I'm behind! I've had intermittent internet the last few days but I think I'm back in good shape...will have a few posts today. First up, teaching. I'm not a good public speaker and get really nervous if I have to be in front of a group. I even dashed off the stage one time during a piano recital - so I probably would never had made it as a rock star (but wouldn't it have been fun??!!) I started teaching in 2002 in my home studio, at local stores, and then at New Jersey events, so I could build up some experience before proposing to teach at Artfest (which I finally got to in 2004). I've been teaching ever since and I love it. I remember being nervous before my first big gig - 32 students in a huge ballroom. I remember being nervous to teach my first workshop and a fellow artist reminded me that the students were willing participants and they wanted me to succeed as much as they wanted to succeed themselves. It was exactly what I needed to hear, realizing we all come to the table with both a desire for growth, but also a bit of performance anxiety. If we just recognize that, then we can all shake off the nerves, and have fun learning together.
There is something really special about being in a workshop with eager students. We all learn from each other because we are plugged in and doing it. Seeing how each artist interprets the material is so inspiring. The best feedback I've gotten from a post-class review is that the artist left with the enthusiasm to go home and make more stuff. That's music to my ears. As a teacher I consider myself an ambassador for creativity. I'm not particularly interested in that your take-away is technique A, B, or C, I want you to leave with the confidence that you can do anything, and the desire to do it as much as you can.
I'm really lucky to have been able to teach at some really cool events, and to have met so many new friends these last ten years. It's been such an honor to stand at the front, and enourage others in this way.
I'm thrilled to be collaborating with my friend Lynne Perrella for two workshops this May, and to be returning as an instructor at CREATE in New Jersey in July, and then teach for the first time at Art Is You in Connecticut in October. You can see my workshop links at left sidebar, or click HERE.