As an art teacher, I often have people say to me " I can't draw a stick figure". This is a disclaimer, of course, because they are generally are extremely afraid of their artwork being judged as not "good enough". In fact, before anyone else has judged it, they already have criticized it to pieces.
Its an odd phenomenon. I don't hear writers saying they "can't write a paragraph", or musicians saying I "can't play a note".
But artists, that is, people actually interested in art, who would like to pursue art in some way, say this every day. So it begs the question and made me start thinking about what it is to be an "artist"
Some people believe you are born with talent or not. Some feel they missed some relevant lesson in basic drawing and feel inadequate. Whatever people believe an artist or art is, they are extremely vulnerable when it comes to producing a piece of "art" .
I find this vulnerability beautiful as a painting teacher because it allows the person to become childlike in their approach to painting if they allow it to, if they let the vulnerability just be what it is.
When we become childlike in our approach to art, and let the critical part of our brain quiet, we open ourselves up to the true beauty of art. Our minds begin to think more in pictures- in lines, shapes, colors and form. We begin to "play". Playing is at the heart of art. It is where we meet with that child within, and allow him or her to come out . When we are able to do this, it is one of the most freeing, loving things we can do for ourselves. Judgement floats away, creativity engulfs us, and we are able to do things we never thought possible. We surprise ourselves!
When I teach painting, whether watercolor or acrylic, it is minimally about technique, or perspective, or value change. All of that can be taught in a few lessons. The main job is allowing people to relax enough to not worry about "screwing up"! To really "see" what it is they are painting instead of drawing their "symbol" of that object (think lollipop tree).That is what I do. Helping people to let go and enjoy the process instead of sabotaging themselves by letting their inner critic intimidate that childlike wonder inside.
I love what I do. I love helping people who can't draw stick figures understand they have a little Rembrandt inside just waiting to come out.
I would like to know about a time when someone made you feel embarrassed about your art or helped you believe in your creative process.