Putting the Smock Back On!

After reading through some articles and checking out art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory from the local library, I am ready to begin some serious creative art goal setting.

One of my biggest concerns is that I am not prepared or skilled enough to assist students when the time comes. Well, of course I’m not! How could any artist be prepared if they are merely spending their time learning about teaching techniques and watching Netflix in the evenings. Its just not realistic. If I want to be a successful and effective arts educator then I need to apply myself. I need to get my hands dirty! And that means creating my own experiences, not just hoping the degree(s) in front of my name make me look good (although I still think it sounds awesome).

Ian Sands from The Art of Ed has five strategies I will be using as a guide:

  1. Set a Space: home office
  2. Set a Time: art with breakfast
  3. Distance Distractions: only accessing artist page and blog
  4. Find Support: update with posts/images, look for outreach opportunities
  5. Set Goals: Short-term: a sketch a day and upload journey progress.
    Long-term: develop lesson plans from sketches and learning process.

I have attempted to publicize my goals in hopes it would make me more responsible in completing them, but that is not always the case. Unfortunately I have always used the excuse that I am so busy, I don’t know what to do, or I have no inspiration or motivation. Well, that time needs to come to an end. And hopefully with these five strategies along with the book by Danny Gregory I can begin making time for the things that fill my heart with so much joy.

I have planned to begin cleaning out the home office and converting it into a workable space tomorrow morning, so that by Monday next week I will be able to create in an inspirational space free from distractions. I am always so concerned about making something grand and elaborate or else I feel I have wasted my time and materials. In order to remedy this I will plan to incorporate daily sketches into my breakfast as a beginning stage to getting my hands and mind moving together again. Learning to accept that something as simple as a sketch can turn into a series of awesomeness is a lesson I need to conquer on my own, especially if I want my future students to do the same. I cannot consciously ask them to do something that I know I myself cannot accomplish.

Appropriate goal setting, finding support, and sticking to the schedule is always a moment of truth in the process of developing skills and experiences. I will get to really test myself and my intrinsic motivation. I think through continued posting of my results and actions to complete tasks I will further my support groups and establish new connections in the community. In order to make those connections I will plan to upload and post about my journey back to creative art making through my daily sketches. And then there are goals.

Goals. Goals. Goals! The trick here really is to set attainable short-term and long-term goals and to stand strong. I am really concerned about myself as an artist and creating a sketch a day during breakfast shouldn’t be a hefty goal, but I know that sticking with it for more than a week or even a month is going to be some serious trial and error for me. Sadness, but opportunity! Uploading my progress will help me to see value and acknowledge my accomplishment, regardless of how small (dependent upon perspective). But the long-term goal for these sketches will be to create at least one lesson plan a month from the sketches produced, in some form or fashion. I am really not going to hold myself to saying that if I make a months worth of food sketches I should develop a food still life lesson. Sure, it seems appropriate but if my creative mind takes me into a different direction I am happy with any lesson plan at this stage in my process. I have one lesson plan to date, so having a handful to choose from, throw out, or revise will be a blessing by the end of the year.

Wish me luck! Help support me with guidance and comments about anything you do differently that I could use in my own practice.


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