Sunday, March 13, 2011

Teach Your Children Well...

And Your Artists Too!

So I was a having a Twitter discussion with my art buddies Rene van Belzen and Jonathan Rector and it brought up some memories of art class for me. How I couldn't connect with the teachers who were supposed to recognize and encourage my creativity and help foster growth. Now I know this must sound kinda negative but all I thought at that time was "bah, just a typical teacher!" Now I'm older with a better sense of people and understanding I sometimes ponder what it is that makes a teacher good? It is essentially many of the same elements of what makes a good parent but I will save that topic for my parenting blog (I don't have children).

A Good Teacher!

1)Has the ability to guide and communicate.

2)The ability to teach discipline (not to strictly discipline) which comes from respect.

3)The ability and willingness to foster & not stifle creativity.

And most importantly the ability to listen and learn.

It sounds funny that I say this but I think that learning is a continuous process not only for students but more importantly for teachers.Teachers need to keep that "learning freeway" open in both directions and if one of these "roads" becomes blocked for whatever reason, that's when problems can occur.

Most of my teacher s had a stick up their butts! In art class most teachers were "art snobs" about comic books and animation. I doodled and drew superheroes and they turned their nose up at it. Instead of fostering the interest they tried to stifle it and tell me how a graphic design course or illustration course or a BFA (bachelor of fine arts) was the route. I grew frustrated and steered away from what I love until I met Miss Hoika.

We didn't always see eye to eye on art. We didn't always "get each other" but we respected each other. I who was the tenth grade kid who knew it all. She that teacher who was trying to give a lesson in the creative side of the arts . I knew she did some sort of oil painting and I regret not attending her art show. My cool friends asked "why would ya want to see HER stuff, it isn't going to be Ken Danby!" A realistic photographic style artist who did a lot of hockey sports related paintings I know "hockey."

"At the Crease" Ken Danby

Well I AM Canadian, eh?

Miss Hoika might not have liked realistic painters, ok she loathed the style. "That's what cameras are for!" she said. She didn't tell me to stop drawing in that style or stop with my comic characters, she "listened" to the students love of realism in art and in the end we agreed to disagree!

More recently I have come to realize she was right. She would like that, I think.

The Circle of Teaching:

This brings me full circle to teacher's need and ability to listen and learn. Don't get me wrong, I think we can't all be teachers. I know that teaching takes patience , it takes the ability to listen and the ability to learn from your students. One of my favourite quotes is those that think "they know everything, know nothing". These are the teachers (and people) to avoid!

My Reading Week:

I am still reading Peanuts Collection Volume 1 and I am finding that the in depth interview with Charles Schulz at the end of the book (yes I skipped to the end) is quite an interesting look into what made the man tick. I almost like this better than the strips!

My Art Week:

After following some Artrage discussion on Twitter I fired up the program again. Now I run Windows 7 in 64 bit mode and I don't know if this is causing a bit of lag when I use my Wacom pen and touch but after some research I found that it shouldn't! There may be some setting conflicts in Windows and/or Artrage 2.6. I am frustrated as I also have been trouble shooting some issues on my wife's computer (or confuzer as Leo Laporte likes to call em). I don't feel like screwing around with it Artrage. I love the program (when it works) for all the brush options. It is one of the best for simulating all different brush strokes and results (again when it works)

So back to pencil and paper for now. I have been sketching and organizing my pages for 3 comics and my mini comic dump truck as well as a slice of life strip called My Brain Hertz.

Get out there and create "my lovelies!"


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