As an artist and educator, I have found that experimentation with process, ideas, and materials is essential to a successful creative practice. Researching new materials and concepts enables students to problem solve and generate ideas within their work and to produce increasingly refined pieces. Students must learn to imaginatively and effectively arrive at solutions to artistic problems while utilizing and investigating new ideas, tools, and processes. It is essential that students develop a useful knowledge of theory, design, and practice by actively participating in demonstrations, class discussions and lectures in order to become successful artists.
Frequently, the journey artists take in creating works of art are fraught with false starts and failed attempts, but encounters with artistic problems deepen an appreciation of process, work ethic, and successes. Instructors should be most concerned with the students’ creative development and experimentation above the final product. As students investigate and overcome difficulties within their work, they gain deep and meaningful knowledge of the subject and materials and arrive at successful solutions to visual problems.
Students experience the world through different lenses of perception, and these differences should be encouraged and expressed in a constructive and meaningful manner. It is crucial to teach students how to appropriately critique themselves and others. Given that the ability to critique art is one of the most central facets of the art world, discussing art with peers not only enhances the learning process, but it prepares students to be active participants in the arts community. These skills should be reinforced throughout the course of the semester. Peer to peer dialogues offer a variety of solutions and approaches to particular artworks.
It is essential to promote a creative development within the classroom, and the most effective way for students to learn is by being exposed to various processes, materials and ideas. The art making process is the most valuable aspect within art itself, regardless of the final product. Ultimately, it is my goal as an artist and educator to inspire the love of learning and the creative process.