Monday, March 9, 2009

Artists teaching artists

It's just a few days until my next weekend workshop. I truly love teaching. I do it and love it for many reasons. But this is the big reason - the reason that got me started: 
I did it alone. All my friends did it alone. This is a business you do alone, you figure out alone, each step a puzzle with no one to guide you. There is no school that teaches the business of selling crafts. Colleges don't teach it, business schools don't teach it. Even art schools don't teach it. They help you refine your style, technique and talent and then they open the doors and set you free to figure it out all by yourself. And millions of us, generations of us have done and still do just that. 
We muddle through, all trying to answer the same questions, figure out the same issues, find the same resources, and all making the same mistakes. It takes years to figure it all out, learn from our failures, ask the right questions, gather the resources and knowledge, find the right opportunities, make the hard choices and build a successful business. But still, all of the others who come after us start alone, knowing nothing, fueled by their passion, dreaming of doing what they love for a living ...and stumble though it by themselves just as we did.
Does that make sense to anyone, when there are generations of us who have the knowledge?
It only makes sense to me to pass it on. And I love watching students walk into to class that first day wondering if they have what it takes and then over the course of a weekend see them start come alive, perk up, and get truly excited and energized as they begin to see the way to their dreams. 

1 comment:

Colleen MacDonald said...

I'm so grateful that you have the ability to teach! Not everyone with information is able to impart, you know? And people with the "artist sensibility" are often completely stymied by administration and marketing and promotion and all of that business stuff. It's really hard to try to figure all of that out. So Hats off to you!