I attempt to summon you, and every day I am rebuffed!  Why, Groove?  I read articles, watch vlogs, listen to music… and you give me nothing but sass!  Sass doesn’t write blog posts, Groove!  I am ashamed and disappointed in your lack of productivity in our waking hours.  Instead, you awaken as the sun sets, spinning together beautiful rhetoric and regaling me with tales from our childhood when I cannot write.  Rather than coming alive around noon, you force me to lay awake for long after the lights have been turned out, mentally composing letters and stories with a fluidity that requires your particular participation.

Please start showing up for work, Groove.

Sincerely and with exasperation,