I have compiled the following 5 rules for art students to help learners get the most out of a class or workshop. I know it might seem like these are common-sense guidelines. However, I am surprised at how many times our monkey-minds take over when we are in an art class.
First of all, I think all 5 rules are really based in fear. Let’s break each rule down, one by one.
- Let go of judgement. As we create, we must constantly evaluate what we are doing. But judging is different than evaluating. Judging is more like the mean voice inside your head, telling you that what you’re doing is wrong, worthless, etc. This is what stops many people from creating. How many times have you heard someone say ‘I can’t even draw a straight line?’
- No comparing with others. Individual students arrive in class with widely varying degrees of experience, aesthetic and ideas. Comparing your art work to your neighbor’s work is like comparing apples to oranges. I promise that everyone else in class is too concerned with their own work to worry about how yours stacks up!
- Explore & Have Fun – No Masterpieces. It’s a strange dichotomy that the more pressure we put on ourselves to do ‘great’ work, the more tight and cramped our creative process becomes. Getting out of the perfectionist zone and into the creative groove requires you to relax and not take things too seriously.
- Ask Questions. Nothing makes me sadder than a student who has been suffering in silence. As a teacher I walk a fine line between hovering and ignoring people. Nobody likes to take risks with a teacher hovering over their shoulder, but sometimes it is nice to have an advisor. Please ask for help or clarification when you’re stuck. It makes it so much easier to be a good teacher.
- Try New Things. It always boggles my mind when someone pays good money to sit in a class and do what they’ve always done. I know it can be scary to venture off the beaten path. But, I think taking risks is easier when the teacher is there to help you if you get stuck.
I hope these suggestions have given you a great mindset to get the most out of your next class or workshop. If you’re looking for a great place to try out these rules for art students, I have a suggestion! Join me and artist Carrie Moore for a 3 Day Mixed Media Retreat:
Mixed Media: Paper Clay & Acrylic Florals
Join us for a team-taught workshop combining colorful acrylic painting and dimensional paper clay. Paper clay air-dries overnight, allowing you to build up dimension in your work. You will create two shallow frieze: one more formal, the other more fluid. Learn to use pattern and depth merged with movement and color to express the spirit of spring. Do you love bas relief? This combination of clay and painting will excite you!Register Here