Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people at the "Zonta Ladies Night" fundraiser event in Cheyenne, Wyoming. One woman in particular told me that she was gathering information (business cards, brochures, etc) from all of the artists' booths to share with her daughter. Her daughter, she explained, was a very talented artist, but wasn't sure she wanted to pursue art in college, as it didn't seem like it would amount to a real job. In our conversation, I mentioned that I was not only an artist, but also an art teacher--which didn't seem to go over well. She laughed as she explained that her daughter thinks that being a teacher is something that artists have to do in order to make a living... and she doesn't want to become a teacher.
She has a point.
There are a lot of artists who resort to teaching as a way of bringing home the bacon, since selling artwork is not a very consistent means of income. While I do teach full-time, and having that steady income DOES make me feel more financially stable, that is not WHY I teach.
Teaching is EXHAUSTING. I'll be the first to admit that. After a full day of teaching, the thought of going home and trying to work on my studio art is not always appealing. However, teaching is also incredibly energizing! When I'm not creating my own art, I am sharing my gifts with others AND becoming inspired by their work at the same time! My elementary art students are some of the most creative little artists I know---and that is because they are not afraid to dive into a new project and see where their creative journey takes them.
In last week's post, I wrote of the importance of displaying your artwork for others to see. Just as showing your work to others is important, SHARING your expertise and love for art with others is just as important. In addition to teaching art full-time, I also teach two monthly painting workshops to the community--focusing on the processes that I use to create some of my paintings. Why do I do this? Because I feel that openly sharing my techniques with the community not only forms a good relationship between myself and community members, but also brings people closer to understanding my work! Art is a form of investigation, and recreating a painting forces the artist to get up close and personal with the artwork--increasing their knowledge of, and connection to the piece.
Have a wonderfully inspiring weekend!