Did you have a mentor when you were young? Someone who encouraged your creativity and you fondly remember to this day? I have a kind of "anti-mentor" and I kind of fondly remember him. I failed art every year in high school because I refused to follow instructions. I just kept taking art, kept failing. I know that sounds kind of silly because it seriously impacted my GPA and my chances of getting into college let alone art school. But I had bigger fish to fry!
What were these bigger fish? I had to prove that I was committed to the creative process and my principles! Never compromise! I had to follow my muse, go with the flow, express myself. Rules? What rules?
Because I have a big high school reunion coming up this weekend (ugh!) I'm pondering "if I had to do it all over again, would I do it differently?" No ... I'd do the same thing! Foolish. maybe, but I'm still an impractical impulsive free spirit. I found a way to get a scholarship to art school and yes, I even graduated. I teach art now, and I'm a very different kind of teacher, more like a collaborator and co conspirator.
What I learned from this teacher is if I really care about something I'm willing to fully commit and take risks. I learned that I had courage to stand up for what I believed in ... and yeah, that smoking cigarettes in the girls bathroom and general mayhem may not be some of my proudest moments but they are some of my fondest memories.
The drawing above was not done by one of my students or by me when I was age 6. It was done by me this week. Why? I'm reading a book called "Making Marks: Discover the Art of Intuitive Drawing" by Elaine Clayton. A quote from the cover claims this book will "facilitate intuition, releasing the mind to discover new ideas, creative inspiration and unexpected solutions". Basically its a license to doodle. Its too early to say if doodling freely will change my life, but I do know we we had a lesson like this in school I would have participated and really enjoyed it.