Summer, Change of Plans, and Risk-Taking

Summer has officially come and gone, but for me it never really ended. This was the first summer in a long while that I wasn’t going back to school to teach in the fall. It was a bittersweet decision, but in the end a choice I felt I had to make. My winter and spring were emotional, to say the least! But when summer came I felt a release – a weight had lifted. Happiness started to creep back in. I was accepting and looking forward to the change.

I have taken up listening to The Potter’s Cast. It’s a podcast for potters. I know right??? Anyway, just the other day, I was listening to this artist from South Africa, John Newdigate, discussing ideas on building a foundation for an art business. He said the primarily goal of the artist is to express yourself honestly, and to take yourself seriously. Simple but powerful! Then he said something that surprised me, because I could hear my teacher self saying this kind of thing to my students –  if you’re comfortable with what you are doing, then you’re probably not doing your best. Wow.

It’s all about risk.

When I began teaching 16 years ago, I loved finding quotes about and by artists to have nearby to inspire and motivate students. Risk-taking is an integral part of art education. This one was one of my favorites by Mark Rothko. “Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.”