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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Artists are Self Directed: in Progress

The first day of the new semester I handed my students paper and colored pencil and said, "We're going to do this tutorial... and we did. When we were done we talked about what my role in the project was. Here were the findings:

I picked the project idea
I found the tutorial
I decided on the medium

That might sound like the role of the teacher. Well, it's not. That's the role of an artist. Artists decide what inspires them, artists seek out 'how to' information when they aren't sure, and the artist always picks the media. So why was I doing it?? I'm not the artist. They are the artists!

First issue was knowing what materials were available. stealing an idea from Jean Barnette, our students went on a material scavenger hunt. They had a list of items to find out about including different papers and different types of paint, they even had to find stuff that they didn't know what it was.

Next, they had to find their own techniques. I encourage them to find a tutorial that they either didn't know how to do or one that improved on a skill they already knew. Then I asked them to do that tutorial.

Finally, we talked a bit about inspiration. What are you concerned about? What are you interested in? What are your passions?

Once they went through all three steps, I asked them to design their first project for my class. They had to decide what to make, they had to learn a new technique or improve on an older skill to make it, and they had to decide what medium to use to best bring their idea to fruition.

The one thing I can say is, I have no idea what's going on! Students are hard at work on something.

They are trying new techniques, new media...

We got everything going on from 3D printing...

To candle making...

To traditional materials like pastels..

To ceramics..

To drawing with fire....

Wait hold up.. drawing with fire! I got go!!!


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